Applicants on Chamorro Land Trust Commission list since 1995 suddenly told they’re ineligible

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On Wednesday, a public hearing was held at the Legislature on the Chamorro Land Trust Commission, which was asked for an update on their ability to confirm claims for those who’ve been on the waiting list since 1995.

According to Speaker Therese Terlaje, who has oversight over the CLTC, she has received complaints that people who’ve been on the list since 1995 were suddenly told they’re ineligible.

“We have received calls in our office from those … some original applicants on the waiting list who have said that they are being told they are not eligible and are being asked to run around to obtain proof of their eligibility,” Terlaje said.

Regarding eligibility, CLTC program coordinator Joseph Cruz said that they’d taken measures to train their staff to determine eligibility.

“Our staff will undergo training provided by the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission, which has custody of all the bond files that will assist our employees to determine eligibility for the program,” Cruz said.

Along with providing training for their staff, Cruz wants to modify his organization to more efficiently address issues of eligibility.

“The prior director had begun a process but I think that it would behoove us to actually have a small committee within the agency to help figure that out and iron out all the moving parts that we need to and how to address the issues right because there’s going to be a lot of research again with each one, almost as we continue to address them. Some of the applicants may no longer be with us, and we’re going to have to figure out if they designated a successor and have to go find that successor,” Cruz said.

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