Hocog is acting governor

SENATE President Victor B. Hocog on Thursday became acting governor after Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios left the island on official business.

Victor Hocog

Torres was invited by the Palau government to attend the funeral of former Palau President Tommy Remengesau Sr. while Palacios took an official trip to Japan. Palacios will return on Sunday, Aug., 25 and will be the acting governor until Aug. 27.

The administration said Palacios has “scheduled meetings at the U.S. Embassy in Japan to promote the Marianas as an American destination for Japanese investments and tourism. Today [Thursday], he met with U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration officials and the Japan Association of Travel Agents to discuss further partnerships to increase Japanese tourism arrivals and investment, both of which remain key goals of this administration’s economic strategy to revitalize the Japan market’s presence.”

In addition, Palacios is “scheduled to meet with Skymark Airlines to reinforce the partnership between the Japanese carrier and the CNMI. Saipan is one of Skymark’s first international routes, and joint planning is being done to ensure their long-term viability within the Marianas. Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios have prioritized Skymark Airlines as a key partner to the revitalization of the Japan market, and this administration looks forward to working with Skymark to make this goal a reality as they plan out their regular scheduled flights.”

The Senate was about to hold a session on Thursday to act on the fiscal year 2020 budget measure when Hocog was informed about the delegation of authority. The session started with Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider as the acting presiding officer.