Regional competition for tourists official

After two years of shutdown due to COVID, the Vietnamese Government has decided to resume regular international passenger flights on a pilot basis from Jan.1, 2022. Apart from international commercial flights, packages are available “for Vietnamese repatriations as well as foreigners who have Vietnamese relatives or tourists who just simply wish to come to Vietnam,” according to www.vietnamvisa.org.

 

Happy New Year for NMI government employees; military and one US company

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres announced Dec. 29 the Department of Finance is set to release premium pay for Northern Mariana Islands Government employees “who have worked at least 40 hours to directly mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” as well as employees who have worked to provide public services since the pandemic began.

Torres also authorized administrative leave for non-critical government employees for Dec. 30.

The Home Depot announced Dec. 28 it expanded its military discount benefit to include all U.S. veterans, active service members and spouses every day. U.S. veterans, active service members and spouses who pre-register for the benefit via The Home Depot app will receive a 10 discount on their purchases in stores and online.  

For more information, visit homedepot.com/military.

AECOM Technical Services Inc. was awarded a $97 million modification to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for architect-engineering services for long-term Navy environmental action at various sites within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Pacific area of operations. Work will be performed at various sites in Guam (25%) in Hawaii (50%); the Southwest and Northwest regions of the U.S. (16%); Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. (7%); Okinawa and Diego Garcia, and other areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans (2%). The expected completion date is August 2022.

                       

Grants update

Grants from the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program, will give several law enforcement entities the following grants:

Office of the Attorney General – $33,385 for video conferencing; Department of Corrections – $225,000 for the Adult Correctional Management Information System Phase II; Guam International Airport Authority Guam Airport Police Division for the division’sAPD Technology Modernization & System Upgrade Project – $32,880; Guam Police Department – $30,000 for the Narcotics Interdictions and Asset Seizing Task Force; GPD – a further $18,311 to meet new federal mandates for compliance with requirements of the National Incident-Based Reporting System; $32535 to the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency for the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force; a further $79,851 for the Drug Detector Dog Unit Task Force.

The grants will be administered by the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, according to a Dec. 28 release from the Office of the Governor.

 

Covid updates

The government of Guam said on Dec. 29 it was reviewing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement the previous day which shortened the recommended time for isolation for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five days if they are asymptomatic. The CDC shortened the same timeframe for unvaccinated people.

Meanwhile, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero took Guam into another month of a “public health emergency” with the signature of Executive Order 2021-32.

 

Day of judgment coming

The Office of the Attorney General filed suit Dec. 28 to resolve the issue of whether the governor’s establishment of quarantine facilities to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 at the start of the public health emergency complied with Guam law. Despite a May 2021 Supreme Court opinion holding that the governor has broad authority to establish, maintain, and operate quarantine stations, in July 2021, the Office of the Public Accountability issued an audit with the legal finding that the governor did not have authority to procure quarantine facilities and that her Emergency Health Powers Act authority was limited by Guam procurement law. and the express language of the EHPA.

 

In case you missed it: Certain Guam driver’s licenses and Guam IDs have been extended until March 31.

On Oct. 12 Rev&Tax announced the launch of its online driver license and online Guam ID program.  For further details go to www.guamtax.com.

For your Diary: Baldyga International Group’s Tao Tao Tao Tasi dinner show, located at the pavilion next to the Beach Bar at Gun Beach in Tumon will open for weekend performances, according to Mark Baldyga, chairman and CEO of the group. The show was due to open on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. mbj