‘Hard-working department, agency heads deserve pay-hike’

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres said it is just right to increase the salaries of hard-working department and agency heads as proposed by House Bill 20-35.

The House of Representatives has passed the bill which now goes to the Senate.

In an interview on Wednesday, Torres said he is aware of the impact of the proposed pay hike on the government’s finances, but while the economy is continuously growing, he added, they will continue to find the needed funding source.

“The time is right. I believe it’s time to raise [the department and agency heads’] salary…for all the hard work they have done, and that’s why we [also have to] make sure there’s funding to give them a salary increase,” Torres said.

He noted that there is a bill that will turn the Northern Marianas Trades Institute into a government entity. “That is also a budget strain…[but it is one of the priorities] that we need to look into…and [we must] make sure they are funded,” Torres said.

As for the Customs Division’s decision to increase its fee, the governor said: “This new rate will assist Customs and we should really give them the opportunity to grow. If our tourism is growing we should really…prioritize our Customs. We cannot expect our population to continue to increase as well as our tourist numbers and not expect Customs to have a bigger budget so they can take care of their employees.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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