DPL takes over as temporary concessionaire of Managaha | New
The Department of Public Lands is canceling the request for proposals to operate and maintain Managaha and will take over as temporary concessionaire, DPL Secretary Sixto K. Igisomar said.
In an interview last week, Igisomar said there were supposedly four interested vendors who wanted to operate one of CNMI’s main tourist destinations, but due to “regulatory issues” DPL had to cancel the invitation to tender.
In the meantime, he said DPL will act as a concessionaire to Managaha until the department finds a new supplier.
He said that DPL will soon announce a new tender for the exploitation of Managaha.
Its responsibility as a temporary concessionaire will allow DPL to sign separate contracts with “sub-concessionaires” to operate the lodge, restaurant, water sports activities and transportation to and from Managaha, Igisomar said.
He added that currently Managaha is well maintained by DPL staff.
Many facilities have been repaired and department employees travel to the island daily to clean and maintain the pavilions, he said.
Public Law 15-2 requires the department to be responsible “for the administration, use, development, and disposition of all lands defined as public lands by Article 11 of the NMI Constitution.” .
DPL said the current regulations “do not contemplate Managaha being concessionaire-less and say nothing about what DPL should do in these circumstances”.
However, DPL said it has an alternate authority to administer and manage public lands “on which it can rely to step into the shoes of the absent concessionaire in a limited way”.
DPL added: “This limited authority would allow the DPL to approve temporary permits for sub-concessionaires and provide lifeguards, security, cleaning and maintenance of Managaha.”
Since there is no concessionaire in Managaha to manage and operate the exclusive economic zone on the island, DPL said it is “now acting temporarily, as a ‘concessionaire’.
In January 2020, DPL announced that it would soon issue a Notice of Prosecution to U-Top Investment (Saipan) Inc. as a new dealer on Managaha.
DPL said its real estate division would meet with the former concessionaire, Tasi Tours, then U-Top to discuss the transition.
In March 2020, with the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the local tourism industry had to shut down.