“Planning and development are at the forefront of our economic policies. It requires a comprehensive community approach from our homes and villages to our private sector and federal partners. Together, we will replace and improve the decades-old systems that provide our power, our water, and our transportation in order to modernize our economy for future generations.”
– Governor Ralph DLG. Torres
The Torres-Palacios administration believe that the key to economic sustainability and resiliency is to strengthen and improve the CNMI’s infrastructure. The improvement of infrastructure, particularly in Garapan—the heart and soul of the CNMI’s tourism industry, is necessary to enhance the CNMI’s reputation as a world-class, first-choice destination.
The Garapan Revitalization Plan, administered by the Office of Planning and Development, will address the concerns regarding traffic flow and parking in the CNMI’s main commercial district. This is especially important as we continue to strengthen our tourism industry in the wake of this unanticipated economic downturn caused by Super Typhoon Yutu and COVID-19.
The overall goal is to transform Garapan Core and its immediate vicinity into a world-class tourist destination. The Garapan Revitalization Task Force has been working diligently towards improving the area, while simultaneously working on the larger objective of securing federal funding to undertake a complete overhaul and rehabilitation of Garapan Core. The administration intends to open up more parking spaces with the CNMI Department of Public Works, reduce fire lanes with the CNMI Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, fix drainage issues to prevent flooding, and implement other steps that will have a positive impact on the businesses in the area. This will encourage more residents and visitors to frequent Garapan as more parking spaces open up and streets become more navigable.
Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios continue to work with the Legislature and the Zoning Office on addressing the issue of blighted properties—old, abandoned buildings that need to be repurposed for new economic activity. Community enhancement projects are also being planned out between the administration and the Legislature leadership to complement tourism beautification efforts.
Under the leadership of Governor Torres, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation is in a stronger financial state to invest in critical water infrastructure to meet the administration’s goal of providing 24-hour water service to the people of the Marianas.
Policies regarding solid waste management and wastewater treatment are being crafted to ensure innovation and consideration for our precious resources.
Utilities and waste management are moving toward modernization with the increased federal funding under this administration.
The CNMI Department of Public Works is on the road again, paving new roads, expanding highways, and maintaining public accessways to make driving easier and safer on all three islands.
The Torres-Palacios administration and the Commonwealth Ports Authority are working to expand and modernize the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, so that the Marianas can welcome visitors from all over the world.
These investments will fuel the Marianas economy of tomorrow.