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    Thursday, October 18, 2018-2:40:30P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Precinct 3 House candidates want Saipan casino industry to succeed

IN a forum hosted by the Marianas Young Professionals, nine of the 12 House candidates for Precinct 3 said they want the Saipan casino to succeed to sustain the economy.

Five Republican candidates and four independents showed up for the event held on Tuesday in the Garapan Elementary School cafeteria.

MYPros held similar events at Saipan Southern High School for Precinct 1 candidates on Sunday, and at William S. Reyes Elementary School on Monday for Precinct 2 candidates.

At the Precinct 3 forum, Republican Rep. Joe Itibus and independent candidates Mariano Fajardo and former Rep. Stanley T. Torres did not participate.

The Republicans who took part in the event were Rep. Ivan Blanco, Rep. BJ Attao, Rep. Frank Dela Cruz, Donald Barcinas and former Rep. Ralph Yumul, while the participating independents were House Minority Leader Edmund Villagomez,  David Sablan, Luis Tilipao and Ben Camacho.

They were asked questions about the economy, the casino industry, healthcare services, education, the hospital and CWs.

The candidates all agreed that the economy is doing well and needs to be sustained and protected.

Precinct 3 House candidates and MYPros pose for a photo.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaPrecinct 3 House candidates and MYPros pose for a photo. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

They all expressed support for the casino industry.

Independent candidates Luis Tilipao and Ben Camacho said if  the  casino industry fails, the economy will fail.

“We want it to succeed as it is a big part of the economic development on our island right now,” Tilipao said.

“Things look good now, but what happens if the casino stops?” Camacho asked. “We have to push it to make it work for our benefit. We need to make it succeed and we need to regulate it.”

The candidates also expressed support for the 10-year extension of the federal CW program to ensure that  critical job positions are filled.

But they also said that businesses must train local people and prepare them to fill the jobs that will be vacated by foreign workers in the near future.

The candidates likewise expressed support for healthcare programs and education.

As for the tourism industry, they said it must be diversified “to support a strong economy.”