Governor’s Chief of Staff Arriola to Senator Pangelinan: “Its Not Your Budget, Its the Lack of Cash”

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Guam – Governor Calvo’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola disputes Senator Ben Pangelinan’s contention that the Directors of BBMR, Rev and Tax and DOA must turn in Fiscal Realignment plans to his Appropriations Committee by tomorrow [Friday].

In an email response to PNC News, Arriola states “We’re not working on a fiscal realignment plan for this year’s budget at this time because we’re working on solutions to fix the cash crisis, and full assessments of the cash position.”

Earlier on Thursday, Senator Pangalinan said that under Guam law, Directors are required to submit a fiscal realignment plan to address financial distress in the local Government.

Pangelinan sent a letter to the Governor and the 3 Department Directors in which he wrote: “Over the past month there has been a slew of media reports driven by the executive branch regarding a fiscal crisis the Government of Guam is facing, to my knowledge, there has yet to be any proposal from the executive branch to modify the budget act of 2011.”

Read Pangelinan’s Letter to the BBMR, DRT and DOA Directors

Read Pangelinan’s letter to Governor Calvo on the issue

Governor’s Chief of Staff Frank Arriola’s Full Response to Senator Pangelinan is printed below:

* Senator Pangelinan’s budget for this year isn’t the problem – cash in the bank is the problem – we’re talking about apples and oranges here.

* There’s not enough cash to pay for everything

* 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

* There’s tax refunds, vendor payments for hospital supplies, power and retirement bills for public schools… the list goes on

* We can’t just pay for this year’s operations and forget about the bills we accrued from last year or the year before… it doesn’t work like that

* It’s like a power bill. If you owe GPA for Dec, Jan and February, and you only pay February, GPA is still going to cut you off. Paying February bill doesn’t make the December and January bill go away.

* Cash is the problem