Lastimoza: Paperwork stalls abandon car removal

Michelle Lastimoza

The process of removing abandoned vehicles around the island has been a long standing issue, but government of Guam agencies assure that there is funding to continue the efforts.

The Mayors’ Council of Guam has received $1.5 million for this current fiscal year to remove abandoned vehicles.

According to Michelle Lastimoza, the deputy administrator of the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, it received more than 2 million dollars from the Guam Department of Revenue & Taxation collection for the purpose of getting rid of derelict vehicles.

After proper procedures are made within multiple agencies to appropriate those funds, the MCOG will need to provide an expenditure and operation plan on how money will be spent, which will then get approved by Guam EPA’s board of directors.

Although funding is available to the MCOG, the process of receiving the money halts the efforts of removing abandoned vehicles as well as items left on the road such as appliances and other car parts.

“Part of the delay in the funding is that process,” said Lastimoza. “The approval and execution of that MOA so we recognize that is part of the problem again when funds are available October 1st of every fiscal year then that paperwork delays the implementation of that program the MCOG’s program sometimes they don’t get started until February or March of that year because we can’t release that money until that paperwork is approved and signed.”

For the last two years, the Guam Legislature has directly appropriated the amount of money going to the MCOG but once it reaches the council, the MCOG has the decision to distribute the money to each village accordingly.

With the 1.5 million dollar budget, the Guam EPA board has approved the release of 1 million dollars to the MCOG and when the money is close to being expended, the public environmental agency can request the board to release the remaining 500 thousand dollars.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Governor of Guam announced the progress made to remove abandoned vehicles.

Guam EPA funded the removal of 5,459 abandoned vehicles in the last five years alone–that’s over 1,000 vehicles a year.

This is a direct result of the tireless work of village mayors and the financial support provided to the MCOG, stated a press release issued by Adelup.


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Althea Engman or as she is referred to as Thea joined the PNC team in August of 2021 as their youngest reporter and after a few months she was given the opportunity to be their weather girl. She currently attends the University of Guam while working at Sorenson. Her hobbies include dancing, creating content for social media, as well modeling on the side, she also is a big dog lover. Before working for PNC, she didn’t think about pursuing a career in journalism or a related field but it has helped her figure out a better career path. She covers a wide variety of news beats with a focus on legislation and lifestyle.