By Midson Tom


Editor’s Note: The following two columns were among about two dozen submitted to the Journal for possible publication and were written by students of the Professional Master of Business Administration program at the University of Guam’s School of Business and Public Administration. John J. Rivera, professor of public administration at the University of Guam, is chairman of the graduate program at the SBPA and this is Cohort 17 of the program.

Midson Tom is a collector at the Bank of Guam. Cynthia R. Cruz is a consumer loan officer with the Coast360 Federal Credit Union.

A second selection of columns from the cohort will be published in the upcoming Journal.

Rivera can be reached at [email protected]


On March 31 the Pohnpei Project Management Office released a project status report of the $6 million waterline project segment two from Sekere to Nanpei Memorial School in Kitti.

After the completion of the first segment of this project, officials gathered at the College of Micronesia in Palikir to break ground for the second segment of the waterline project back in July 2018.

ABCOR Engineering and Construction Inc, the contractor for the project, reported that the main pipe laying works are all completed as of this year. Excavation of the water storage tank site foundation system in Pehleng is the remaining activity which is also reported as progressing well. The total cost for this project is $6,300,373.99 and is designed by Lyon Associates Inc. The project involves the construction of a new water line from near the College of Micronesia –FSM to Diadi, Pohnpei. The labor of this project includes demolition, utilities, coordination of all construction activities, and all the related incidentals. The construction requires underground main water line installations, fire hydrant fixtures installations, blow-off valve installations and more. Currently, this is the only ongoing project under the Pohnpei Project Management Office, which also is approximately 87% of completion.

The Pohnpei Project Management Office manages numerous projects funded by the Compact of Free Association infrastructure funding, administered by the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. Because the funding comes from the amended compact, it is the Pohnpei Project Management Office’s responsibility to deliver amended projects. Various projects involve infrastructures primarily focusing on school buildings, healthcare facilities, and water supply lines.

There are several newly approved and assigned projects such as the construction of a new two-story library/classroom facility at the PICS campus in Kolonia which is designed by Leo A Daly. An approved project at the PICS campus in Kolonia will involve the design and construction of new prototype Social Studies and English buildings, a ramp for disabled access, and a bus drop-off point. This project is designed by TG Engineers of Guam. Another approved project comprises the design and construction of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Facility. This one-story facility is designed by Pryzm LLC. Currently, these projects are approved to go under the bidding process therefore there is currently no total cost report yet.

One of the recent challenges Pohnpei Project Management Office faces is providing the exact timeframe or duration of the amended projects. Other than the ongoing project of the waterline, no projects have been bid out yet, or are still in the process of being bid out therefore it is difficult for the office to provide the exact time frames of the projects.

According to one of the project managers, Mr. Dayn Yamada Iehsi, “Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the FSM, it is difficult to bring in contractors, labor, equipment, and materials.”

This raises challenges and slows down the process of the projects. The significant impacts of COVID-19 were sensitive to the projects. The ongoing waterline project was also heavily affected. The progress report in March said that COVID-19 has also contributed greatly to delaying the project, due to extended times to receive project materials. The established date of completion reported in 2018 was two years, but despite the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is close to completion. mbj