1.Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force Updates
As of April 28, 2021, 11,620 people have received the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 4,623 people have received the second dose. Pohnpei’s completion rate is at 22%. The Moderna COVID-19 shot is available for all adults 18 years and above and can be received at Public Health across from the Pohnpei State Hospital.
The Johnson and Johnson single Dose vaccine is available and safe for use. Currently, Public Health is recommending the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for persons 50 years and above.
The repatriation date from Guam has been identified as May 13, 2021. Two flights on military aircraft, funded by the US Embassy, are scheduled that day. A final list of 43 FSM citizens and resident Diplomats has been shared with the Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force’s repatriation subcommittee, from the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs. Preparations at the Medical Monitoring Area in Dekehtik are ongoing to safely receive and quarantine the incoming passengers.
2. Governor Oliver meets with Mr. Gary Bloom from USDA Rural Development
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Governor Oliver met with Mr. Gary Bloom, Area Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), in the Governor’s Cabinet Conference Room, Peilapalap, Kolonia. Joining Governor Oliver was Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Peteriko Hairens, Local Government Liaison Officer, Ms. Suannrita Ladore, and Overseas Development Assistance Coordinator, Ms. Shirley Ligohr.
Mr. Bloom was invited to share programs available to the people of Pohnpei and the FSM through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. One of the programs Mr. Bloom shared that can benefit many Pohnpei residents is the USDA Rural Development 504 Housing (Renovation/Repair) Program. This program provides a maximum loan amount of $7,499.00 and a maximum of $7,500 grant for eligible seniors (62 and over). The purpose of this program is for home repair/renovations only to: improve/modernize a home, make it safe or sanitary, remove health/safety hazards, or make it accessible to disabled residents, install alternative energy systems (if the amount allows).
The full terms and conditions can be obtained from the Rural Development Office in Kolonia Town across from the Nohno Mwomwodiso Church in the JEM Building. Their contact phone number is 320-2581.
This program and other available from the Rural Development Office and Pohnpei Housing Authority will be shared at the next scheduled Local Chief Executive meeting at the Governor’s Conference Room, on April 22, 2021.
3. Pohnpei SSA branch meets with Governor Oliver re: Security Awareness Week
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Governor Oliver met with the Assistant Manager of Pohnpei Branch of the FSM Social Security Administration, Mrs. Trueleen Albert, and Investigating Officer, Mr. Kester Etse Salvador in the Governor’s Office, Peilapalap, Kolonia. The purpose of this meeting was to inform Governor Oliver that the Pohnpei Branch will be hosting an awareness event, Social Security Awareness Week.
Mrs. Albert advised the Governor that Social Security Awareness Week will be from April 27-30, 2021, and will be held at the Kolonia-China Friendship Gym. Each day from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Social Security Staff will hold awareness presentations on the following topics: FSM Social Security Administration (FSMSSA) Tax, IT and Accounting, FSMSSA, Pohnpei Branch roles, and responsibilities.
Governor Oliver thanked Mrs. Albert and Mr. Salvador for their visit and was happy to hear that awareness will be provided to the public concerning this very important organization.
The public is encouraged to attend and learn more about the FSM Social Security Administration benefits, programs, and services.
4. Local Chief Executives Quarterly Meeting
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, Local Municipal Government Chief Executives met in the Governor’s Conference for their scheduled quarterly meeting. On the agenda for this meeting were presentations from the Budget Office, COVID-19 Task Force, Sports Office, and Housing Authority.
Presiding over the meeting was the Chairman of the Local Chief association, Luhk en Moanlap, Mr. Antonio Sarapio. Representing the Governor was Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Peteriko Hairens, and Local Government Liaison Representative at the Governor’s Office, Ms. Suannrita Ladore.
Mr. Anthony Dainard represented the State Budget Officer to update the local chiefs on the current status of the 30% revenue sharing with municipal governments. Dr. Rally Jim and Spencer Donre from the Public Health Immunizations program updated the local chiefs on the COVID-19 immunization numbers and repatriation efforts. They also fielded questions on the Johnson and Johnson one-shot vaccine that is currently being held until the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) releases their findings on reported side effects. Dr. Jim advised the local chiefs of the immunization and quarantine requirements in place for the repatriation of May 13, 2021, from Guam.
The Sports Office was represented by Mr. Mike Loyola and Mr. Ramsey Joab. Mr. Loyola updated the local chiefs on the preparations for the upcoming September 11, 2021, Liberation Day Games.
The Housing Office was represented by the Executive Administrator, Mr. Online Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence updated the Local chiefs on housing programs and also the USDA 504 housing renovation/repair program that was shared with Governor Oliver by Mr. Gary Bloom from the USDA, Rural Development office.
5. Kolonia Elementary Social Studies Outcomes class meets Governor Oliver tours Pohnpei State Administration Building
On Friday, April 23, 2021, Governor Oliver welcomed 15 students and two teachers from Kolonia Elementary School. The students are part of a sixth-grade social studies outcomes class and came to find out more about the Government.
Accompanied by Kolonia Elementary School Principal, Mr. Jimmy Gallen, and Chief of Elementary Education, Mr. Peter Ramirez, the students and teachers met with Governor Oliver in the Governor’s cabinet conference to ask him some questions about the Government. The questions ranged from the function of the Government, to immunizations and repatriations, air-conditioning in classrooms, and even pay raises.
Governor Oliver encouraged the students to do their very best in school because one day they will lead and take care of Pohnpei. He encouraged the students to keep pursuing their goals and dreams, whatever they may be. He counseled the students not to be discouraged as they pursue their goals and dreams, especially when others do not approve of them, and to keep pushing forward to better themselves and improve their homes and communities.
6. Lt. Governor Perman Send-off Function at MMA
On Friday, April 23, 2021, Governor Oliver, members of the Governor’s Cabinet and Office of the Governor staff, along with other employees of the Pohnpei State Government held a small function at the Medical Monitoring Area (MMA) to send off Lt. Governor Feliciano M. Perman. Lt. Governor Perman has been medically referred to Honolulu and departed Pohnpei on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Pohnpei COVID-19 Task Force Chairman, Mr. Wincener David presented welcoming remarks, noting the location as appropriate for the current Administration. Governor Oliver followed him and in his remarks, wished Lt. Governor Oliver and Second Lady all the best as they depart Pohnpei to seek medical assistance in Honolulu. He noted Chair David’s remarks on the venue, as a testament to all the work started and continuing during this administration to repatriate our citizens as the Lt. Governor departs. He thanked everyone who came to send off Lt. Governor Perman and Second Lady.
Lt. Governor Perman delivered brief remarks, thanking Governor Oliver, Iso-Nahnken of Madolenihmw and Administrator of T&I, and everyone who attended the function. He spoke of the challenges this administration has overcome so far with COVID-19 and looked forward to furthering collaboration with the FSM National Government.
Attending the event with Governor Oliver and First Lady, Lt. Governor and Second Lady, Iso-Nahnken of Madolenihmw and Administrator of T&I, Mr. John Adolph, Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force, Mr. Wincener David and Mrs. David, Director of Public Safety, Mr. Patrick Carl and Mrs. Carl, Director of Treasury and Administration, Ms. Christina Elnei, Acting Attorney General, Mrs. Mona Abello-Pangelinan, Director of Resources and Development, Mr. Hubert Yamada, Director of Education, Mr. Stanley Etse, Budget Officer, Mr. Leon Panuelo Jr., Chief of Staff, Mr. Kapilly Capelle, PPA General Manager, Mr. Pius Roby, Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Peteriko Hairens, who was also the MC and other staff.