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Senate to discuss CDA board nomination

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TODAY, Friday, the Senate will be deliberating on the governor’s nominee to the Commonwealth Development Authority board of directors, Joaquin Q. Dela Cruz.

CDA is “an autonomous public agency primarily responsible for stimulating the economic development of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

Its mission is to “provide appropriate financial and technical assistance to facilitate the start-up or expansion of private and public enterprise for their success, the benefit of the Commonwealth’s economic welfare and the long-term sustainability of CDA.”

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday said during a press briefing on KKMP radio that he respects the Senate process and hopes that the senators will confirm Dela Cruz.

 

The Senate will reconvene today, Friday, to discuss, among other things, the governor’s nominee to the Commonwealth Development Authority board. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

Chaired by Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz, the Senate Executive Appointments and Government Investigations Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on the nominee, and raised concerns about the CDA loan application process, the timeline allotted for loan repayment, the foreclosure rate of local start-up or expansion businesses, as well as the effects that federal statute changes have on  CDA.

One of the primary concerns was finding other revenue-generating industries to invest in, especially with the current economic downturn caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Senate President Victor B. Hocog said the CDA should promote local entrepreneurship in fishing, farming, and livestock raising to stimulate the local economy.

The governor’s nominee, who has served the Commonwealth in multiple capacities in both the government and private sector, said that should he be confirmed, he would work diligently with the other board members and partner with other agencies to ensure that  CDA continues to do its part in supporting local entrepreneurs and boosting the local economy.

The Senate session is set to start at 1:30 p.m.

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