Source: Saipan Tribune
By Kimberly Bautista
The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs was given a nearly 18-percent increase in its 2018 fiscal year budget compared to its budget last fiscal year and, according to DCCA Secretary Robert, that puts his department in better shape.
“There were minor changes made to the DCCA budget but I think we’re in much better shape than we’ve been in many, many years,” said Hunter.
The department consists of 10 different branches with individual programs.
Hunter, who was present at the budget signing last Tuesday at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center, said the bump in their budget allows them to continue with their community assistance and programs.
“Each division has its own priorities, programs, and services…[and with the increase] we will be able to provide better services that we weren’t providing before,” he said.
For fiscal year 2018, the department was appropriated $3,014,448—a 17-percent increase compared to the $2,568,443 it got last fiscal year.
Aside from the general projects and programs that the department proposed funds for, Hunter said his proposed budget also included a request for funding that will give the department the capability to get the human remains that are stored in the local museum storage analyzed and re-interred, since they have been in storage for nearly 20 years.
“It has been included, up to a particular point,” said Hunter.
The department was appropriated $1,923,543 for its 72 employed personnel, $887,754 for overall operations, and $203,151 to cover the cost of utilities.
Hunter said that that, fortunately, there weren’t any major cuts to their department and they were able to receive a little more than what they originally proposed and what they had negotiated for with the Office of Management and Budget.