MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 2011 12:00AM BY JUNHAN B. TODENO - REPORTER for THE Marianas VARIETY
THERE could be a scarcity of commodities on Rota like what happened in Feb. 2010 if there is no shipment of goods due to the current weather condition.
Mayor Melchor Mendiola said the shipment didn’t arrive on Rota as scheduled on Saturday.
“It did not happen due to an increase in wave activity,” the mayor said in an email.
According to the National Weather Service on Guam yesterday, “a trade-wind disturbance in combination with a shear line will bring scattered showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms to portions of the Marianas through Monday.”
Currently, MV Super Shuttle and MV Tug Chamorro are the only vessels servicing Rota.
“This is one major reason Rota must provide an accessible sea port,” Mendiola said. “The health of the community must not be compromised. This is a priority among other priorities.”
One of the advisers of the Rota mayor, Tomy Mendiola, told Variety that whenever there are no shipments of goods, “people worry.”
He said “panic buying” is inevitable and usually occurs every time there’s a weather disturbance.
“People tend to buy more than what they need,” he added.
Tomy Mendiola said the mayor already submitted a proposed development plan for the port of Rota.
He said Rota is seeking financial assistance from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The administration of Gov. Benigno R. Fitial supports the development of Rota’s port, he added.
“The administration has been pushing for this project because the governor knows the situation and the needs of the people of Rota,” he said.
Mayor Mendiola said an accessible seaport will contribute to the development of Rota and will mean more economic activities there.
“I cry to our leaders not to wipe my people’s tears but to dry them with greater vision,” the mayor said.
He said the seaport project will also address the concerns regarding the high costs of commodities on Rota.
In Feb. 2010, the island experienced a shortage of food and other basic commodities after a 55-day delay in the shipment of goods due to bad weather conditions.