by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Guam Economic Development Authority's administrator is hoping to develop a third leg in the island's economy that will add to the sustainability of jobs in the future. Part of that plan though is to review recommendations made by a task force in 2008 that scrutinized GEDA's qualifying certificate program.
GEDA Administrator Karl Pangelinan says nothing was implemented from the final report and his management team is now devoting a few hours each week to sift through the recommendations in hopes to revive the QC program. The program was developed as an investor tool to boost the island's tourism industry, but Senator Ben Pangelinan believes there are other ways to strengthen the program.
"I think we need to refresh some of the industries that it's available in now," said the senator. "We're in the year 2011 now - there's lots of advancements in light manufacturing, there's lot of advancements in green technology and such, so I think we need to refresh some of the available industries that the QCs eligible for."
There are currently 23 companies on the island under the qualifying certificate program that frees them of paying some taxes locally but requires them to commit a certain number of jobs and give back to the island in other contributions, as well.