GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres on Thursday said the Department of Public Lands needs special attention because it faces many issues, but he believes that newly confirmed DPL Secretary Marianne C. Teregeyo can address them all.
The governor and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog congratulated Teregeyo after the Senate confirmed her nomination on Thursday afternoon.
In an interview, the governor said he wants Teregeyo to focus on the homestead program, including that of Pagan.
Torres noted that there are at least 3,000 homestead applicants.
“I also want to make sure that we are business-friendly and will be working with other permitting agencies to make it as convenient as possible for investors,” he added.
Teregeyo said among her top priorities is the homestead program, adding that she is already reviewing each of the more than 3,000 applications.
Teregeyo said she has also been sending revocation letters to people who have not built structures on their homestead lots for the past 19 years.
In addition, she is trying to collect payments from those who have “encroached” on public lands.
“We need to collect payments so we can transfer the money to the [Marianas Public Land Trust] and [the local people] will benefit from that. So I have been sending notices to vacate and notices to make payments to people who have been encroaching on public lands.”
Teregeyo said she also sent letters to lawmakers asking for funding for the infrastructure required by the homestead program.
“I told them about the great need to fund infrastructure. It’s just a matter of getting infrastructure funding,” she added.
Rep. Edwin Propst, former DPL Secretary Pete A. Tenorio and Rep. Antonio Sablan said they believe that Teregeyo will make a lot of difference at DPL.
In recommending her confirmation, Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations Chairman Frank Cruz said Teregeyo is qualified and has wide experience and an impressive educational background. He noted that her nomination was also supported by many members of the community.
Teregeyo was unanimously confirmed by the eight members of the Senate on Thursday. Sen. Paul Manglona was off-island for his wife’s medical checkup.
Source: Marianas Variety