Typhoon Yutu service providers still waiting to get paid

The destruction caused by Super Typhoon Yutu contributed greatly to the slowdown of the CNMI economy.

The CNMI government is reporting a massive revenue loss following the onslaught of Typhoon Yutu and service providers who helped with recovery efforts are still waiting to be paid in full.

Secretary of Finance David DLG Atalig reported that the commonwealth currently has lost approximately $93 million in revenue since Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018.

He said his department has been working diligently to provide partial payments to the vendors who provided services during the post-Yutu recovery efforts, but added that the CNMI currently does not have the funds to pay these obligations in full.

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The Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee met with Secretary Atalig on Wednesday to discuss House Joint Resolution 21-9-House Draft 1, which seeks to grant the governor’s authorized representative, Patrick Guerrero, the authority to enter, on behalf of the CNMI, into a Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA Community Disaster Loan agreement.

The FEMA CDL program could provide up to $5 million in assistance, and repayment would not begin until five years into the program with a .097% interest rate.

As for the rest of the CNMI shortfall, he said they are hoping to secure funds approved by the U.S. Congress and President Donald J. Trump.