President Mori's State Visit in Chuuk
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): September 6, 2010 - From August 9-22, President Mori and his delegation embarked on the Patrol Boat Independence to travel throughout the Mortlock Islands for a Chuuk State Visit.
The delegation was comprised of Secretaries Robert, Shoniber, Henry, Nimea and Narruhn; Assistant Attorney Generals Bermanis and Rescue; Special Assistant Pedrus; Mr. Silbanus and Edward, of the Resource and Development Department; Mr. Ernest of the Department of TC&I; Mr. Raymond of the Department of Education; and Senator Sitan. President Mori and his delegation were warmly welcomed by the traditional Chiefs, Municipal leaders, Church leaders and the people of the island communities of Ta, Likinioch, Oneop, Ettal, Kittu, Namoluk, Losap, Polle, Pis-Paneu and Fonoton.
Throughout the trip, Mori discussed with the island leaders and their people, the importance of the financial reform which has been undertaken in Chuuk by the joint efforts of the National and State Governments. As a result of this reform, which required the elimination of redundant government positions and the reimbursement of certain debts, Chuuk State has successfully reduced its deficit and maintained a positive cash flow for the past two years.
In their questions to Mori, the Chuukese people repeatedly stressed their concern regarding the solvency of the National Government's social security program. Mori explained that the National Government has been generating revenue as a result of tax payments made by newly registered corporations in the FSM.
"We expect the potential future revenue from this new financial scheme to generate between $10 to 20 Million (USD)," said Mori. "We will recommend to Congress that a portion of those funds be used for national social security programs, and to revamp the social security system to be more efficient and responsive to people's immediate needs."
As a result of the many Q&A sessions organized during his two-week Chuuk State Visit, Mori also informed the residents of Chuuk that his Administration is in negotiations with FSM's development partners to improve inter-island ship transportation. In addition, he drew attention to the fact that the government is analyzing plausible options to improve the outer island airport strips and creating a new inter-island airline corporation to provide airplane service.
Another area in which he said he was actively seeking assistance from the FSM's development partners, is for the country's power needs. Mori explained that he intends to gradually replace electricity generators with solar and windmill power sources. Regarding public projects as a whole, Mori clarified that his policy is to support community based public projects and that he does not condone public projects for individuals.
Also a regular topic of discussions with the Chuukese people was the upcoming Chuuk education reform. Mori mentioned he had great hopes for this reform and was thankful for the unwavering support from Asian Development Bank in that field.
An ongoing concern for Mori's administration has been food security for all FSM islands; food security being in potential jeopardy due to both unstable fuel prices and climate change. As a symbolic gesture, Mori brought with him and distributed to the island leaders, seedlings for banana and breadfruit trees, and for sweet potatoes.
With the aspiration of bringing the government closer to FSM citizens, and to the people of Chuuk on this particular occasion, Mori administered the Oath of Office to Marion Henry in Lechiniok on August 13, 2010, as witnessed by many residents of the Mortlocks Islands.
"It was a great trip," said Marion Henry, Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development, "I think it is important for us to share all this information with the communities of the outer islands whenever possible and make ourselves available to directly answer their questions."
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 e-mail: email@example.com http://www.fsmpio.fm/