FSMIS (April 4, 2014): Federated States of Micronesia President Manny Mori signed the Telecommunication Liberalization bill on April 3 at the President's Conference Room. Vice President Alik L. Alik, Secretary of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure Mr. Francis Itimai, Secretary of Justice Madame April Dawn Skilling, Secretary of Finance and Administration Mr. Kensley Ikosia, Chief of Staff Mr. Leo Falcam Jr., Assistant Secretary of Communications Mr. Jolden Johnnyboy, Mr. Scott Garvey, legal advisor for Customs and Tax Administration, and other staff members of the Office of the President witnessed the signing event.
Hailed a significant breakthrough and a turning-point, the liberalization bill signifies a refreshed momentum in the Nation's effort to boost communication capacities, which affects all-around development, most especially in tourism, education, health and information.
After signing the bill, President Mori expressed gratitude to Congress and thanked the many individuals who played important roles throughout the process the past six months for the telecommunication objective the Government has been wrestling with for about seven years.
The President also expressed appreciation for the involvement of the FSM Telecommunication Corporation, which helped producing "a product of team-work".
President Mori said that the Telecom Liberalization bill, the Tax Reform proposals and the Airline Project being pursued by a taskforce are critical objectives for the Nation.
Like the President, Vice President Alik underscored his appreciation for the encouraging results in the reforming of the telecommunication sector. He also added that the 2023 Planning Committee being chaired by the President is another corner-stone undertaking that the Administration is very keen on. In closing his statement, he invited everyone to stay on course in support of the remaining endeavors.
Secretary Itimai called the occasion "a big moment" and also thanked Secretary Skilling, Mr. Scott Harvey and his Assistant Secretary, Mr. Johnnyboy for being on the front-line on the matter. He also congratulated the President and later told him that signing the bill makes his Directive of fiber optic connectivity to all the States inch closer to reality.
Secretary Skilling said she appreciates the dedication from Mr. Aaron Warren, an attorney at the FSM Department of Justice, who was instrumental in the drafting of the bill.
Wrapping up the exchange of comments, Chief of Staff Falcam said that while there is now a sense of relief with regards the signed liberalization bill, "the hard work has just begun". He said the bigger challenge remains in moving the new system into motion. In clear-cut tone, he summoned, "let's get to work".