by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Guam Economic Development Authority Administrator Karl Pangelinan took the hot seat this morning before lawmakers for his confirmation hearing, talking about plans to spur economic development on the island in the current sluggish economy. Lawmakers questioned whether Pangelinan supported the continuation of the Qualifying Certificate program and the nominee said he did as the government is reliant on two streams of income from tourism and the military.
He said, "I think now more than ever we need to develop another industry that third leg in the economic stool and the QC is really the only investment tool, I believe, right now. Do I think it could take some looking at? Absolutely. Actually I believe there was a moratorium in 2008 whereby a commission was formed, a task force and there were some recommendations that were made."
Pangelinan says he will work with the board to strengthen the QC program and review those recommendations to see how the program can be improved. As for the Administration's plans to borrow $336 million later this year, Pangelinan admitted that he was initially wary of the idea of the government borrowing to its limit but says he now feels the idea will be beneficial to the island and the economy.