On Monday, January 11, 2021, T.H. Reed B. Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State met the Committee to Wait on the Governor from the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature in the Governor’s Office, Peilapalap, Kolonia. Heading the Committee was Senator Jack Harris from Kolonia who is also the Chairman of the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature’s Judicial and Governmental Operations Committee. Accompanying Senator Harris was Senator Hudson Abraham from Madolenihmw and Senator Helgena Johnson from Mwoakilloa.
After welcoming the Committee and thanking them for their visit, Governor Oliver noted that the Oliver/Perman administration will soon be celebrating it’s one year anniversary on January 13, 2021. He thanked the Speaker, T.H. Ausen Lambert, and the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature for their support and cooperation during this eventful first year.
Governor Oliver informed the Committee of his nomination of Akilino Susaia to the Joint Committee on Compact Review and Planning to represent Pohnpei in replacement for the late Rev. Bethwel Henry. The appointment has been transmitted to the Office of the President for nomination. Governor Oliver added that nominations for the Boards of Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Pohnpei Housing Authority are forthcoming. He also spoke of Pohnpei State’s involvement with the Blue Prosperity Coalition and discussed the $15 million economic stimulus package from the FSM Congress and an additional $14 million from the Asian Development Bank to support the nation’s response to COVID-19.
While on the subject of COVID-19, Governor Oliver updated the Committee on the MV Chief Mailo’s situation, noting that Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force, Mr. Wincener David, is the focal point moving forward with Lt. Governor Perman assisted the Department of Health and Social Services. Lastly, Governor Oliver shared the upcoming Student Takeover Day, scheduled to be held on February 23, 2021. The aim of this activity is to give our youth an experience of working in Government and inspire them to someday take over.
The Committee thanked Governor Oliver for his updates and requested for further clarification on the MV Chief Mailo. Governor Oliver reassured the Senators that while there is one positive case onboard, the MV Chief Mailo remains at sea and no crew member has disembarked. As to the health workers who tested the crew, Governor Oliver also reassured the Senators that the health crew followed the prescribed protocol when they boarded the MV Chief Mailo. The health crew was in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), minimized their stay onboard the vessel, properly disposed of their PPE, and went into quarantine on that same day when test results showed a positive case. He further reassured the Senators that they have been tested and have been found to be negative and will be re-tested after seven days of quarantine.
Joining Governor Oliver was Special Assistant to the Governor, Mr. Kapilly Capelle. Joining the Committee to wait on the Governor, was Legislative staff, Ms. Yumi Carl.