Hunter: DCCA in much better shape

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.

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