Governor walks through Sagan Linayan - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor walks through Sagan Linayan

by Nick Delgado

Guam - 50,000 adults on Guam are not earning an income, more than 6,500 people are looking for a job, at least 43,000 Guamanians are on some form of public assistance, and 52,000 adults are making less than $11,000 - below the national poverty threshold. That is the reality of life on Guam, and statements by Governor Eddie Calvo in his State of the Island Address. Today he and Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio met face-to-face with some of the island's less fortunate in their pledge to help end the cycle of poverty.

"It's kind of hard you know going back and forth getting water," said Rhonda Cruz. She and her husband and their five children have lived in Sagan Linayan for years. With no running water or electricity, every day is a struggle to survive. "I get water from rain water filling up tunkeys, I don't have a restroom my shower room doesn't even have a roof on it," she said.

Cruz says her home was built on tax refunds - at least, whenever she actually received one. She explained, "I used my last tax it was a thousand-some to build me and my five children a small shack, and a little at a time we just find materials to build our kitchen and our shower. But as I tried requesting hardship to apply for power and water I still haven't received it."

Cruz like many families in the neighborhood is excited Calvo and Tenorio are visiting with families here. They're also hoping the governor will keep to his pledge to get tax refunds paid completely and on time from now on. 

It's money Sagan Linayan resident Doris Gogue sure could use. "It's hard here because one, when it's raining you have to walk to the restroom and shower and stuff like that. With my house it's all eaten up by the termites and when one late night our ceiling fell on top of us I thought my house was collapsing. But it was actually my ceiling," she told KUAM News.

While the governor would like to get a loan to pay refunds, lawmakers have their ideas on how to pay the $260 million owed to taxpayers. And while we wait to see whose payout plan is adopted, the cycle of poverty continues for Cruz, Gogue and their families.

The latter said, "I don't know - I'm just going to keep suffering and suffering and also making my kids suffer. As I suffer, they all suffer too."

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