Camacho-Ada unveils platform
BPT rollback, agricultural expansion, bureaucratic reforms among GOP ticket's top priorities
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Fiscal stability and economic recovery begin with rightsizing the government and implementing low taxes, the Camacho-Ada team said, unveiling the Republican Party's campaign platform as they flex their political muscle for this year's gubernatorial race.
Gubernatorial candidate Felix P. Camacho, a former two-term governor, and his running mate Sen. Vicente "Tony" Ada form the Republican Party's official standard-bearers running uncontested in the Aug. 27 primary.
In the first 100 days of their administration, the Camacho-Ada team vowed to "perform a forensic review" of the government finances amid the expiration of federal Covid-19 relief grants.
"While the Guam Legislature’s intent in increasing the business privilege tax was only temporary as an offset to the federal tax cuts, the Camacho-Ada team is committed to rolling back the BPT from 5 percent to 4 percent. We recognize the pain and struggle of our business community most especially the small business market," the campaign stated in its platform publicly released Thursday.
To beef up government resources, the Camacho-Ada team said it would "aggressively pursue taxes owed by off-island nationally based contractors especially those involved with the Department of Defense contracts."
The platform consists of seven pillars: business, education, family, government, faith, justice and health.
"Today, island residents and small business owners are struggling to survive. Families are struggling to buy food, while the rising price of power, water, and gas weigh down on them,": the team stated in its platform.
"During this same period, we have seen a record number of local businesses close for good, many of our young people and families have moved out of Guam, our children have fallen behind on their education, and crime is to a point where our people no longer feel safe in their own homes."
Among the highlights of the platform are as follows:
Expanding local agriculture: Guam’s agriculture industry has the potential for growth, but it requires focus by all industry and government leaders. The Camacho-Ada team will focus on economic initiatives that will assist local farmers with ways and means to scale their business while incentivizing and attracting large-scale investments in commercial farming on Guam. Increasing local produce production will reduce the prices of produce through increased volume and the elimination of shipping costs and promote sustainability.
New industries: The world has changed as a result of mainland China’s policies toward Hong Kong and Taiwan and its’ expansion into the South China Sea. This change has increased the level of risk and uncertainty for U.S. and western companies that have operated and are headquartered in places like Hong Kong. The Camacho-Ada team understands that there is an opportunity for these companies to relocate to Guam, and reduce the risk, without compromising their proximity to Asia. The Camacho Ada Team will focus on bringing in companies in the trans-shipment, telecommunications and warehousing industries who are attracted by Guam’s proximity to Asia and the security of U.S. rule of law. Guam will be marketed as “America in Asia."
Trans-shipment industry: The Camacho-Ada team will move to develop a sustainable export industry as the pillar of a growing and much-needed trans-shipment industry.
Employ the homeless: Explore opportunities to partner with faith-based organizations to provide employment assistance and opportunities to hire homeless individuals for civic labor and work.
Tiny home project: Explore opportunities to partner with faith-based organizations locally, nationally or internationally to build and provide housing and living accommodations such as the “Tiny Home” concept implemented in several states and cities.
A copy of the platform can be downloaded here: