Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 22 Aug 2019 12am

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    Wednesday, August 21, 2019-3:22:47P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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MPLT looking into line-of-credit request

THE Marianas Public Land Trust on Thursday began reviewing the central government’s request for a $15 million line of credit to pay its bond obligations and the Settlement Fund.

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From left, Marianas Public Lands Trust Chairman Martin Ada, Administrator Barbara Ann Reyes, Trustees Maria Frica Pangelinan and Pedro Guerrero read documents during a meeting on Wednesday night on Capital Hill.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

Before they adjourned the meeting on Wednesday at the MPLT office on Capital Hill, the trustees set a timeframe to decide on the government’s request and determine the credit amount.

They gave themselves 20 days starting on Thursday to make a decision.

Toward the end of the lengthy discussion, the trustees decided to proceed with an investment review process after hearing from acting Finance Secretary Connie Agulto, who provided MPLT with the information it requested.

The MPLT trustees, according to their investment policy statement, are held to the highest fiduciary standards and are responsible for safeguarding MPLT’s assets.

The Torres administration has requested lawmakers to pass a measure that would “secure the potential line of credit through the pledge of the future interest income distributions from MPLT for debt service of the principal and interest due each fiscal year until the debt to MPLT is fully retired.”

The bill, H.B. 21-44, was introduced by Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao.

He attended the MPLT meeting to tell the trustees that the Legislature won’t be able to move the bill until the MPLT officially notified the governor that the request is granted.

Variety learned that the trustees can no longer touch the funds already in the investment allocations, and the money that may be available for a line of credit will come from the public land revenue that MPLT received from the Department of Public Lands which is $7.5 million.

If the government is allowed to borrow that amount, it promised to pay the loan in one year at 7.5 percent interest.