Guam – The Governor’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola says that the administration will not be providing a fiscal realignment plan to Senator Ben Panglinan because the issue for the administration is figuring out how to pay off other debts that aren’t budgeted.
Pangelinan called for the fiscal realignment plans in letter sent to BBMR, DRT and DOA on Thursday.
The administration responded saying that Senator Pangelinan’s budget for this year isn’t the problem –cash in the bank is the problem. The adminstration also stated that “If we just look at the amount of cash coming in to pay for this year’s expenses, and this year alone, then we’re fine, but this government has bills to pay that date years back, and unbudgeted expenses that need to be paid too.”
Senator Pangelinan says he’s fine with this as long as it’s done the right way. “I’m glad that they recognize that the budget is fine because that’s what we really tried to do this budget is a very lean budget and we were very conservative in the revenue numbers so we think we’re gonna be fine in collecting the money to pay for this years operations now the governor’s coming back now and saying I have these other obligations that I want to pay, well when he takes the money now from the budget which is fine to pay these prior year budget operational deficits that exist then this budget is not gonna be fine if he takes the money out of there to pay for these. So, somewhere along the line we gotta realign and readjust and that’s what I’m asking him to do,” said Pangelinan.
Governor Calvo’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola says Governor Calvo and his fiscal team have been working on the government’s fiscal condition for quite some time now. “Senator Pangelinan’s budget as you know it’s been in position now but again this crisis that we’re faced with today, cash crisis didn’t start today it’s been an amalgamation of things that has been coming for the past couple of months so we have got to get caught up with bills from prior months and as a result of that that’s what’s putting us in the situation we are in today,” said Arriola.
The governor’s Chief of staff also re-iterated that cash collections aren’t low enough to require a fiscal realignment plan but cash is still tight in the government because of prior due obligations. “The issue really is it’s a cash shortage facing the Government of Guam and I know Senator Pangelinan has been meeting with members of our fiscal policy group and we’re hopeful that this dialog can resolve a lot of these issues that we’re facing with today,” said Arriola.