Enginkehlap News from the Office of the Governor 26-21

Official reply/transmittal to President Panuelo’s request for CDC/HHS Specialists

On July 12, 2021, Governor Oliver transmitted an official communication to President Panuelo regarding a proposal by President Panuelo and the FSM National Government to send US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) specialists to Pohnpei to help with vaccination efforts.  The proposal was presented during the President’s zoom conference with State Governors on July 9, 2021, and requested no pre-quarantine and quarantine restrictions for the specialists.

In his reply, Governor Oliver highlighted the importance of maintaining Pohnpei’s existing pre-quarantine and quarantine protocols until the minimum of 70% completed vaccination coverage was achieved.  He noted that, at the moment of the communication, Pohnpei was 19% shy of reaching the 70% level of “herd immunity”.  Governor Oliver closed the official communication with recommendations set forth by the Pohnpei Task Force (TF) and medical Doctors concluding to wait “until 70% level is reached and thereafter the repatriation protocol will be re-evaluated and re-assessed to determine the safest way forward to follow.”

PTA Commissioner departs, Acting Commissioner named

On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, Governor Oliver met with outgoing Pohnpei Transportation Authority (PTA) Commissioner, Mr. Welson Panuel in his office, Peilapalap, Kolonia.  Commissioner Panuel recently ran for and was elected to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the Kitti Municipal Government or Luhk en Moanlap.  Mr. Panuel advised Governor Oliver that according to the Kitti Municipal Constitution, he is required to assume the office and duties of Luhk en Moanlap by Monday, July 19, 2021.  He thanked Governor Oliver for the opportunity to serve as PTA Commissioner.

Governor Oliver congratulated Mr. Panuel on his recent election as Luhk en Moanlap and expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Commissioner Panuel for the services he has rendered to the people of Pohnpei as the Commissioner of PTA since receiving the oath of office on April 17, 2020.

As Mr. Panuel departs PTA to assume his duties as Luhk en Moanlap, Governor Oliver has designated Mr. Quirino Gilmete as the Acting Commissioner of Pohnpei Transportation Authority (PTA), until further notice.

PUC Board convenes at Governor’s Office to discuss PUC project priorities

On July 16, 2021, Governor Oliver met with the Board of Directors for the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation (PUC) and General Manager (GM), Mr. Nixon Anson in the Governor’s cabinet conference room, Peilapalap, Kolonia.

Present at the meeting was PUC Board Chairman, Mr. Trevayne Esiel, Vice Chairman, Mr. Erick Paul, Secretary, Joseph Felix Jr, member Sister Christian Elias, Gardner Edgar, and PUC General Manager (GM), Mr. Nixon Anson.  Rohsa William Hawley and Cindy Henry-Ehmes were absent.

Governor Oliver was accompanied by Chief of Staff, Kapilly Capelle, Administrator for the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), IsoNahnken of Madolenihmw, Mr. John Adolph, Pohnpei Project Management’s Office (PMO), acting Manager, Mr. Daniel Isaac.

With the presence and participation of both T&I and PMO, priorities were discussed to move forward with the Pehleng Water Treatment Plant Project as soon as possible, as this would provide the greatest impact with constant water services.  The Pehleng Water Treatment Plant Project will develop a new surface water supply from the Pehleng River in Kitti. The project will supplement the current Palikir water system, which does not have the capacity to service water customers from Palikir, Sokehs to Diadi, Kitti.  The project, as stated by PUC, will not affect nor decrease water services to the existing communities.

Governor Oliver delivers opening remarks at the UN Food System Summit national and state dialogues

Governor Oliver delivered the opening remarks on July 20, 2021, at the opening ceremonies for the UN Food System Summit national and state dialogues at the Pacific Mission Fellowship (PMF) auditorium.  The three-day dialogue session included members of various government departments, offices, and agencies, private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), youth, church, and community groups.  The themes discussed will focus on nutrition, livelihood, and security.

Governor Oliver began his remarks with a personal observation he made about the abundance of food in Pohnpei during a recent visit to Madolenihmw, where he saw breadfruit falling ripe to the ground, ripe red apples on the roadside, and birds eating bananas.  He later added that  “Pohnpei is truly blessed with an abundance of natural resources and a bounty of riches on our land and in our sea. Our ancestors flourished here for hundreds of years designing for us a cultural blueprint for living sustainably and respectfully in balance with our precious island ecosystem.”  He called Pohnpei’s local bounty and traditions the foundation from which to build a sustainable food system using culturally and environmentally appropriate methods to increase food security, economic growth, and job creation.

In closing, Governor Oliver urged the state and national convenors to find cross-cutting programs to propose to the international community and to our own policymakers for funding and legislative support. Those cross-cutting support programs can facilitate further local, state, and nation-wide dialogues and collective action to effectively address a wider range of food systems issues in the future, he said.

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