Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Nena Hold Pohnpei's Appeal to FEMA Denial on Request for Disaster Declaration, Requests Additional Time Instead

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): August 12, 1997 - FSM President Jacob Nena, on August 7, 1997, responded to Pohnpei Governor Del S. Pangelinan's letter of August 6th. requesting Nena to transmit to United States President William J. Clinton, Pohnpei's appeal of FEMA's denial of the request for the declaration of major disaster for the State of Pohnpei as results of suffering and hardship from Tropical Storms Isa and Jimmy.

Nena requested for an extension of the time in which to file the appeal to allow time for his staff to evaluate the appeal so that an informed decision can be made. Nena says he will be happy to meet with Pangelinan to discuss the matter.

Nena stated that he shares the Governor's concern for the people of Pohnpei, but added that as President of this Nation, he has not the luxury of making decisions determined solely by personal feelings. No time was given to his office to review the contents of the appeal, discuss its merits, or consider the broader implications for the Nation.

As he is willing to assist the State of Pohnpei, it would be a dereliction of duty of his office to approve the appeal without first taking adequate time to review it. Nena said the National Government was not informed of the progress of the appeal, nor briefed on the issues or consulted on its contents and therefore, it would be inappropriate to transmit the appeal on behalf of the National Government.

Nena stated he is troubled that the letter and the appeal were not delivered to his office but instead to the FSM Office of the Attorney General. The appropriate was is for the letter and the appeal to be transmitted to the Office of the President who will then seek advice and make decision on it.

While waiting for FEMA's response for an extension of the date for filing an appeal, his staff will use the time to evaluate the appeal so that an informed decision can be made.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356