Senators Respicio & Tom Ada Intro Bill to Ensure Ownership of Port Remains Public

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Guam –  A bill to ensure that Guam’s lifeline, the Port Authority of Guam (Port) “is not to be privatized, leased or sold” was introduced Wednesday by
Senators Tom Ada and Rory Respicio.

Bill No. 79-31 (COR), seeks to repeal Public Law 27-60, which allows the Port to enter into a public-private partnership (PPP) in order to contract terminal operations and maintenance.

“While Public Law 27-60 was well intentioned in seeking an infusion of private capital to upgrade and manage the Port through a PPP, we want
to prevent the full privatization of the Port. It’s important that Port will always remain a public asset given the crucial service it provides,” said Senator Tom Ada, Chairperson of the Committee with oversight of the Port.

During Senator Ada’s February 9th public hearing on the appointment of three nominees to serve as members of the Port Board of Directors, Mike Benito, Ed Ilao and Dan Tydingco, all affirmed that they are not in favor of privatization of the Port.

Under questioning by Senator Respicio, the three nominees were asked if they were in favor of the sale of the Port, to which each replied “no.”

“While we credit the three nominees for their positions, the reality is that nominees can be replaced as easily as they were appointed, so Bill 79 was introduced out of the necessity to make permanent and perfectly clear, the intention for the future of Guam’s Port,” said co-sponsor Senator Rory Respicio.

Bill No. 79-31 (COR) is also co-sponsored by Senators Judi Guthertz, Tony Ada and Tina Muña Barnes.