03 Oct 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
SENATOR Paul A. Manglona has introduced Senate Bill 20-75 to reserve up to five hectares of public land in each of the three senatorial districts to be designated for Chamorro and Carolinian shrines and the re-internment of ancestral remains.
Citing the increase in economic activity in the CNMI and the significant climb in the volume of construction activities, Manglona said more exhumations of ancestral remains are expected at project sites.
“It is imperative that we pay our respects to our ancestors by ensuring they are properly buried and not disturbed by economic development. It is the intent of this bill to reserve appropriate public lands as historical sites to establish Chamorro and Carolinian shrines in order to pay homage to our culture, heritage, ancestors, and provide our ancestors with a final resting place,” the senator said.
The measure’s key provisions read:
“Section 2. Designation of Public Lands for Chamorro and Carolinian Historical Sites. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule or regulation, the Department of Public Land shall designate and reserve up to five hectares of public land but not less than one hectare of public land in each of the three senatorial districts as recommended by the Indigenous Affairs Office and the Carolinian Affairs Office, to be used for Chamorro and Carolinian historical sites and shrines and for the re-interment of all ancestral remains. Provided that the public land designation recommendations are made in consultation with the mayors of the respective senatorial districts.”
“Section 3. Development and Funding of Chamorro and Carolinian Historical Sites and Shrines. Within 180 days of the enactment of this Act, the Office of Indigenous Affairs and the Office of Carolinian Affairs, in consultation with the Historic Preservation Office, shall conduct public hearings in each of the municipalities and shall jointly develop and submit plans for the Chamorro and Carolinian historical site and shrines to the CNMI Legislature for information and concurrence by joint legislative resolution.
“Section 4. Survey and Severance of Property. The Department of Public Lands shall survey, sever, and map the subject properties in Section 2 of this Act.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99002-bill-to-designate-land-for-re-internment-of-ancestral-remains