Guam – It appears that both the legislative and executive branches have heard the cries of carabao ride operators John Aguon and John Tedtaotao. Both men are being evicted from the public parks that they offer carabao rides at.
Senator’s Ben Pangelinan and Judi Guthertz are both introducing legislation. Even Governor Eddie Calvo is considering an executive order to keep these men at the parks promoting the Chamoru culture.
John Ray Aguon and “Big” John Tedtaotao both give carabao rides at parks in the south. Aguon at Talofofo bay and Tedtaotao at Fort Soledad in Umatac. DPR has evicted both men from the parks because they refuse to get a $1,500 dollar vendor’s license for parks they say are ill-maintained. Both men say they are doing a good thing for Guam as they share the Chamoru culture with visitors and keep the parks clean. DPR Director Pete Calvo says there are rules and regulations that must be followed.
Governor Eddie Calvo told PNC today that he is sympathetic to these men and plans on revisiting some of those rules and regulations. “This is something that I want to look into because there are a lot of rules and regulations that are so onerous in this government I see a lot of redundancies and this is something I’ve seen as a senator and now as a governor,” said Calvo adding,”There may be ways we can look towards it through executive order or it may mean that I may have to send some legislation over to the other branch of government the policy making branch to either repeal or amend some of our current laws and some of our current rules and regs.”
Senator Judi Guthertz has already introduced legislation. “So I’m introducing a bill today that would basically exempt those activities that are identified with Guam’s history and culture and legacy from having to pay park fees in order to demonstrate their products or their animals and to make our tourists and visitors to Guam happy,” said Guthertz.
Senator Ben Pangelinan is working on introducing similar legislation. He says it’s unfortunate that this is how these local vendors are being treated when tour companies are allowed to bring in bus loads of tourists to the local parks for picture taking free of charge. “If the commercial vendor who utilizes the scenic nature of the parks does not have to pay any fee at all to bring his goods and make money with that park neither should a cultural vendor have to pay to access the park to sell his service or his goods so we think this will provide some equity in the treatment of our vendors who utilize the public parks but much more importantly continues to enhance the brand we’re trying to build with we are Guam and the traditions and the culture of Guam to be a memorable experience and a unique experience for our visitors,” said Senator Pangelinan. Senator Guthertz tells PNC they may end up marrying or combining the two bills. Meanwhile John Aguon is circulating an online petition to in support of his cause.