Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The People’s Republic of China donates $500,000 to FSM Maysak response efforts



FSMIS (April 22, 2015): In the presence of the Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori, FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert and the People's Republic of China Ambassador to the FSM, H.E. Li Jie, undertook a signing ceremony in Palikir on April 21st.

The PRC Government is providing $500,000 US dollar to the FSM to assist recovery measures for the people of Chuuk and Yap who have been mercilessly affected by Super Typhoon Maysak.

In an ad-lib statement made during the ceremony, the Ambassador mentioned that China gives "eyes and ears" to the disaster development and has decided to remit the amount as a kind gesture of support. He also stated his belief that recovery for Chuuk and Yap will take some time. 

Ambassador Jie visited Chuuk when flights resumed after the storm.

In responding, Secretary Robert expressed the gratitude of the FSM people and Government to the People and Government of the People's Republic of China for their "critical and important" assistance, which he feels will not only be useful for recovery efforts but will "strengthen bilateral relations that the two governments and peoples have come to enjoy".

The relief assistance will be deposited into the Disaster Relief Fund, which got established after President Mori declared a state of emergency for both States.

The disaster response operation is being coordinated by the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM).

For further information email oeemdir@gmail.com  or call the OEEM at 320-8815/8814.

Yap High School Upward Bound students interact with FSM President Mori



FSMIS (April 22, 15): On April 21, 2015, fourteen Upward Bound students from Yap High School, along with two teacher chaperons, made a visit at the Office of the President.

Mr. Serphin Ileisuyalo, one of the accompanying teachers, explained that the program familiarizes high school students with the College of Micronesia main campus and allows for visits to the FSM National Government branches, departments, and offices to boost learning exposures to the ways of their government.

The students were accorded an audience with FSM President Manny Mori at the President’s Conference Room.

The President discussed the components of the Executive Branch and shared his reflection on the past eight years. As part of his conversation with the students, he also stressed the need for college students to remain focus and move into graduate level programs before they consider marriage. He urged the students to concentrate on personal development opportunities in vocational trades and strive for the graduate level mainstream educational pathway – a paramount challenge for most Micronesian students.

The students on their part were keen on discussing leadership qualifications, especially as they may apply for public office aspirants at the National Government. They also were very curious about the 2023 Action Plan and how it relates to financial and economic challenges beyond Compact grants.

After their interactive conversation with the President, the student group went on to meet with the FSM Department of Education, the Judicial Branch, and the Congress Office. They will leave for Yap on Thursday, April 23rd.

For further information, email markapito@gmail.com

President Manny Mori requests a United States Emergency Declaration in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Maysak

Typhoon relief effort operations continue in the FSM states of Chuuk and Yap following Super Typhoon Maysak, which passed through the FSM states between March 29 and April 1, 2015.  Since passage of the typhoon, continuing damage assessments have revealed widespread devastation in these two states, prompting FSM President Manny Mori to send a letter to U.S. President Barrack Obama requesting a U.S. Presidential Disaster Declaration for the affected areas of the Federated States of Micronesia.  If approved, under provisions of the Amended Compact, a United States Presidential Disaster Declaration (PDD) would pave the way for access to a more robust, and much needed support package to address immediate relief needs, and medium and long term recovery and reconstruction efforts.  Such assistance would supplement the already ongoing efforts of the US government to assist FSM.  
In President Mori’s letter to President Obama, some very preliminary damage assessment costs are identified; these cost estimates are sourced from the hard work of a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) team consisting of USAID, FEMA, and FSM National and State Government inputs.  It is anticipated that if a U.S. PDD is issued, initial relief and reconstruction support would follow shortly thereafter. Additionally, more detailed and comprehensive assessments will continue to be refined as relief and recovery efforts progress.  

Please click on the following to view President Mori's letter to President Obama.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT: VOTER ID CARD EXPIRATION DATE


I M P O R T A N T   N O T I C E  !!

V O T E R   I D   C A R D
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR “V O T E R   I D   C A R D” WILL EXPIRE ON
DECEMBER 30, 2015.

THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ISSUED A VOTER ID CARD ARE ENCOURAGED TO STOP BY THE NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION, TOWN PLAZA BUILDING AND APPLY FOR    V O T E R   I D   C A R D

Emilio Eperiam
Acting Director

Monday, April 13, 2015

Congress wants $1.5M for Chuuk and Yap typhoon relief, $2.8M public project, $3M FSM Trust Fund

Community members on Saipan during a donation drive activity organized by various groups and individuals in support of typhoon victims in Chuuk and Yap. The photo is taken from a Facebook page for the specific support campaign.
FSMIS (April 13, 2015): On April 11, 2015, the Federated States of Micronesia Eighteenth Congress ended its two-day sixth special session. Among actions taken was an appropriation of $1.5 million towards typhoon relief assistance for the FSM States of Chuuk and Yap, and $100,000 for Vanuatu.
 
FSM President Manny Mori called the special session of Congress to consider the ongoing emergency situation caused by Super Typhoon Maysak two weeks ago, resulting in disasters throughout parts of Chuuk and Yap.
 
President Mori submitted a request of approximately $4.8 million with supporting expenditure details. That amount was to be divided up $4,602,705 for Chuuk, $114,858 for Yap, and $100,000 as replenishment of decreed amounts from the Executive Branch. Primarily, the funding would enable a 30-day feeding program in the affected States.
 
In his April 9th communication with Congress before the special session began, the President pointed out  that the National Government had a fund balance of $7.5 million available for appropriation.
 
Congress had other plans. On the first day of the session, they repassed C.A. No. 18-123, which had been vetoed on March 2nd, allocating $2.8 million toward economic projects and social programs.

Furthermore, at the close of session, Congress also chose to override the President’s item veto of C.A. No. 18-121, earmarking an amount of $3 million for deposit into the FSM Trust Fund, leaving only a remainder of $1.7 million for other appropriations. 
 
Apart from the $4.6 for Chuuk inclusive in the President’s request, Congress was also provided a request of $3.2 million submitted by Chuuk State. However, Congress made its decision to only provide an amount of $1.5 million for Chuuk and Yap based on an oral report provided by the Standing Committee on Ways and Means.
 
Immediately after the session, Senator Wesley Simina of Chuuk explained that Congress has provided an amount that can be utilized while a comprehensive disaster assessment is worked on to guide more proper responses. One of his colleagues didn't feel the same way. When asked how Congress got information for the oral report, he simply shook his head and said, "hearsay".
The disaster response proposed legislation now awaits the President’s review.

The FSM President has issued a Declaration of Emergency and diverted financial, manpower, and technical assistance to Chuuk and Yap, including the deployment of maritime vessels for assessment and early response missions while Maysak was still on the move end of last month for Chuuk, and very early this month for Yap.

Friday, April 10, 2015

President Mori asks for $4.8 million in immediate relief for Chuuk and Yap

R-L: Senator Panuelo, Senator Urusemal, Senator Simina and their legal counsel during meeting with VP Alik
FSMIS (April 10, 2015): On April 9, 2015, FSM President Manny Mori transmitted to Congress a request of $4,817,563 to be used as immediate relief assistance for the people of Chuuk and Yap who were affected by Typhoon Maysak a little over a week ago.
 
"In light of the ongoing emergency caused by Super Typhoon Maysak, I am requesting Congress to take action on a number of extremely urgent items that are needed to provide effective and immediate alleviation and mitigation measures for those affected by the super typhoon", the President wrote in his April 9th communication to Congress.
 
A breakdown of the requested amount indicates $4,602,705 for Chuuk; $114,858 for Yap; and $100,000 as replenishment of funds that the President decreed for Emergency Disaster Relief.
 
Other supportive documents show that the amount is meant for a thirty-day feeding program for the islands in Chuuk, except islands in the Mid and Lower Mortlocks regions, and for the Yap outer islands of Ulithi, Fais and Faraulap.
 
Congress started their sixth special session this morning and held a sit down with the Executive Branch at around 11:00 a.m. to jointly review the main agenda for the special session.
 
The Congressional Special Committee included Senator Wesley W. Simina, Chairman, Senator Joseph J. Urusemal, and Senator David W. Panuelo.
 
According to the request document, as of date, a total of $6.2 million is available for appropriation by Congress.
 
Apart from the current request, the FSM National Government has been utilizing a total amount of $200,000 from decreed funds and funds made available under the Disaster Assistance Emergency Fund (DAEF) pertinent to the Amended Compact between the FSM and the United States. This amount is tapped  for both Chuuk and Yap, enabling the procurement  of water, food and medical supplies as well as other support materials for hygiene and clearing of large debris. In addition, two surveillance boats have been deployed to the affected remote parts, taking materials, damage assessors and support personnel to the scenes. 
 
The FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) is the focal office in the recovery operation from the FSM National Government side.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Update: Typhoon Maysak

To view the current update on Typhoon Maysak, please go to our official website www.fsmpio.fm for updated information or click on the following to be redirected to the site:

CURRENT UPDATE on TYPHOON MAYSAK

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Maysak destroys too much in Chuuk and Yap

FSMIS (April 3, 2015): The FSM States of Chuuk and Yap endured destructive strong winds from Typhoon Maysak.

Chuuk State

The storm made landfall in Chuuk on March 29, 2015, causing damage to several homes on islands in Chuuk Lagoon, the Upper Mortlocks and the Northwest Islands. Five deaths have been confirmed.

State personnel, with assistance from staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have been conducting initial assessments in the communities on Weno Island and neighboring islands in the lagoon while the FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management conducted spot assessment in the Upper Mortlocks region.

As of April 2nd, officials have also confirmed that eighty percent of local food source has badly affected and 830 dwellings destroyed, forcing close to seven thousand people to find shelter at nearby school facilities or move in with relatives.  The extent of destruction also includes some thirty-seven commercial food shops and twenty-four classroom structures and electric power infrastructure on Weno Island.

The Chuuk Public Utility Corporation has been hard at work to fully restore power. Power disruptions has forced the hotels to resort to their own water reserves and made additional stress to public sewer lines for the remaining private homes, public facilities, and other properties.

The FSM Telecommunication plant on Weno has been running on their own generator most of the time according to staff at the main office. Additional Telecom technicians have been dispatched to Chuuk to assist in restoring services. Telecom folks are working on rewiring cables that went down with power poles, correcting mis-aligned antenna systems, and remounting equipments that had been stowed in advance of the strong winds.

Governor Johnson Elimo has temporarily halted schools due to massive stress all around. To allow schools to resume in the near future, Chuuk State faces the challenge to ensure food rations to affected families and make available temporary "emergency shelters" to free up school facilities currently used as such.

Although hospital facilities are essentially in tact, sanitation watch is imperative, especially at the temporary shelters that may require portable toilets and hygienic support to prevent public sanitation problems.

Yap State

Typhoon Maysak hit the outer islands of Yap on March 31st with varying degrees of damage throughout the State of Yap. After initial surveyed were made, Governor Tony Ganngiyan issued a state of emergency for Yap on April 1st. President Mori then amended the Declaration of Emergency he had made on March 30th.

Other reports on the social media indicated some very early assessment has been provided to the Governor of Yap, with photographs on Ulithi, courtesy of the Pacific Mission Academy (PMA).

FSM

The FSM National Government has initiated emergency relief missions after President Mori issued a declaration of emergency, allowing access to $100,000 initial funding. Two patrol boats have been deployed to both Chuuk and Yap, while the Ms Caroline Voyager is to be loaded with food and water supplies to assist the affected islands.

The Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM) leads the National Emergency Taskforce, working jointly with their counterparts in Chuuk and Yap, as well as the IOM and the Micronesian Red Cross Society.

The FSM has held meetings with the United States Embassy in Pohnpei to put in motion relief operation procedures according to the Amended Compact and discussed prospects for the involvement of other US disaster recovery assets under difficult circumstances.

The United Nations, and other international partners, have also been notified.