President Falcam's State of the Union Address
POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): November 5, 2001 -President Leo A. Falcam delivered his second State of the Union message on October 29. Broadcast live throughout the Federated States of Micronesia, it focused on the current economic status.
The President delivered his message from the Congress Chambers in Palikir with an opening request for a moment of silence to reflect on the events of September 11.
He said, "It is not possible to proceed into an examination of the current status of our nation without first pausing to take note of what is happening to the world in which we live.
"We share totally in the determination that the world community must band together to understand the continuing threat for what it is and what we can do to wipe it out."
The President indicated that the nation has increased security measures, from the forming of a Security Task Force to increasing manpower and security around national facilities, foreign embassies, seaports, airports and other facilities to ensure the safety of the people and those who travel through the FSM.
He added that as a U.S. ally, the nation must stand squarely with the rest of the world and "be prepared to do our part."
The President's economic report started with the 2000 census results, which indicated a population of 107,000 households. Although an increase from the last census in 1994, the total still reflected the increased emigration from the FSM.
The following matters were covered in the message:
The President said the USD $4 million shortfall experienced in this area last fiscal year was due to a reduction in the revenues from fishing rights fees. Revenue of USD $14 million was projected but due to fishing industry fluctuations the projection was shy $4 million.
The President urged Congress's action on the revised Title 24 to give the Micronesia Fisheries Authority more flexibility to react to a changing industry environment.
As a result of changes that directly impact the FSM economy, and considering all the events of the past months, a deficit of USD $100,000 is projected for fiscal year 2002.
President Falcam said his administration continues to explore ways to "improve the allocations and management of our limited resources." He cited the performance-based budgeting system that is in its third year of implementation by the national government.
Regarding the health of the nation, the President said the general health status of the population has improved, although it concerns him that lifestyle diseases seem to be on the rise. He called upon the nation to work together to prevent these diseases from crippling the population.
The Basic Social Service Project loan from ADB will provide the health and education sectors the needed financial support to improve the basic delivery of their programs.
The President mentioned the success of the 3rd FSM Games held in Yap and paid tribute it to the hard work and dedication of the people.
The President recognized and gave special thanks to the Diplomatic community in FSM for their close working relationships and extended the sentiment to the countries in which FSM has diplomatic relations.
President Falcam ended his message with a note of encouragement to the nation, that despite "the tremendous challenges we face amidst a very uncertain world, I am proud of the progress our young nation has made, and am equally confident in our desire and ability to overcome any obstacles by providing for this and future generations of Micronesians, a thriving, peaceful and enjoyable country for all our citizens."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fsmpio.fm/