22 Jan 2004

Guam short of funds to pay for old typhoon damage

12:50 pm on 22 January 2004

The government of Guam has struck money problems as it continues to try and repair buildings damaged by typhoons in 1997 and 2002.

Last month the financially-ailing government sought a 20-million US dollar credit line to help with repairs and buy mandatory typhoon insurance, but no bank has declared offered to loan the money.

The Director of the Government's recovery office, Dale Peterson, says the money was urgently needed 6 months ago.

However, the president of the Guam-based BankPacific, Phillip Flores, says no bank can take the risk of giving the government money because of the shape of its accounts.

"They're certainly better off today than they were a year ago. However, we went through a period of four years, eight years before that where the government of Guam was run incompetently and a lot of money was wasted and we are paying for those sins right now. We've also had a very difficult economy and of course the government of Guam's revenues have suffered as a result."

The president of BankPacific, Phillip Flores.