23 Aug 2010

Call for CNMI Budget to put more emphasis on education

7:32 pm on 23 August 2010

Many foreign workers in the Northern Marianas are voicing their opposition to planned increases in the discretionary fund in the Budget bill that's now with the Senate.

The planned new Budget allows for big increases in the annual discretionary fund for lawmakers, rising from 86 thousand US dollars to 130 thousand.

The president of the United Workers Movement in the CNMI, Rabby Syed, says many of its members are now petitioning the Senate to spend this money on education instead.

"This discretionary fund, they are going to allocate a significant amount of the money and they are cutting the budget from the school system, education. We are urging the CNMI Senate, and asking them, to look into this matter carefully, and they need to understand that education is the backbone of this nation."

The controversial rise in the discretionary fund comes as government workers face reduced work hours, salary cuts and unpaid holidays.