VIDEO: CNMI Report – Rep. Dela Cruz: “Put the NMI Government Under a State of Emergency”


Saipan – A Saipan lawmaker  believes that it is the CNMI government that should be placed under a state of emergency instead of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. or  the NMI Retirement Fund, as the Fitial administration has planned.

Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, in a report from the Saipan Tribune, said the central government and its departments and agencies have not been paying their obligations to CUC, CHC, and the Fund, and these unpaid obligations are among the major reasons why these agencies were placed or will be placed under a state of emergency.

Gov. Benigno Fitial, as of yesterday, has yet to issue an executive order placing the Fund under a state of emergency, days after the U.S. District Court for the NMI’s Bankruptcy Division dismissed the Fund’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

The government has some $300 million debt to the Fund, for unpaid employer contributions.

Fitial, meanwhile, cited over $8 million in unpaid obligations by the cash-strapped government, the Public School System, and CHC as among the reasons for placing CUC under a state of emergency again.

CHC, for its part, needs a $10-million subsidy for fiscal year 2013 and onwards mainly for the hospital to continue to provide services to the indigent population.