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Guam governor lifts emergency spending cap, authorizes overtime


Lou Leon Guerrero

By Mar-Vic Cagurangan


Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero today issued a new executive order authorizing emergency procurement expenditures above the initial limit set in a previous directive, and sanctioning overtime work to expedite disaster response following typhoon Mawar that battered the island on May 25.


The new directive authorizes the acquisition of emergency supplies and services related to public safety, food and water supply, sheltering, medical treatment, energy, communications, transportation and environmental cleanup, lifting the $250,000 cap imposed in her earlier executive order that declared Guam in a state of emergency.


On May 31, the governor signed Bill 127-37, now Public Law 37-17, authorizing the use of up to $50 million from the general fund for emergency response expenses.


The new executive order will be in place for three months, extending the 30-day emergency procurement period set in the prior directive.


"All departments and agencies are reminded to keep appropriate documentation on all emergency expenses incurred pursuant to this executive order for inspection by the executive and legislative branches and by the Public Auditor of Guam, and in anticipation of federal disaster assistance approval by the President of the United States to be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency," the executive order states.


In the same executive order, the governor authorizes government of Guam employees to work over 40 hours a week "in order to mitigate and respond to the effects of typhoon Mawar."


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Power and water restoration is among the priorities for emergency procurement authorization.


"The loss of consistent access to island power has unfortunately slowed recovery of our water and wastewater systems, causing water pumping stations to shut down, and the island-wide water distribution system to fail" the governor said. 'This resulted in an islandwide loss of water service, which is in the process of being restored."


On June 3, the governor issued another emergency related to the water supply shortage on island.


"Typhoon Mawar represents the closest impact of any typhoon of this magnitude on our island in over 20 years, and caused substantial damage to our island," the executive order states.



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