Sunday, January 15, 2006

10 Reasons to Oppose Privatization of the Port Authority of Guam

10 Reasons to Oppose Privatization of the Port Authority of Guam

Tinige' Si Sabina Perez.

1. Privatization will lead to a monopoly of a vital economic resource. Monopolies lead to rate hikes, which will have devastating effects on Guam's import based economy and cost of living.

2. Privatization will endanger security of our food supply, since 95% of imported goods come through the port.

3. Privatization is not necessary. According to the 2005 Public Auditor's report, the Port has operated in the black for two years in a row, with net revenues of $1.9 million in 2005. Thus, the revenue created could be reinvested back into capital improvements and the purchasing of a new crane.

4. A private monitor will be difficult to monitor and keep in check because of the lack of a strong regulatory framework, and companies can be exempt from Sunshine laws.

5. Privatization will result in a loss of funding for COLA for retired Port Authority employees.

6. Privatization of the Port under Public Law 27-60 will replace government jobs with casual employment with no job security or benefits.

7. No termination clause exists, in case of company malfeasance.

8. Privatization will be difficult to reverse. When the lease is complete, the cost to buyback equipment may be too expensive.

9. Privatization serves special interests, namely those heading the Guam Chamber of Commerce, who want to profit from government monopolies at the expense of the community.

10. Privatization of a vital economic asset is a violation of the indigenous rights of the Chamorro people, who have yet to exercise the right to self-determination. It is the administering power's duty, the USA, to ensure the economic, social, cultural well-being of the Chamorro people, until such time as that right is exercised.

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