News For Palau

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Hello, information pills thank you for joining us for this week’s News for Palau March, 14 2012. My Name is Kambes Kesolei and these are the news highlights for the week.
FY 2012 Budget Bill approved by the Olbiil Era Kelulau OEK
By the looks of it the government only needs the presidents’ to sign the Bill in order for the new law for the Budget Bill 2012 become in full effect. The Budget Compromise is known as CD2. This is to authorize $60.8M, but will only approve $59.3M to run the government for this years’ 2012 budget. The discussion that went to a compromise point, or amendment that entered this CD2, was to approve of the use of the emergency funding for the electricity. $3 million will be use to cover the amount of budget that was spent, which is about $1.125 million. One of the arguments that went on was to accept the president to weaken the law of procurement, as in purchasing items or entering a contract services that is used for the help that Palau receives from the outer region. The President will inform the OEK, and if the OEK does not oppose in 20 days, then the budget bill will be in full effect.
Other members of the OEK are concerned, because this bill could somehow be used to cover unnecessary payments. In this budget bill it has raised the green fee that was about $15 dollars to $30 dollars. The first $200,000 dollars that entered the green fee will be given to the Airai state to support the water source that we get. A tax raised had been made. This is a hotel room tax had been raised from $10 dollar or 10% to $12 dollars or 12%. There is also a $35,000 dollars that will be given to the Ngaimis – Rubekul Ngatpang. There is also a $75,000 disbursement to the 2009 Household Income Survey. Only $100 dollar will be disbursed every month. The budget will be waiting for the Presidents’ signature in order for this bill to be in full effect.
 Petition from the concerned citizen
A petition has been passed around the community calling all leaders to help the people in need due the high prices or recent price changes. This petition is given to the President, Vice President, Senators, and Delegates. In this petition, they’re calling the leaders to change the recent high prices for water and wastewater /sewage  that was made in February, 07 2012. The petition also includes stopping the rise of the electric bill, and also to inform the owners of the two local gas station to inform their customers about the recent gas price changes and why the prices went up. This also used to make COLA $50 for 1 month for all people that are working in the government and those receiving social security and also asking to raise the minimum wage. And last may there be help and support for the poor that are caught in between average and lower average.
A bill in the Senate made to remove tax for gas
A bill has been made and presented to the Senate, and this is used to remove the fuel import tax. This decision was made because if they remove the fuel import tax there will be no reason to raise the electric bill. This bill was made before the rise of fuel price. So today the government will be receiving the import tax at about 5 cents per gallon. This bill is to inform to all fishermen that stopped fishing because they couldn’t afford fuel for their boats, and also transport of taro (kukau) has become expensive because of the high gas price. A joint resolution had been given out from the House of Delegates to support the task force to study the lowering of the gas price. By the looks of it many decisions and changes had been made due to the gas price.
 PPUC public hearing for the new Electric costs
The PPUC board will conducting a public hearing for every states about the new electric costs or tariff that will begin at May 2012. A public hearing will begin at April 9 to April 28. In this public hearing the PPUC board will inform the citizens about the reasons of the rise of the electric bill and the citizens will be given a chance to tell their thoughts about the proposed electric bill. On this upcoming April, you will notice the raised costs for the electricity bill , and this is made to follow the Automatic Fuel Adjustment Clause, so it will rise to$0.07 cents additional.
 The House approves the Presidents’ recommendation to fine anyone that damages another persons’ property

A bill is made to fine anyone that damages another persons property or the properties that belongs to the community had been passed from the 3rd reading is to approve the Presidents’ recommendation. The President is concerned about the statement in the bill, which stated that if a person damages another persons’ property or the governments’ property accidentally or didn’t have any intentions to cause the damage will be count as criminally liable. This is what the President recommended to remove from the bill, and so it was done. Once the bill is given out from the OEK and presented to the President he will then sign it.
 Boat called Dil’ Belau is now fully functional after repair and maintenance
The boat from the outlying states Dil’ Belau is now fully functional after the engineer had came from the company of Taiwan  to do some repairs and a thorough maintenance for the boats engine. It took 3 months to repair and were able to correct its’ problems. The Dil’ Belau is still new because it came in last September  2012.
 Resolution to use the $4million ADB loan for the purchase of the fiber optic cable went back to the House of Delegates for further discussion
Members of the House of Delegates is now close to the resolution of using the $4million dollar ADB loan to purchase the used fiber optic cable that lies in the depth between Guam and the Philipines. Members of the House of Delegates are also concerned about the use of the ADB loan purchasing other reasons and not for the water and sewer issues. A report from the House committee of Foreign Affairs and States matters are also concern now that the ADB loan will be used to purchase used products and does not realize that March 11 a ceremony will be held. The House committee recommended that President Toribiong to be incharge of the renegotiate the ADB loan so it can be used for purchasing fiber-optic cable. Also in this report says find an independent fiber-optics expert to study the use of a used and a brand new fiber-optic cable.
Japan earthquake and tsunami 1 year later

The Japan Embassy conducted a small ceremony at the Palau Royal Resort at Monday March, 11 2012 to mark the 1 year after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan and other countries that are nearby. The ceremony included the honorable Chief Reklai, President, Vice President, members of the OEK and many officials of the Republic of Palau. 46 minutes after 2pm they spent 1 hour of silence and observed the time when the dreadful earthquake and tsunami struck.
 OISCA will be giving lessons about organic farming
After 1 year, OISCA located in Nekken will again conduct a program, which they will be teaching people about organic farming. An organic farming is like planting vegetables without the use of fertilizers, which is made with chemicals such as pesticide. The idea for organic farming is to grow plants without harming the environment.  The program of organic farming will be conducted for 8 weeks of studying. After 8 weeks of studying those who have fully learned the knowledge of organic planting will go back to their state farm and apply what they have learned. After one year those who followed the organic farm process and have a healthy unfertilized farm will be given a chance to go to Japan to learn about marketing.
 Students of Hokkaido University of Education visited Aimeliik Elem. School
Students of Aimeliik Elem. School were able to learn about cold winter in Hokkaido, and were able to hear the story how they worked with the ducks in Japan. This type of study was conducted by three students of Hokkaido University that came to visit Palau at this previous month through a program called Cultural Exchange program. These students were able to follow the JICA volunteer to visit the Aimeliik Elem. School. As they went there they were able to tell the students of Aimeliik about the wintertime in Hokkaido and their work with ducks in Hokkaido, Japan. These students of Hokkaido are now at the very end of their school year to become teachers of Hokkaido at this upcoming month.
 Student of Mindszenty High School wins spelling bee competition
Lindon Kohama of Mindszenty High School won 1st place in the high school spelling bee competition, which was held last Saturday at Palasia Hotel. The spelling bee included 24 students to enter the competition. Jennifer Wiley won  2nd place who is also from Mindszenty High School. And on 3rd place Tamara Johanes of Palau Mission Academy.
Congratulations to Lindon Kohama who won the 2012 Annual Didil Belau high school spelling bee champion.
Happy Youth Day
This week there will be an educational awareness week , so there will be lots of activity for elementary, high school , and college students. There will be sports and other educational competition, lots of foods, fundraising activity and much more.
Happy Youth Day to all youths and thank you for watching this weeks News for Palau. I’m Kambes Kesolei stay tuned for next week News for Palau.