Governor Ralph DLG. Torres issued on Friday the following statement regarding the bonus payments for retirees.
“I want to make one thing clear. There is nothing political about wanting to give our retirees a well-deserved bonus for their sacrifices and everything they have done. We have done this in the past. In 2017, we gave our retirees a bonus. In 2018, we gave our retirees a bonus right before Super Typhoon Yutu. In 2019 and 2020, unfortunately, we were unable to give our retirees their bonuses due to our economic conditions as a result of our post-typhoon recovery and the ongoing pandemic, respectively. I am happy that this year, 2021, we have the resources to give our retirees a bonus once more. I have discussed this with Department of Finance Secretary David DLG. Atalig, who has confirmed that the funds can be used for our retirees.”
“As I have mentioned previously, both the Office of the Attorney General and NMI Settlement Fund Trustee Joyce Tang have communicated with the Secretary of Finance and I about the best course of action to give our retirees this bonus. Before the bonus can be paid to our retirees, the Legislature needs to pass the joint resolution.”
“To insinuate that I am ‘exploiting retirees’ or ‘playing a political game’ is an incredible insult to the public servants who served before us. You are insulting their years of hard work, and after all the challenges of the past few years, you are denying them this bonus. I am not playing games with people’s lives. I am trying to take care of our retirees, who have been a priority since the beginning of my administration.”
“To our retirees, I want to apologize for the delay in getting you your bonuses. This is an unfortunate situation, because we all know that you all deserve this bonus after what we have been through as a Commonwealth these past years. It is sad to hear public officials call this political, when the intention of my administration is to give you, our retirees, a well-deserved bonus. This is something we have been doing, before Super Typhoon Yutu and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a priority of my administration to pay what is due to our retirees.”
“I commend the Department of Finance and those in our Legislature who have supported and prioritized our retirees. I want to thank the House minority for their continued dedication to ensuring that our retirees are taken care of, and joining me in this effort. I urge our other legislators to consider our retirees, their livelihoods, and their families this holiday season.”