By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Speaker Therese Terlaje has introduced a pair of bills that would advance CHamoru Land Trust (CLTC) efforts to develop infrastructure for residential and agricultural leases on CLTC properties.
Bill 277-36, titled the Guam Undersea Access for Homes Act of GUAHA, aims to establish a uniform policy for the licensing of submerged lands for telecommunications operators landing fiber optic cables on Guam.
The second proposal, Bill 278-36, would ensure the proceeds of these submerged lands licenses go toward infrastructure to include surveys, access roads, water, sewer, power and telecommunications resources for CLTC tracts of land.
“I am confident that the Guam Undersea Access for Homes Act will modernize our policy for the licensing of submerged lands and bring fair rates to the CLTC more in line with the rest of the world," Terlaje said.
"As the CLTC continues identifying and prioritizing tracts of land for additional residential leases, it is critical that we provide resources to support infrastructure and assist local families seeking quality homes,” she added.
The measures follow the passage of a prior bill that authorized the licensing of submerged lands in Alupang to a local telecommunications provider.
The enactment of GUAHA would ensure parity for other companies seeking to do the same. In addition, the proposal would require the Bureau of Statistics and Plans to make recommendations for cable landing sites that are environmentally responsible and optimal for Guam’s undersea topography, as opposed to the current ad hoc approach currently in place.
CLTC chairman John Reyes Jr. and acting director Angela Camacho endorsed the GUAHA, saying it would ensure a competitive market for submerged cable activities within the telecommunications industry.
“I look forward to productive discussions at the public hearings for these bills and want to encourage participation from telecommunications companies, ancillary businesses, as well as residential and agricultural stakeholders for the CLTC," Terlaje said.