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Finance chief dispels PUA bounced checks rumor

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SECRETARY of Finance David DLG Atalig on Wednesday said it is not true that some Pandemic Unemployment Assistance checks have bounced.

“That is a complete rumor,” he added. “We have never bounced a check in the CNMI. We won’t release checks if there are no funds. We’d rather hold checks or not even print them if there are no funds available.”

“For whatever reasons,” he said, “some rumors are being spread. I will dispel them and say that there are no bounced checks.”

He said his department is doing its best “to get all of the payments out.”

He noted that the CNMI requested over $240 million in PUA funds and, so far, the Commonwealth has received about 40% of that amount.

The CNMI is asking the U.S. Department of Labor for additional monies, but the Commonwealth needs to first provide financial reports indicating that the funds that were initially sent are being used according to the program rules.

“We’ve done our part. We are just waiting for the U.S. DOL to give us the rest of the funding — we anticipate that very soon, and hopefully we can get those checks out to the community,” Atalig said.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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