Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FSM National Government looks to investment facilitation symposium

FSMIS (April 24, 2013): Vice President
Alik L. Alik assembled the Cabinet and a number of staff earlier today to look ahead to upcoming undertakings for the executive branch and the rest of the National Government. High on the agenda was the approaching Investment Facilitation Symposium, slated to take place on May 6 to 9 at the College of Micronesia-FSM Palikir Campus.

Mr. Marion Henry, Secretary of Resources and Development, briefed the Cabinet on preparation progress for the symposium and indicated that an inter-office meeting for a run through on many organization aspects of the symposium will take place at his department tomorrow morning.

Vice President Alik also highlighted that the State and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) will immediately follow the symposium. The SNLC's main objective is to review (and possibly adopt) recommendations that will result from the three-day symposium.

The Department of Resources and Development, the secretariat for the symposium and the SNLC, stressed the need for all other departments and office to be ready to engage at these meetings as their focus and objectives are cross-sectoral.
Secretary Henry; Post Master General Ginger Porder Mida, in black

Cabinet Members also discussed matters relating to the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget which will be reviewed by the 18th Congress beginning at its first regular session in mid-May.

Assistant Attorney, Jun Bacalando, speaking for the Department of Justice

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Ambassador Susaia presents credentials in Seoul, Korea

Ambassador Akilino H. Susaia presents his credentials as FSM non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Read the full story by clicking the link below:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FSM Disability Advocacy Group lead-person meets with Vice President Alik

 FSMIS (April 23, 2013): Mr.Nelbert Perez of Pohnpei,  president of the FSM Disable People Organization, had the opportunity to meet with Vice President Alik L. Alik in the afternoon of April 23 at the President's Conference Room.
Vice President Alik (left) and Mr. Nelbert Perez

Vice President Alik welcomed Mr. Perez who was making a follow up visit with regards the status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, which was signed by President Manny Mori on September, 23, 2011 at the occasion of the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

Apart from some discussions on the administration's desire to have the Convention approved and for FSM to make sure progress in its fulfillment, Vice President Alik pointed to the fact that the Convention has been pending with Congress for some time since its submission for approval.

Vice President indicated that he could not pinpoint any issue or reason that might have caused the hold-off on affirmative action on the Convention.

It was agreed that more engagements with Congress through various arrangements are needed to facilitate full acceptance of the Convention through legislative action that further highlights human rights and inclusive treatment issues in the FSM.  

The Congress had adopted the FSM Disability Policy in 2009, paving the way for more comprehensive and integrated barrier removing actions in meaningful considerations of people with different levels of abilities. 

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FSM Climate Change Policy and Regulation for Montreal Protocol Implementation

The following links below on the FSM Climate Change Policy and the FSM Regulation implementing the Montreal Protocol are provided with the hope that those currently studying FSM's action on climate related concerns can find these documents useful in their study.

Additionally, the Office of Environment and Emergency Management can be reached at 320-8814. Director Andrew Yatilman can be emailed at The Environmental Health and Preparedness Unit of the Department of Health and Social Affairs can be reached at 320-8300. Or else, unit Manager, Mr. Moses Pretrick can be contacted at for concurrent environmental health action plan under the department, should those actions be relevant to the focus of your study.

The OEEM is the focal point for environment and climate activities that link to related regional and foreign entities.

For further information, write

Monday, April 22, 2013

CDC grant assistance of $355,603 to the FSM Government awaits Congressional action

FSMIS (April 22, 2013):The FSM Government is in receipt of a grant award totaling $355,603 from the US Department of Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for an ongoing tobacco control and diabetes prevention project under the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSA).

The grant is to fund certain components of the project within the budget period of March 31, 2013 to March 30, 2014.

This project had been approved for a duration of 5 years starting March 31, 2009 with specific terms and conditions along with progressive annual reporting and monitoring requirements between the FSM DHSA and CDC.

As a "foreign financial assistance", the FSM Congress must approve the acceptance of the grant assistance before the department can use the funds based on specific sections of Title 55 of the FSM Code.

The request for approval by Congress was made on April 18 as indicated in a letter to Speaker Isaac V. Figir by Vice President Alik L. Alik. dated the same day.

Congress will have its sixth special session beginning on April 29, 2013.

Write for inquiries.

FSM dedicates three-day mourning period in honor of the late Koichi Sana

Flags at half-mast, FSM Capitol in Palikir

FSMIS (April 22, 2013): Beginning on the 18th of April, the FSM Government dedicated a three-day mourning period in honor of the late Koichi Sana who passed away on the 14th of April, 2013.

According to the Presidential Proclamation of April 18, the late Sana "began his years of service for the people of Micronesia when he served as a member of the Congress of Micronesia". He later on became the At-Large Congressman for Chuuk State during the initial sessions of the new Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia beginning when he was first seated during the First Special Session of the First FSM Congress in July, 1979. He was Chuuk's At-large Senator from the first to the fourth FSM Congress.

The late Kochi Sana had also held various capacities in Chuuk, including the Speakership post at what was then the Truk Legislature and other "challenging administrative posts with the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands government". As one of the first Micronesians to hold administrative posts under the TTPI government, late Sana's early public sector ranks included being the Truk Hospital Administrator for the TTPI's Truk District Health Services.

The Honorable Koichi Sana "has been known as a distinguished, devoted and respected public servant", according the the proclamation.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five-day session ends: Congress passes five bills

The fifth special session of the 17th FSM Congress ended the five-day session today and adjourned-sine-die with five bills passed on second and final reading. Four of these bills (C.B.17-220, C.B 17-221, C.B. 17-222, C.B.17-223) were amendments to previous public project laws throughout the federation, making changes in the use of some funds and changing allotees for certain project funds. C.B. 17-220 contains funds for projects in the State of Kosrae, which the Kosrae delegation now intends to redirect to the Special Education Program to assist with ongoing funding complications that have caused non-payment for certain employees the last three pay periods.  

The fifth bill that got Congressional approval was C.B.17-176, DC1 (amended) which delays the deadline of April 19 in the Revenue Administration Act of 2012 (RAA) by three months, such that the new deadline will be July 19, 2013.

Hence, one of President Manny Mori's two main purposes for calling the special session was partly achieved with the amendment to the "sunset clause". The proposal to establish a $500,000 revolving fund for federal programs is still pending.

Congress will come together again on April 29 for its 6th special session.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

correction to the article: "congress reconsidered "sunset clause", congratulated Elimo-Heldard on reelection..."

The article incorrectly said that Congress reconsidered the bill to "repeal" the sunset clause. The statement should have been: "Congress reconsidered the bill to amend the sunset clause, pushing back the deadline of April 19 to July 19".

The mistake is the word "repeal" which put in a totally different meaning to what Congress actually did. The changed the deadline, not removed it.

Please note this mistake. Sorry.

Congress reconsiders "sunset clause", congratulates new Chuuk State leadership: Day Four of 5th special session

After voting down the bill to amend the "sunset clause" in the Revenue Administration Act of 2012 yesterday, Congress reconsidered its decision and unanimously voted in favor of the bill in first reading in today's session, pushing back the deadline of April 19 to July 19. The bill will go through second reading tomorrow. Vote will be cast by State, requiring at least 3 votes for approval. It will become law upon approval by the President or by becoming law by itself (without the President's signature).

Congress also passed in first reading three separate amendments to public projects at the States.

A resolution expressing congratulations to the new leadership of Chuuk State, sworn into office on the 16th of April, 2013, was adopted.

Among many items pending before Congress is an approving resolution for two grants from the United States Government to be utilized by the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs. These grants are for services that take place at the States. The resolution for approving the grant can be read through the link below.

More reports tomorrow....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Congress said no to "sunset clause" deadline pushback: Day 3 of Fifth Special Session

Congress had a split session today -- first at 10:00 in the morning, went into recess around 11:30, then came back at 3:00pm.

At the morning session, Congress overrode the President's veto of Congressional Act No. 17-76. This Act made further changes for public projects and social programs in Pohnpei State and Yap State in an appropriation bill in the amount of $2,940,000, which became law on October 15, 2010 and had been subsequently amended three times through public laws 16-68, 16-76 and 17-06 prior to the override.

Members also exchanged views on the request to repeal the "sunset clause" in the Revenue Administration Act of 2012 (RAA) during recess. In essence, the clause requires that all States must enact a Value Added Tax legislation before midnight of April 19, 2013 or else the RAA is null and void. The request for the said repeal is the President's main purpose for calling the special session.

Before the afternoon meeting, committee hearings were conducted relating to federal programs at the Department of Education and Department of Health and Social Affairs.

When Congress met again at 3:00pm, 11 Members were in attendance. A resolution was adopted, expressing the sadness and condolences of the 17th FSM Congress at the passing of a former Member of the FSM Congress, the late Koichi Sana.

There was an attempt to pass a bill, which would push back the RAA "sunset clause" deadline to July 19, 2013, instead of April 19. The bill needed at least ten affirmative votes to pass first reading. Only nine Members voted in favor of the bill -- two against.

Congress will meet again tomorrow at 10:00am, day four. 

For details, write to or call FSM Congress Office at 320-2324.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 2 of the 5th special session of the 17th FSM Congress

Day two of the 5th special session of Congress. What happened?
1. The Committee to wait on the President met with Vice President Alik L. Alik in the morning before Congress had their meeting. It is common practice to have the committee at the start of every session to allow Congress and the President (Executive) to converse on priority measures for the session. The committee reports back to the plenary on its meeting with the Executive.

2. The Standing Committee on Ways and Means held a hearing on one of the main agenda for the special session -- the proposed bill to repeal the "sunset clause" in the Revenue Administration Act (RAA) which states that "if any of the four states have not passed into law value added tax legislation as of midnight April 19, 2013, this law (RAA) is null and void".

The on-going Tax Reform project for all the five governments in the federation has been in the making for at least 12 years. Two of the four States have not enacted any of the reform measures (legislations) pending at the various legislative bodies, including the Value Added Tax bill.

The Ways and Means Committee hearing was attended by the Tax Reform Project (Task force) staff, Representatives of the Department of Finance and Administration, Representatives of the Department of Justice, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the President's Chief of Staff and other staff members from the President's Office. The Committee engaged with the key witnesses on a number of questions regarding the Tax Reform project, the proposed repeal of the "sunset clause", and other concerns. The was a request for a legal opinion to be provided on whether or not the FSM can have a tax system without consensus from ALL four States to implement a unified tax system. The Department of Justice will provide the legal opinion on that question in writing by close of business tomorrow.

 More report after meeting and hearings tomorrow, April 17.

Vice President Alik interviewed by Korean media

from left: Vice President Alik, Mr. Sun Wook Kim, Mr. John J. Kim, and Dr. Heung-Sik Park
FSMIS (April 16, 2013): Vice President Alik L. Alik faced a three-member group from the Chosun Media – based in Taepyeongno, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

The widely viewed Seoul-based news press and media has undertaken a Micronesia-wide interview of high-level political leaders. Its traveling group made it to Pohnpei on April 13 and was able to meet with Vice President Alik L. Alik on April 15.

The interview covered a number of topical interests ranging from foreign investment, diplomacy, economic activities and the Compact of Free Association with the United States.

Vice President Alik had been the FSM Ambassador to the Republic of Korea before he became a Member of Congress and later, the Vice President.

The group was headed by John K. Kim, staff writer of the Monthly Chosun Division, who indicated that the Micronesian interviews will be used by the Chosun Media when the Palau, FSM and Marshalls specific materials are completed.

The group leaves for the Marshall Islands on April 17.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

President Mori on the passing of former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher

FSMIS (April 15, 2013): President Manny Mori wrote to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland on April 10 regarding the passing of the former Prime Minister Thatcher…

On behalf of the people and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, I extend our sincerest condolences and our deepest sympathies for the untimely passing of Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Lady Thatcher will be remembered for her years of dedication and commitment in advocating issues of importance to the people and Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, as well as to the world. Lady Thatcher will be missed by many of her colleagues, friends, and especially, her family.
May the Lord bless the family and friends and the people of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in this time of national mourning. Please accept the assurance of my highest consideration. 

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National Immunization Week Presidential Proclamation

FSMIS (April 15, 2013): President Manny Mori proclaimed the week of April 22 to 27 National Immunization Week throughout the Federated States of Micronesia on April 8.

The Proclamation states that “thousands of lives are in jeopardy from vaccine preventable diseases, and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on children whose illnesses could have been avoided”.

Yet, given the challenges of geographical isolation and other inhibitive elements, the Proclamation also raises the fact that “several thousand children are not yet properly reached and immunized”.

“I encourage all citizens to take an active part in bringing your children and loved ones to get immunized.”

For information on specific immunization locations, please contact the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs at 320-2619 or write to   

Fifth Special Session of the 17th FSM Congress holds opening meeting

Speaker Figir, left; Senator Otto, right
FSMIS (April 15, 2013): The 17th FSM Congress is convening for its 5th special session called by President Manny Mori as indicated in his April 5 letter to Speaker Isaac V. Figir, starting today, April 15.
The items presented by the President for Congress’ action this session are:
1.      Tax Reform amendment of sunset clause in Public Law No. 17-50;
2.      Establishment of a revolving fund for federal programs.

After calling the session to order, Speaker Figir appointed Members of the Committee to Wait on the President, consisting of Senator Paliknoa K. Welly, Chairman, Senator Tony Otto, Senator Dohsis Halbert and Senator Joseph J. Urusemal.

The Committee will meet with Vice President Alik L. Alik tomorrow morning at the President’s Conference Room.

The session will go on for five days as specified in the convening letter, unless shortened by resolution of Congress.

Today’s opening meeting was attended by Vice President Alik, Members of the President’s Cabinet as well as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy.

Eight Members of Congress were at the opening meeting, including the Speaker.

For more information, please write to Congress PIO at or call Mrs. Lynn Narruhn at 320-2324.