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    Monday, October 14, 2019-7:14:27A.M.






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Finance urged to release funding for Chamorro-English dictionary project

THE Inetnon Amot yan Kutturan Natibu/Mwiischil Safey me Kkoor Aramasal Faluw, or the Association of Native Medicine and Culture, has requested the Department of Finance to release the $122,000 appropriated by the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation for the Chamorro-English dictionary project.

The funding for the dictionary was appropriated through Public Law 20-18 which was enacted on Jan. 8, 2018.

Association president Isidro Cabrera noted that the appropriation was made several months before Typhoon Yutu and the government’s austerity measures.

He said their group asked Finance for the drawdown of the funds in Dec. 2018. He also met with Finance Secretary David Atalig to inquire about the funds.

“During my last visit at his office, Mr. Atalig recognized there was appropriation but he said they didn’t have money on hand for the drawdown.”

Cabrera added, “I understand that the funding source is not from the general fund, but [the legislative delegation] would not have appropriated this amount to our organization if there’s no funding available.”

He said their group is the expenditure authority for the Chamorro dictionary update.

“But up to now we have not received the money,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rechebei, one of the project editors.

The funds are for the costs of printing, setting up a website and payment to the people who help edit the dictionary which now has over 11,000 entries.

Besides, Rechebei, Manny Borja and Tita Hocog are the other project editors.

Their work involves updating and revising the 1975 Topping, Ogo and Dungca dictionary with the help of over 100 Chamorro speakers.

Rechebei said they consulted Chamorro speakers from Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam.

The revision of the Chamorro dictionary started in July 2009, and was initially funded by the National Science Foundation, she added.

She said the Legislature also provided funding to pay for travel, supplies/materials and related costs.