MilCon updates:

Black Construction Corp. was awarded April 5 a $106.76 million contract for construction of bachelor officer quarters at Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz. The structure will house “single-occupancy housing units” and include managers offices; and multipurpose spaces including lounge areas. Work is expected to be completed by December 2024, according to Naval Facilities Engineering and Systems Command Pacific, which made the award. The construction is funded by the Government of Japan, through what is called mamizu monies.

Naval Facilities Engineering and Systems Command is in negotiation on the consolidated contract for housing operations and maintenance services — known as HOMS and the change of occupancy maintenance services — known as COOMS.

Negotiations are with a joint venture of two Guam companies, according to Journal sources. They are Core Tech International and Galaide Professional Services Inc.

NAVFAC previously told the Journal the changeover will have “a phase out/phase in period, which will be approximately one month,” with the incoming contractor to be announced in June. For further details, see


Tourism and hospitality update:

The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported a 21% average occupancy rate among its 12 member hotels for March, compared to a 7.25% average occupancy in March 2021. A total of 9,655 of 41,093 available room nights sold during March, compared to 2,495 of 34,421 available rooms sold in March 2021. Average room rates were $142.13 compared to $144.08 last March.

The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association has not posted statistics on occupancy since November 2020.

The Guam Visitors Bureau reported 7,002 visitors in February – compared to 3,478 in February 2021 – for a total of 16,062 for the calendar year to date.

Palau saw 519 visitors in February, up from 433 in January.

According to the International Air Transport Association, Asia-Pacific airlines had a 144.4% rise in February traffic compared to February 2021, up somewhat over the 125.8% gain registered in January versus January 2021. Capacity rose 60.8% and the load factor was up 16.1 percentage points to 47.0%, still the lowest among regions. 

“As the long-awaited recovery in air travel accelerates, it is important that our infrastructure providers are prepared for a huge increase in passenger numbers in the coming months. We are already seeing reports of unacceptably long lines at some airports owing to the growing number of travelers. And that is even before the surge of Easter holiday travel in many markets next week. The peak Northern summer travel season will be critical for jobs throughout the travel and tourism value chain. Now is the time to prepare. Governments can help by ensuring that border positions are staffed adequately and that background security checks for new staff are managed as efficiently as possible,” IATA said in an April 7 release.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw air cargo volumes increase 3.0% in February, compared to the same month in 2021.


COVID updates:

CDC classification starts Guam clock ticking

On April 5, was classified as Low Level of Risk by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

This starts the 14-day timeline on gradually easing community restrictions. If Guam continues to maintain a Low Level of Risk, effective12:01 a.m. on April 19: Guam’s outdoor mask mandate is expected to be lifted; individuals will not be required to wear masks outdoors, but must wear masks in indoor public settings; restrictions on indoor social gatherings are expected to be lifted; and social distancing requirements indoors and outdoors are expected to be lifted. 

Guam airport updates entry and thermal screening regs

Effective April 8, the Guam International Airport Authority, has revised terminal entry and pandemic practices as follows:

All persons may access the Terminal at all entry points and doors. Well-wishers and greeters are allowed in the Ticketing/Check-In Lobby and Ground Floor areas as well as the Arrival Lobby. 

Only ticketed passengers are allowed to TSA Screening on the 2nd Floor. 

Thermal screening and remote monitoring will continue for all arriving passengers, but thermal screening at terminal entry points is suspended. Face masks are still required under federal rules and regulations. 

The Guam Department of Public Health is no longer processing passengers and airline crewmembers. Therefore, health declaration forms are no longer necessary to be completed or submitted to DPHSS upon entry into Guam.

Guam launches childcare block grant program

The Government of Guam has launched Prugråman i Pinilan i Famagu’on Guåhan (Watching Over the Children of Guam Program). The program is supported by $81.5 million in federal dollars and tasks the Guam Economic Development Authority with developing the eligibility criteria for grant recipients under the program, including before and after school care programs, relative care programs, extracurricular child care providers, employer child care assistance programs, and community care programs.” If eligibility requirements are met, Prugråman Pinilan can cover up to 100% of monthly child costs for children up to 13 years of age.

Eligibility is based on income. For this program eligibility is based upwards of $62,000-plus for a family of two and opened April 5. Block grant applications can be made via email at [email protected]. For more information or to make an appointment, parents or guardians can visit


Guam AG files against real estate co

The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General has filed a civil consumer complaint against David Properties under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, based on allegations that David Properties failed to produce blueprints after receiving payment. The division has asked the court to order David Properties to refund the amount paid to the consumer, fine the defendant, and award attorney fees, according to an April 7 release.

The complaint alleges the defendant “failed to provide blueprints to the consumer and became increasingly unresponsive even after repeated attempts by the consumer to establish a reasonable timeline of completion. Further, the consumer had already timely paid $4,000 of the agreed upon fee of $5,400. When the consumer asked for a refund, the defendant refused, offering only $1,000 to settle the matter.” The defendant did not respond to the division when asked to provide an itemized breakdown of work performed to justify his fee. The defendant also refused to provide the consumer with a usable format of the blueprints he had already created.


East-West Center president says focus on Pacific timely

The University of Guam’s 2022 Conference on Island Sustainability kicked off the third day with keynote speaker Suzanne Vares-Lum, president of the East-West Center, the education and research organization based in Hawaii.

With more than 100 days under her belt in her new role as president, she discussed that environmental threats and climate change are two of the largest menaces to island sustainability.

“I think the world is identifying that if we can do this kind of research here, they can benefit from it and I think that is really beautiful.”

Vares-Lum said to combat these things starts with strategic priorities, much like the East-West Center has for all its dealings. These priorities include building leader capacity through engagement, convening to bring people together, centering on the Pacific, supporting environmental solutions and promoting good governance.

“It’s time for us to focus on the Pacific,” she said.

Equating the role Asia and the Pacific is taking in defining research and sustainability to the act of weaving, she said, “A mat is a symbol of working together. Like many in the Pacific, when we come together, we don’t just come to the table, we come to sit on the mat.

“When weaving a mat, you know you begin at the center… It has to be tight and it has to be interwoven for it to be functional. We can have many efforts, but if they are not woven together, it is not going to be as functional as we’d like it to be and it may not end up with a final result of us all sitting together with an actionable solution.”


The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2021 Elder Fraud report – released April 6 – showed the Mariana Islands are not immune to scams targeting people aged 60 and older.

Guam saw 15 people aged 60 and older lose a combined total of $1,583,226 – most of it from business email compromise – a type of phishing.

The Northern Mariana Islands saw two people lose a combined total of $1,000 to virtual currency fraud.

Tech Support Fraud is the most reported fraud among older victims. In 2021, there were 13,900 complaints related to Tech Support Fraud from elderly victims who experienced almost $238 million in losses. “Tech support scammers continue to impersonate well-known tech companies, offering to fix non-existent technology issues or renewing fraudulent software or security subscriptions,” the report said.

In 2021 the FBI observed an increase in complaints reporting the impersonation of customer support, which has taken on a variety of forms, such as financial and banking institutions, utility companies, or virtual currency exchanges. “Many victims report being directed to make wire transfers to overseas accounts, purchase large amounts of prepaid cards, or mail large amounts of cash via overnight or express services,” the report said.


More OPA audits out

The Guam Office of Public Accountability has posted its audit reports on Guam Community College and the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission.  

The OPA commended Guam Community College for qualifying as a low-risk auditee for the 21st consecutive year – the only Government of Guam agency to do so.

Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic — primarily the sustained decline in student enrollment — GCC continued to improve its programs and campus facilities in fiscal 2021, the OPA said. “GCC, in partnership with GovGuam and the private sector, expanded its work-ready boot camps to include additional career fields — healthcare, information technology, telecommunications, and transportation — alongside construction and development,” Thirteen work-ready boot camps were started and completed during fiscal 2021.

The GCC Foundation closed fiscal 2021 with an increase in net assets (net income) of $5.1 million, compared to fiscal 2020’s net income of $1 million.

The Guam Ancestral Lands Commission’s fiscal 2021 total revenues of $1.3 million increased by $402,000 from $899,000 in fiscal 2020. This was due to the $333,000 increase of interest income earned on the GALC’s time certificates of deposit and the $101,000 increase in lease rentals revenues.

There are potential revenues not being collected as GALC recorded $2.4 million in lease rental receivables, which included $978,000 in deferred rental payments and $805,000 in delinquent lease rental payments. “On Nov. 15, the GALC Board approved a deferred payment arrangement with Northern Market LLC, for its commercial lease of the Wettengel Junction property. To ensure the collecting of receivables, the Guam Economic Development Authority provides property management services for all GALC commercial lessees/licensees. Part of GEDA’s services is the invoicing and collecting of monthly rental payments to include deferred or delinquent payments,” the OPA said.

Total expenditures increased by $70,000, primarily due to roof repairs being carried out on a tenant-leased building.

GALC’s land inventory is valued at $8.7 million, based on estimated current value and appraisals, the audit said.

Both reports can be found in full on www.guamopa.commbj