MVA taps reserve fund for payroll

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THE Marianas Visitors Authority board on Thursday approved the allocation of $784,550 from MVA’s reserve fund for the payroll of its 36 employees.

The reserve fund is supposed to be used for the future construction of a new MVA building.

MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo said $784,550 will cover payroll from April to the last month of fiscal year 2020, September.

Iakopo also told the board that MVA management has proposed to reduce working hours to 64 hours from 80 hours starting on April 12.

She said the MVA office will be closed every Friday.

Marianas Visitors Authority board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce, left background, presides over a meeting on Thursday with MVA management led by Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo and representatives of MVA’s offshore promotion and marketing offices in South Korea and Japan.  Photo by Junhan B. Todino

MVA vice chair Gloria Cavanagh said management should find a way to keep the office open on Fridays.

“We should be able to serve our traveling partners by making sure that our office is open,” she added.

For her part, MVA accountant Joanne S. Paraiso said due to the current situation and the decline in tourist arrivals, management has identified some programs that will no longer be funded. These include events and sponsorships.

“Because we are having issues with our funding…we’re going to suspend our global branding,” she added.

She said MVA’s $13.6 million operations budget will be reduced to $9.8 million or a 28% cut.

MVA’s primary source of funding are the hotel occupancy tax collections.

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