Peilapalap, Kolonia, May 25, 2022: Responding to communications between the Pohnpei State Government and the FSM National Government regarding Pohnpei’s repatriation duty and responsibilities, Acting Governor Hon. Christina Elnei sent a letter to the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. David W. Panuelo, to address Pohnpei State Government concerns.
In her letter, dated May 24, 2022, the Acting Governor referenced previous communications between the Pohnpei State Task Force, FSM Attorney General’s Office, and the National Task Force over repatriation concerns, specifically Pohnpei’s Certificate of Qualified Entry (CQE) form. Communications from the FSM Attorney Generals’ Office called into question the legality of the CQE as a document to regulate immigration into Pohnpei, which is under the authority of the FSM National Government.
As a medical clearance form, recognized by the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs, FSM Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure, and FSM National Task Force, and used for several repatriations, the CQE allows Pohnpei State not only to verify immunization and COVID-19 test status for incoming passengers but also determine priorities set forth in the Pohnpei’s Constitutional Emergency Order for disembarkation onto Pohnpei (i.e. medical referrals, stranded returning residents, students, essential workers, etc.), as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The CQE as a medical clearance form also allows Pohnpei State Health services to determine, before the repatriation flight arrives, their capacity to ensure the needs of returning repatriates (diet, disabilities, etc) and enough rooms are available in Pohnpei’s limited quarantine facilities. Hence, the need to have the CQE filled out prior to arriving in Pohnpei. The CQE as Acting Governor Elnei mentions in her letter is used by Pohnpei State to protect the health of its people.
Acting Governor Elnei’s letter humbly requests the support and assistance of the President and the FSM National Government to address Pohnpei State’s concerns over the safe repatriation and quarantine of passengers into Pohnpei, highlights the constitutional mandate of unity over and above all else for both the FSM and Pohnpei State Government leaders, and requests that Pohnpei State continues to use the CQE for repatriation purposes to protect the health of its people.
The letter in its entirety is posted below.