Vice-Speaker says HOT bonds should be reprogrammed for GMH not Governor’s Palace

Senator Therese Terlaje (file photo)

Vice-Speaker Therese Terlaje is wondering why Hotel Occupancy Tax Bond funding originally meant for the Tumon flood mitigation project has been reprogrammed for the reconstruction of the Governor’s Palace.

Guam – The legislature received a letter from the Guam Economic Development Authority saying that the GEDA board had voted to reprogram $5 million dollars that was meant for phase 3 of the Tumon Flood Mitigation project towards the reconstruction of the historic Governor’s Palace or Palasyo in Hagatna. According to GEDA the Tumon flood mitigation project will cost more than the $5 million that was set aside for it so the board opted to use that money instead on the Palasyo “rather than allowing bond money to sit idle while additional funding is obtained.”

Vice-Speaker Terlaje believes that the money could be better used at GMH. In fact, she introduced bill 255 to appropriate this hot bond funding towards purchasing critical medical equipment and to fund capital improvements for the Guam Memorial Hospital.

“I’m concerned of course that the Tumon flooding project is not being completed and I’m also concerned about news that we’ve been hearing about the Guam Memorial Hospital. I mean doctors are making allegations that patients are not receiving adequate services or people are dying because of conditions at the hospital and of course that’s alarming for all of us,” said Vice-Speaker Terlaje.

The Vice-Speaker’s bill keeps in the provision for Tumon flood mitigation but adds hospital equipment as the second project on the list of projects that the HOT bonds can be used for.