First Guam bill to reduce cost of gas becomes law

Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero was due to sign Bill 295-36 into law on June 21. According to Journal files, the bill whose main sponsor was Sen. Joseph San Agustin, was introduced in April will “waive the levy of excise taxes, automotive surcharges, and mass transit automotive surcharges on liquid fuel for 180 calendar days and to amend the appropriations for the Department of Public Works.”

Three other bills to save some cents or more at the pump have also been introduced.

In cost-of-living measures in the Northern Mariana Islands, Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said on June 17 that taxpayers in the NMI will begin receiving another round of $500 cards from June 21.

 

Coming up soon – JAL reconfirms flights to Guam; Guam preps for them

Japan Airlines will fly to Guam’s A. B. Won Pat International Airport three times weekly on Boeing 767-300ERs in August, according to Aviacion online.

The Boeing 767-300ERs have a 199-seat capacity and two-class international configuration. 

JAL is also re-introducing flights to Honolulu and Kona in Hawaii.

The Guam Visitors Bureau hosted its first trade familiarization tour from Japan since 2019 from June 13 to 16. The GoGo! Guam Roadshow will take place Jul 3 to 7 in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. “We will be inviting trade partners from Japan and Guam for a B2B Table Top Event and will be holding a press conference in Osaka with United Airlines to promote the Osaka routes and additional increased flights to Guam, GVB said on June 20.

According to Journal files, GVB will also pay for COVID-19 testing for returning Japan travelers, currently until September.

 

Investor service issues agency credit rating

Moody’s Investors Service issued a Baa2 credit rating for fiscal 2021 for the Port Authority of Guam.

Moody’s said among the port’s credit strengths for the year were a stable revenue profile, stable operating revenue supporting sound levels of debt service coverage and liquidity.

Despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic that effectively closed the island’s tourism economy, the port’s operating revenue in 2020 and 2021 were $54.6 million and $55.1 million, respectively: in line with the $54.0 million average since 2016.

The debt service coverage for the port is solid and expected to remain around two times the net revenue basis. The scorecard-indicated outcome for the Port Authority of Guam for fiscal 2021 is A3, which is above the assigned rating of Baa2 for fiscal 2020, according to a June 20 release.

 

FSM officials arrested and charged

Five Pohnpei State government officials, including the acting governor, and the chairman of the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force, were arrested and criminally charged before the FSM Supreme Court “in connection with more than 200 counts of criminal violations involving breaches of civil rights considered as a felony under national law, false imprisonment, multiple violations of emergency decrees and Standard Operating Procedures for COVID-19 quarantine, and the intentional disabling of the Medical Monitoring Area quarantine facility in Dekehtik during the June 12 repatriation flight from Guam.”

The flight from Guam included 70 passengers who were assigned to the 26-room Emergency Medical Unit for their in-country quarantine. The Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force “had instructed relevant parties not to prepare the second quarantine facility, the MMA, in advance of the repatriation flight,” according to a June 18 release.

That resulted in unacceptable overcrowding of the lobby and hallway of the EMU, forcing travelers to sleep on the floor and with no provisions for clean water or bedding. The Federated States of Micronesia National Government suggests in its filings that there were inadequate bathroom facilities, no social distancing and no quarantine in the sense of COVID-19 protocols.

The FSM National Government took the initiative to offer to clean and disinfect the MMA facility. The FSM National Government maintains that the situation deprived travelers of their right to a proper, and safe quarantine, according to the release.  The FSM National Police detained the defendants on June 16, with criminal charges filed on June 17, and an initial appearance in court set for June 20.

 

And also:

 

GTA announced June 20 that genuine Apple parts and repair services are available at its Smart Repair Centers. Customers can book an appointment and have their Apple devices repaired by Apple-certified technicians.  Visit www.gta.net for more details.

 

Leevin T. Camacho, attorney general for Guam; will host a July 8 roundtable for “experts in the cannabis regulation field” to discuss common concerns faced by jurisdictions launching cannabis industries – such as banking, vertical integration and inventory tracking.

Guam’s Cannabis Control Board Rules and Regulations lapsed into effect on May 29 and the application period opens Aug. 29.

 

Openings:

On June 21: The Club Lounge at the Westin Resort Guam, after renovation.

On June 17: The Lina’La Club Lounge at The Tsubaki Tower. mbj