We now have only four months until the election where we will be voting for Palau’s new President, find Vice president, drug and new members for the Senate office and House of Delegates. Senator Tommy Remengesau Jr. is currently off-island doing his campaign with Palauans in Guam and the United States for this upcoming election. Those that are running for the President’s office is Tommy Remengeau Jr., website like this Johnson Toribiong, and Sandra Sumang Pierantozzi. There are still no new candidates declared for presidency and there aren’t much campaign for the senate office going on in the community. But Philip Reklai has already going house to house doing his campaign for the senate office. In the Palau 2012 forum on facebook had already made their polls for the President, where it shows which candidates has more ratings for this year’s election. It shows that Sen. Remengesau is in the lead, Ms. Pierantozzi in 2nd, and President Johnson Toribiong in 3rd place. Two new candidates had recently turned in their petition for this upcoming election. Mr. John Skebong had turned in his petition for the Senate office and Mr. Joseph Giramur had also turned in his petition for the House of Delegates of Peleliu state.
Electricity Tariff rises in July 1st
The PPUC has announced that on July 1st the electricity tariff will rise from 31.9 cents to 33.6 cents. The reason for the rising electricity tariff is due to rising fuel costs. This new rate was proposed by the automatic fuel adjustment clause of the board of PPUC. The board of PPUC also stated that if the costs of fuel is lower then it is possible for the PPUC board to lower the electric tariffs, but will rise up in October because as of now the PPUC board need additional funding to continue their work on keeping the generators running properly.
Increase of Jellyfish Lake and Rock Island Fee
Jellyfish lake and rock island fees are scheduled for its 50 percent increase on June 1st, however Minister of Justice Johnny Gibbons believes the implementation violates Palau’s national code. In a letter to Governor Adachi, Gibbons states that the increased fees are not justified. According to Gibbons, the supporting documentation that should have explained the reasons why the increased fees is necessary is not sufficient enough to determine that the increase is justified. Gibbons further stated that collected revenues appear to have increased each year, about a million dollar increase from 2010 to 2011 according to the documents provided by Adachi. It also appeared that several thousands of dollars of the fees collected were being spent on other activities other than the preservation of rock islands. In conclusion, Gibbons asked for more information regarding jellyfish lake revenue and the breakdown of costs for the department of rangers. According to reports, Koror State Government approved the increase of fees in order to continue preserving, maintaining and protecting the rock islands and the jellyfish lake with growing visitors. Whether the implementation is justified or not the Koror State Deparment of Conservation and Law Enforcement has informed tour operation and hotels of the changes in fees, which will begin on June 1st as planned. Jellyfish lake permits will cost $100 from its previous price of $50 and rock island permit will now cost $50 from $35 and $25.
U.S. Government Purchased land in Airai
The US Embassy and the US government have officially purchased the land in which the US Embassy is currently located in Airai State. Through months of negotiation with the Airai government, an agreement was finally reached and the sale approved. The Airai State Public Lands Authority and Airai State Government approved the sale after careful review of the proposal. On May 3rd, the group signed the resolution approving the sale of the 13,000 square meter land. The US government originally has a 50-year lease agreement with the Airai State for use of the land for consulate purposes, but tendered in a proposal for purchase last year for diplomatic related purposes. The Palau Constitution specifically prohibits the sale of land to foreigners, however the constitution does authorize the sale of land to foreign governments for consulate purpose. This sale makes the U.S government the first foreign government to purchase land in Palau. It is not certain how much the US government paid for the land.
Rising Suicide: 30 since 2005
Statistics from the office of the Criminal Investigation Division shows that more men have committed suicide than women. It shows that 27 people had committed suicide in the year 2005 to this year’s May 2012. It also shows that there were 18 adults, 7 youths, and 2 men from foreign countries had committed suicide. There were only 3 females committed suicide and the rest were only men. Report from Dr. Jasmine Vergara from the Palau National Hospital stated that the reason for the cause of these suicide was due to troubled relationship, life struggle, and a loss of someone close to them. Dr. Vergara also made a clear statement that everyone in each household should be very cautious with one of their family member and check if they have any struggle with something, please contact the hospital for help and support.
Low Prices for Fuel
Low fuel prices at all Palau local gas stations. The Belechel gas station located at M-Dock sells gasoline at $5.19 per gallon. At Meyuns causeway and Shell gas station in Medalaii sells gasoline at $5.23 per gallon, while other local gas station sells gasoline $5.25 per gallon. Costs for diesel also went down. Report from the outer region says hat costs for crude oil went down from$10 per drum last week. From the beginning of this year fuel price hasn’t go down from $5.00 per gallon.
Hatohobei State Election
Last week we talked about the Hatohobei state election so here are the official result. Thomas Patris a candidate for Governor’s office is in the lead with a total of 48 votes, while Dominic Emilio also received a total of 48 votes. And running for Lieutenant Governor Ms. Jacqueline Victor was t he only person running for the title received a total of 77 votes. Those that are running for At-large , there were 11 candidates running and only 9 seats are available at the office. Mr. William Andrew is in the lead with 72 votes. There are only 128 registered voters in Hatohobei and only 86 have already voted. On May 29th, Kayangel state had their election in search for their new state governor and legislators. Candidates for the governor’s office include Esichang Takawo Moses and Jeff Titiml. Those running for the legislator’s office there are 16 candidates and five of them are new candidates for the election. Governor Edwin Chiokai will not be running for the governor’s office, but has decided to run for the office of the House of Delegates for Kayangel state. Tune in for next week election result.
Palau Celebrates Memorial Day and President’s Day
On Monday, May 25th the government and the community celebrated the Memorial Day, while the Vice President Kerai Mariur and the Ambassador of the United States visited the Bloody Nose Ridge in the state of Peleliu to remember the brave soldiers that sacrificed their lives during the war. They also visited Masato Kumangai grave, who was a U.S. Marine and also visited the 81st Infantry Division Memorial in Orange Beach, Peleliu. Palauan youths also used the internet to celebrate the Memorial day in remembering soldiers from the entire Micronesia region including those that are Palauans. On Friday it is President’s day, a day we all remember our past and present President. The state of Airai will be conducting a Green Fair at renrak where they will be selling different variety of local foods and plants.
Jennifer Anson Qualified for the Olympics
Congratulations to Jennifer Anson for qualifying to represent Palau in Judo competition at the upcoming Olympics in London. Jennifer was last seen on OTV kicking the crap out of yours truly before heading to the Oceania Judo Championships in Australia. At the Championships, Anson defeated Guam in the 63 kg category, allowing her to finish 86th out of 178th, qualifying her for a slot in the upcoming Olympics. We hope to follow Jennifer’s Olympic journey as well as all of our Oceania athletes in the upcoming games.
Palauan night Market
On Thursday May 31st, PVA will be conducting a palauan night market and will be held at the Bethelehem park at 5pm to 9pm.
Thank you for watching this week’s Chais Era Belau.