Congress Approves Secretary of New Department, Funds New Consulate Office

PALIKIR, POHNPEI – November 15, 2017.  The recently adjourned session of the 20th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia approved for the Nation a new Secretary for its recently created department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management and approved for the Nation funding for a new consulate office, among other measures.

As called by President Peter M. Christian, the 5-day Second Special Session of the 20th Body convened from October 30th thru November 3rd to address matters that were not attended to during the regular session in September and top among those matters were the establishment of a consulate office in the United States and additional funding towards the fiber-optic cable project.

Congress passed Congressional Act (CA) 20-54 as a supplement to the 2018 national budget to appropriate $333,000 towards the set up and operation costs for an FSM Consulate Office in the state of Oregon on the US West Coast.  Included in the same Act is an appropriation towards the Yap-Chuuk Telecommunications Cable Project of an additional $4 million with $1 million specified for civil works. Rounding out the supplemental funding was an amount of $5 million appropriated towards the FSM Trust Fund.

Another measure of appropriation was CA 20-59 which appropriated $2.8 million from the general fund for the Body’s continued assistance towards grass root projects and social programs in all the four states. The remaining measures of the session were for either changes to funds previously appropriated or changes to the use or allottees of said funds, and they included:

CA- 20-55, which changed the use and allottees of funds previously appropriated for priority infrastructure projects in the states of Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei;

CA 20-56 was specific to the State of Kosrae to change the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs within the state;

Specific to the State of Chuuk were CA 20-57 and CA 20-58 both of which made changes to the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the state; and

The final measure was CA 20-60 which was specific to the state of Pohnpei to change the use of funds previously appropriated for public projects and social programs in the state.

Along with the seven Congressional Acts, Congress also passed seven Congressional Resolutions during its recent session. While the majority of the resolutions were for funding assistance towards the ongoing health and social programs in the Nation, three addressed nominations pending before the Congress and they included:

Congressional Resolution (CR) 20-56 which confirmed Andrew Robert Yatilman to serve as the Secretary for the newly created Department of Environment, Climate Change and Emergency Management. Another confirmed nominee was Alissa R. Takesy who through CR 20-52 became the National Government representative on the National Scholarship Board and finally through CR 20-46, Alfred Ansin was confirmed as the state of Chuuk representative on the Caroline Island Air Board of Directors.

The remaining resolutions were for the approval of various grant assistances extended to the Nation in its continuing endeavors for growth and development, and those measures included CR 20-55, which approved a grant of $647,309 from the United States Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to fund the FSM Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success (SPF-PFS) Project.

Another resolution towards the continuing efforts of the FSM Dept. of Health and Social Affairs was CR 20-59 which approved a grant of CAD $98,5000 from Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada, through the Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD), to fund and support the FSM’s project entitled “ Strengthening the FSM’s Institutions that Promote Gender Equality and CEDAW Awareness Raising to the Relevant Stakeholder and Partner Agencies in the FSM…”

A resolution geared toward the Nation’s ongoing efforts for sound infrastructure was adopted by the Congress as CR 20-61 and approved a grant of $200,000 from the Korea International Cooperation Agency to assist the improvement of the Kosrae International Airport facilities

The final resolution adopted was CR 20-64 to approve a grant of $100,064 from the US DHHS, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, to fund the PPHF 2017 Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant.

Following the passage and adoption of the measures, the Second Special Session of the 20th Congress adjourned on November 3, 2017.


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