06 Dec 2017
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
COMMONWEALTH Development Authority Chairman Ignacio “Ike” Perez was elected chairman of the new Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board.
The election of officers was held Tuesday in the CUC conference room where the newly appointed board members held their first regular meeting.
Weston Thomas Deleon Guerrero was elected vice chairman; Matthew Holley, secretary; and Jovita Paulina, treasurer. Miranda Manglona is the other new board member.
In an interview, Perez said there’s no conflict of interest on his part as chairman of the CDA and CUC boards.
He said CDA owns $45 million in CUC stock so “I am looking out for CDA’s interest.”
“But as chairman of the CUC board, my concentration and due diligence and responsibility are also for CUC,” he added.
CUC legal counsel James Sirok said Perez is not prohibited from taking a leadership position on the CUC board because “he is a full-fledged member of the board.”
“There’s no conflict…. Conflict would come if there’s an issue between CUC and CDA. If there’s a conflict…he will then disclose the conflict and abstain from voting on the issue,” Sirok said.
Perez said the priority of the CUC board is the acquisition of a new engine with a 10-megawatt capacity.
The board will also pursue the collection of the government’s unpaid utility bills.
As of October this year, the government owed CUC $44.9 million: $5.5 million, the central government; $18.7 million, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.; and $20.4 million, other government agencies.
During the public comment period, Rep. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero said the new board should review thoroughly the minutes of the previous board, especially the discussions on the need for a new engine 8.
“That will allow you to prepare in the right way according to the law,” he added.
The lawmaker also urged the new board to “take care of the CUC employees,” but added that promotion should be based exclusively on a worker’s performance.
“You should also continue to provide efficient and affordable service to your customers,” he said. He did not mention if the Legislature would appropriate funding for the government’s unpaid utility bills.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/100646-ike-perez-is-new-cuc-board-chair