About Us

1. History of MPLT:

A. The original Constitutional Convention Analysis, dated December 6,1976, discusses the formation of the Marianas Public Land Trust and the intent and purpose for its formation.

  1. Article XI deals with issues relating to public lands.
  2. Marianas Public Land Corporation was established to receive and manage the public lands.
  3. The funds received from public lands, including the anticipated lease by the United States per the Covenant, shall be placed in a trust fund.
  4. It is the intent of the Constitution to separate the land management function performed by MPLC and the money management function performed by the trust fund.
  5. MPLC was permitted to retain funds for their reasonable expenses of administration.
  6. Marianas Public Land Trust was created to hold and invest the proceeds from leases and other transfers of public land.
  7. The Constitution is the implementing authority that establishes the relationship between MPLC and MPLT.

B. MPLT Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Hold and invest prudently the principal funds received from MPLC or its successor entities.
  2. For the first ten years from the effective date of the constitution, the MPLT investments shall be limited to United States obligations.
  3. MPLT is required to distribute to the Commonwealth General Fund the interest it receives from its investments less reasonable expenses of administration.
  4. There are no earmarks on the distribution to the General Fund as the Legislature has the authority to allocate these funds among the competing needs of the Commonwealth.
  5. Of the funds received from the U. S. lease per the Covenant, $2 million from the lease of Tanapag Harbor shall be set-aside and the income derived from this amount can only be used for the maintenance and development of the American Memorial Park.
  6. Trustees are required to submit annually an annual report to the people of the Commonwealth accounting for all revenues and expenses and a description of all investments and other transactions authorized by the Trustees.
  7. The Trustees are held strict standards of fiduciary care.

C. The effective date of the Constitution is January 9, 1978.

 

2. Covenant related matters:

A. The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of American (U. S. PL 94-241) is the implementing authority that created the CNMI.

B. It was signed by the President and the Political Status members on February 15, 1975.

C. The Technical Agreement portion of the Covenant establishes the terms for the lease of Commonwealth public lands by the United States.

  • U. S. has a five year option to lease identified lands.
  • Lands consisted of 17,799 acres on Tinian, 177 acres at Tanapag Harbor and 206 acres of Farallon de Medinilla Islands.
  • The lease term is for 50 years at a cost as follows:

    • Tinian land - $17.5 million
    • Tanapag Harbor - $2 million
    • Farallon de Medinilla - $20,600

The amount paid will be adjusted at the time of payment by a percentage change in the U.S. Department of Commerce composite price index. The actual amount finally paid was $33 million of which $6.5 million was withheld due to clearing of private land holdings in the military retention area.

The land was leased on January 6, 1983 just prior to the expiration of the option.

 

3. Significant dates for the creation of MPLT:

A. Due to the payment received by MPLC for the lease of the lands by the U.S., the first trustees were appointed by Governor Tenorio in 1983.

B. Trustees requested funds to be transferred to the Trust but MPLC refused by indicating that all of the money was needed for their homestead program.

C. MPLT Trustees sued for the transferred of the funds as required by the Constitution in 1983.

D. Superior Court ordered MPLC to pay the lease funds to MPLT of which $25,942,602 was received in 1983 and 1984.

E. Other principal distributions received from MPLC or successor entities are as follows:

  1. 1991 - $1,000,000
  2. 2007 - $2,250,000
  3. 2008 - $3,500,000

 

4. Performance Statistics Since 1983:

A. Investment returns have allowed for principal growth from the original $28,192,602 increasing to $74,600,729 as of 9/30/07.

B. This growth is attributable to the capital gains from the equity portion of the investments.

C. The principal has grown while allowing for net distributions of investment income (interest & dividends) less administrative expenses to the General Fund and American Memorial Park as follows:

  1. General Fund - $37,765,578
  2. American Memorial Park - $4,276,759

 

5. Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs):

A. ETIs are a portion of the investment asset allocation aimed at social-investing in order to achieve a purpose other than just a risk adjusted rate of return.

B. MPLT has undertaken to make such investments within the CNMI in order to help the local economy as well as achieve a social benefit.

  • Loans to NMHC to finance a residential home loan program:

    • 1/98 - Advanced $5,000,000
    • 6/99 - Advanced $500,000
    • 7/99 - Advanced $300,000
    • 11/99 - Advanced $285,750
    • 2/01 - Advanced $3,914,250

 

  • Due to failure to meet the terms of the loan, MPLT negotiated a return of the loan portfolio in 1/08 and is managing them to collect the individual loans. The current loan portfolio is $9,903,670 with 54% of the loans being delinquent.
  • The full amount of the MPLT loss from this investment is unknown at this time but we have estimated it to be $4 million.
  • Loan to APLE 501, a non-profit corporation, organized to provide scholarship education loans. APLE was to manage the scholarship program with MPLT providing the funds under a loan repayment note. The loan agreement was signed on August 23, 2002. The amount of loan was for $1,000,000. The first drawdown was paid on October 18, 2002 in the amount of $154,924. But when the loan files were inspected, it was discovered that the loan agreement had been violated. No additional loan advances were made.

    • The loan payments were not made and MPLT had to sue to recover the loans as well as other collateral.
    • The amount owed by APLE is $143,794 plus accrued interest of $17,833.
    • MPLT expects to recover this balance owed eventually.

 

  • In order to aid CUC in its most recent funding problems to stabilize the power production, MPLT loaned $3.5 million to them on August 4,2008. The loan repayment is earmarked in the FY 2009 and 2010 Commonwealth budgets. CUC is to pay the interest at the rate of 7% each month. MPLT does not expect to take a loss on this ETI investment.
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