Senator Vicente (ben) Cabrera Pangelinan, affectionately known as “Senator ben” was born in Saipan, raised by Christian parents and came to Guam when he was very young. Growing up bilingual in English and Chamorro,he possess uniqueattributes. His family has always resided in the village of Barrigada, where he grew up. He went to San Vicente Elementary School and graduated from Father Duenas Memorial School in 1974. To pursue a higher, he went to the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Government. He has also been bestowed the Pacific American Foundation (PAF) Fellowship and the Toll Fellowship from the Council of State Governments.At an early age, Senator ben was always interested in government service and worked as a Staff Assistant to the Office of the Delegate, Antonio G. Won Pat in Washington, DC while attending college. When he returned to Guam, he worked for the late Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo.Before being elected into the Guam Legislature, Senator ben worked with FHP/HML Guam, a HMO doing business in Guam, Saipan and California. He had numerous positions consisting of Member Relations Officer, Guam Director of Government and Public Affairs, Associate Director of Operations and the Regional General Manager.Senator’s tenure in the Guam Legislature began in the 22nd Guam Legislature. The people of Guam continued to elect him in the 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th and currently serving in the 31st Guam Legislature. He was Speaker in the 27th Guam Legislature.Throughout his political career, Senator ben has held the Chair of various Committees, including land, taxation, banking and retirement. For the past two terms, Senator ben has chaired the Committee on Appropriations. As Chairman for the Committee on Appropriations and the Office of Finance and Budget, he gained support from the Executive Branch to pass a fiscal year line item budget that was organized and balanced completed in an unprecedented time frame never seen in the government of Guam. His budget reflected the priorities of education, health and safety in the allocation resources.Senator ben has never shied away from controversy and has championed many issues that others didn’t. He fought for the government of Guam retirees to receive their Cost of Living Allowance and after more than 15 years, retirees received what was legally owed to them. The fight isn’t quite over, yet and Senator ben will continue to fight for them.He has led the fight for a fair and open government on the Legislative floor and in the highest courts of Guam, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.Responding to business challenges, he streamlined services and established the one-stop permit program to assist existing and new business. He wrote the Guam Business Corporations Act, the first major update of the law in over 30 years to increase opportunities for investments to improve the economy. Now individuals can form businesses with a minimum of red tape.Senator ben is a protector of natural resources for Guam by declaring the property in and the right to the use of all water, at any time in a stream, river or other surface sources and water located beneath the ground and in the aquifer in Guam are vested in the government of Guam.In Guam’s quest for self-determination, Senator ben submitted testimonies to the United Nations Special Political Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) to advocate for Guam’s inalienable right to self-determination. His office remains the only place, other than the Guam Election Commission that has certified registrars to register eligible CHamorros to the Decolonization Registry.Senator ben understands the importance of the cultural preservation of Guam by creating the “Hatdin Amot Chamorro” which identifies a portion of Chamorro Land Trust lands specifically to grow herbal medicinal plants for “Suruhanus” and “Suruhanas” to use for traditional medicinesSenator ben understand the importance of nurturing our environment and introduced legislation promoting the development of renewable energy to require the Guam Power Authority to establish renewable portfolio standard goals. He established the first ever net-metering program, which credits homeowners who install renewable energy production capacity.Senator ben has vast business experience. He is President/Owner of Group Pacific Suppliers, Principal Consultant/President of Pacific Presence Group and Founding Director of Graphic center, Inc. and Micronesia Graphics, Inc. He is also Director of Fifth Wheel, Inc.In addition to Chair of the Committee on Appropriations, Taxation, Public Debt, Banking, Insurance, Retirement and Land, he also holds the position of Vice Chair for the Committee on Education and a member of the Committee on Rules, Federal, Foreign & Micronesian Affairs, Committee on Health & Human Services, Economic Development, Senior Citizens and Election Reform, Committee on Municipal Affairs, Tourism, Housing and Recreation and the Committee on Guam Military Buildup and Homeland Security.
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