Enginkehlap News

Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force – Guidelines and Advisories

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

The Chairman of the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force has released the following guidelines and advisories to the general public to STOP the spread of COVID-19 in Pohnpei.
Click the link below to view and download the Guidelines and advisories located on the Department of Health and Social Services website:
Please note these advisories and guidelines are subject to change when new information becomes available.
Thank you to to the following partners, advisers, and donors who made this possible:  FSM National Government, USAID, IOM-Micronesia, Micronesia Red Cross Society, Embassy of Japan in Micronesia, UNICEF, and WHO.

Enginkehlap News Excerpts September 4 – 11, 2020

  1. On Friday, September 4, 2020, the Joint Outer Islands Municipal Government COVID-19 Response plan, was presented to Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force.  Representing the Outer Islands Municipal Government was the Hon. Smithy Clark, Mayor of Pingelap and the Hon. Senard Leopold, the Mayor Nukuoro.  The joint plan was presented by Mr. Patrick Blank, who was consulted to help draw up the response plan.   The Joint Outer Island Response Plan is modeled after the State’s response plan addressing food and water security, COVID condition levels, movement, quarantine, and isolation.
  2. On Friday, September 4, 2020, a small ceremony in Kitti celebrated the long-awaited delineation of watershed forest reserve within the boundaries of the Kitti Municipality.  According to Mr. Jorg Anson from the FSM Ridge to Reef Project, Pohnpei State Public Law PL No. 1L-128-87, known as Pohnpei Watershed Forest Reserve and Mangrove Protection Act of 1987, was set up to create and provide for the protection and maintenance of an effective watershed forest reserve, to protect important watershed areas, and to provide for the conservation and management of mangrove forests. It also called for a Watershed line to be delineated and demarcated on the ground to protect native forests from human encroachment. The community outreach efforts culminated in a decision made by Kitti Pwihn en Wahu (Council of Traditional Leaders) that cleared the way for the team to proceed.  The outreach team consisted of State, Local and NGO partners while the actual delineation included several Kitti locals who assisted mainly surveyors from the Pohnpei State Department of Land and Natural Resources.
  3. On Monday, September 7, 2020, the Kitti COVID-19 Task Force presented their Emergency Response and Preparedness plan to Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and the Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force.  Kitti Task Force Chairman, Mr. Herman Semes, Nahnmadau en Dehd Kitti, led the presentation which included their mission, vision, and goals.  Governor Oliver thanked the Chairman and Task Force for the plan, highlighting one of their goals listed, social distancing, as an important component of prevention and spread of COVID-19.  He urged the Kitti Task Force and Pohnpei Task Force members to lead the way for others to observe and follow with social distancing, asking “mah Kaiden kitail, ihs? Mah Kaiden met, iahd?” 
  4. On Thursday, September 10, Governor Oliver welcomed H.E. Carmen Cantor, U.S. Ambassador to FSM, to the Pohnpei State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) office.  The purpose of Ambassador Cantor’s visit was to hand over boxes of trash bags and bottles of water for World Micronesia Clean-Up Day on September 12, 2020. Governor Oliver thanked Ambassador Cantor on behalf of EPA and the people of Pohnpei for the donations to help clean up Pohnpei.  He also took the time to thank Ambassador Cantor for strengthening the bonds of friendship between USA and FSM, particularly Pohnpei with her recent traditional leader’s visits across Pohnpei.  Ambassador Cantor thanked Governor Oliver for his Office’s cooperation and collaboration with these visits.   
  5. On Thursday, September 10, Pohnpei’s representatives on the Joint Committee for Compact Renegotiations (JCRP), Mr. Bethwel Henry, and FSM Vice Speaker Esmond Moses visited Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and members of the cabinet at the Governor’s Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting was to provide updates on the ongoing compact of free association re-negotiations.  JCRP Chairman and former Ambassador, Mr. Asterio Takesy, gave a brief overview on the status of negotiations with the U.S.  Ambassador Takesy said the expiring economic provisions which include sector grants, certain federal programs, and the FSM trust fund, are the focus of negotiations with the U.S.  Ambassador Takesy said that the U.S. has expressed interest in the continuation of the compact and that the presence of China in the Pacific has commanded the interest of the U.S.A, particularly in Micronesia.  Ambassador Takesy said the negotiators on both sides have agreed to an ambitious work schedule to have a presentation ready for the U.S. and FSM Congress by the end of this year.  Governor Oliver thanked Ambassador Takesy, former Speaker Bethwel Henry, Vice Speaker Esmond Moses, and Mr. Epel Ilon for the updates. 
  6. Pohnpei’s 41st Liberation Day celebrations were held at the Governor’s Conference Room on September 11, 2020.  Click below to view today’s event to commemorate Pohnpei’s 41st Liberation Day.  With remarks by:
    The Honorable Reed B. Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State
    His Majesty Wasalapalap Isipahu, Herbert Hebel, Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmw
    Kalahngan to Pohnpei Public Broadcasting Corporation for the coverage

Governor Oliver receives Committee to Wait on the Governor from the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature

On September 15, 2020, Governor Reed B. Oliver, received the Committee to Wait on the Governor chaired by Senator Marvin Yamaguchi of Kolonia with members Senator Mitaro Simina of Sokehs and Senator Kasinda Ludwig of  Kapingamarangi.

Chairman Yamaguchi, on behalf of the Speaker and 10th Pohnpei State Legislature, informed Governor Oliver that the 10th Pohnpei State Legislature started its third and final regular session for this fiscal year, on September 14, 2020, which will run for 30 days.  He further advised Governor Oliver that this regular session would focus mainly on the FY-21 budget.  Senator Simina highlighted the need for the new members of the Board of Education.

Governor Oliver and the Committee discussed FY-21 Budget, COVID-19 continuing preparations and activities, Pohnpei State Government administration building renovations, Government housing renovations, and a briefing done by the members of the FSM Joint Committee on Compact Renegotiations. He emphasized the need to complete the nomination process of the remaining members of the Boards, Commissions, and Authorities including the Board of Education and several others for Legislature’s appropriate action.

On the COVID-19 and repatriation updates, Governor Oliver advised the Committee that the Pohnpei State Government is working with the FSM National Government to repatriate Pohnpei medical referral patients and students from Guam.  There will be a pre-14 day quarantine in Guam with COVID-19 testing and additional 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Pohnpei with further COVID-19 testing.  The exact numbers of residents and date of arrival have not been confirmed but will be decided in conjunction with the FSM National Government.

Governor Oliver thanked Chairman Yamaguchi and the Committee for their visit and the opportunity to share updates between the Legislative and Executive branches.

For more information on this post please call the Public Information Officer at 320-2235 or email at patrick.pedrus@pohnpei.gov.fm

Israel-Pacific Food Security Alliance Virtual call with Pohnpei State

On September 3, 2020, Governor Oliver, Director of the Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Hubert Yamada, and Chief of Agriculture, Mr. Mark Kostka met with officials from Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, on a Zoom virtual conference call. The purpose of the call was to follow up on the virtual launch of the Israel-Pacific Food Alliance that took place virtually on July 2, 2020, in which Governor Oliver as Honorary Consul for the State of Israel in FSM, Pohnpei State Department of Resources and Development’s Director, Mr. Hubert Yamada, and Chief of Agriculture, Mr. Mark Kostka, attended.
In this follow up meeting, Agricultural experts, Danny Zonshine and Oded Halamit, from MASHAV spoke with Chief of Agriculture, Mr. Mark Kostka, and Director Yamada to better understand Agriculture and Food conditions in Pohnpei. Chief of Agriculture, Mr. Mark Kostka, advised the Israelis that most farming is subsistence farming and agroforestry, not for cash sales. Another condition is the high amount of rain, which can damage vegetable crops. Director Yamada reiterated Chief Kostka’s advice on farming in Pohnpei. He noted that consistency of supply is a challenge, as much of the food supply is imported. He said farming behavior, from subsistence to commercial farming, will help with increased production and was thankful for Israel’s expertise in these areas.
Mr. Zonshine and Mr. Halamit stated MASHAV wants to assist by transferring proven agricultural technologies focusing on vegetable farming that can yield quicker results than bigger staple crops like wheat or rice. The idea is to develop and co-produce the same crop and plants in Pohnpei and Israel, providing online/virtual guidance with the Division of Agriculture and even the COM-FSM Land Grant program.
At the conclusion of the meeting, H.E. Tibor Shalev-Schlosser, Israeli Ambassador to the FSM and Pacific Island States thanked Governor Oliver, for the continued cooperation and support of this food security alliance, and encouraged the other states to participate in this food alliance.
FSM Department of Resources and Development (R&D) is the focal point for the Israel-Pacific Food Alliance in the country. Pohnpei State Director of the Department of Resources and Development, Hubert Yamada, coordinates all engagements with MASHAV through FSM R&D.
For more information on this or any post, please contact the Public Information Officer at 320-2235 or pohnpeipublicinformation@gmail.com

Enginkehlap News Excerpts August 28 – September 4, 2020

These are news Excerpts from the Office of the Governor for the week of August 28 – September 4, 2020

Enginkehalp News Excerpts in the Pohnpeian language can be found at the foot of the page

  1. On August 31, 2020, Director of the Department of Education (DOE), Mr. Stanley Etse informed Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and the COVID-19 Task Force that public school schedules have been modified, following the implementation of an action plan that was developed by DOE to address social distancing and put into action.  Following the implementation, teachers, administrators, and DOE personnel recommended the following changes to school schedules:

 

            Grade Hours
Early Childhood Education Centers (ECE) to 2nd Grade 8:00 am – 11:30 am
3rd to 4th Grade 8:00 am – 12:15 pm
5th to 8th Grade 12:15 pm – 4:30 pm

 

Grade School Day
9th Grade Monday/ Niehd
10th Grade Tuesday/Niare
11th Grade Wednesday/Niesil
12th Grade Thursday/Niepeng
Period High School Time
1st 8:30 -10:00 A.M.
2nd 10:00 -11:30 A.M.
Lunch 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
3rd 12:30 – 2:00 P.M.
4th 2:00 – 3:30 P.M.

 

Students are provided email addresses and telephone numbers of their teachers and encouraged to contact their teachers for assistance with school assignments.  Computer labs are open for students to access during the week.

2. The Department of Public Safety, headed by Mr. Patrick Carl, is assisting the Madolenihmw Student Organization (MSO) in their community service activities for Fall 2020. MSO members have started a beautification program to clean and repaint nine (9) bus stops in Madolenihmw. MSO is also painting crosswalks.  With the help of Captain Ricky Rodriguez, Detective Jeffrey Ching, and Police Officer I Ronie Pablo to provide the required specifications for painting crosswalks, safety, and traffic control, MSO has already cleaned, repainted and beautified bus stops in Sections 1, 2, and 3 of Madolenihmw.  The activities will take place every Saturday until September 19, 2020.

3. Micronesia Clean-Up Day will be observed for one week from August 31 – September 12, 2020. Governor Oliver signed a Proclamation declaring Pohnpei’s participation in the Micronesia Clean Up campaign to be held on September 12, 2020.  Executive Officer of Pohnpei State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mr. Susaia and Governor Oliver discussed activities for this week to promote regular cleaning and maintenance of our resources and infrastructure. Activities included, at the state government level, to have a department or office “adopt” an area to clean and be allowed time to clean up this area with EPA inspecting and providing technical assistance.  Details on activities for Micronesia Clean-Up Day will be provided by EPA through the Governor’s Office in the coming week.

4. On September 1, 2020, Governor Oliver and Lt. Governor Perman met with the Board of Directors and management staff of the Small Business Guarantee Finance Corporation (SBGFC). The purpose of the meeting was to update Governor Oliver and the executive branch on the current status of SBGFC. SBGFC is a state-owned subsidiary corporation situated under the Department of Resources and Development.  This was the first meeting between SBGFC and the Oliver/Perman administration.  Thomas Pablo, Executive Director of SBGFC led the update.  The SBGFC was created by state law to strengthen private sector development.  SBGFC not only provides or secures the financial capital needed for business development but also to build the capacity for business owners and entrepreneurs.

5. On September 3, 2020, Governor Oliver, Director of the Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Hubert Yamada, and Chief of Agriculture, Mr. Mark Kostka met with officials from Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV on a Zoom virtual conference call. The purpose of the call was to follow up on the virtual launch of the Israel-Pacific Food Alliance on July 2, 2020, and further work towards receiving technical assistance in Agriculture through virtual means.  Also, the Agricultural specialists asked questions to gain more information on Pohnpei’s Agricultural needs.   During this virtual meeting, H.E. Tibor Shalev-Schlosser, Israeli Ambassador to the FSM and Pacific Island States thanked Governor Oliver, who is also Honorary Consul for the State of Israel, for the continued cooperation and support of this food alliance.

  1. Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 Situation Report # 42 September 1 – 4, 2020
COVID19 numbers/ Nempehkan Confirmed/ Kamehleler New/kapw Deaths/sipala de mehkilahr
Global/Sampah 26,074,609 1,023,431 864,153
Hawaii 9,202 863 79
Guam 1,560 281 13
CNMI (Saipan) 57 1 2

 

In Guam, according to the Pacific Daily News, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has reported the14th COVID-related death on September 4, 2020, and stay-at-home order extended to Sept. 11, 2020, for all of Guam.

In Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat reports that the Hawaii Civil Defense Authority reported On Thursday, 227 active cases — by far the most ever for the island at one time. Civil Defense has specifically raised concerns about large gatherings in East Hawaii, noting in an Aug. 23 bulletin that “health data shows the majority of these new cases have been identified as Hilo-based gatherings where people failed to practice preventive measures.”

VIDEO VERSION IN POHNPEIAN:

Kitti COVID-19 Task Force Presents Emergency Preparedness Response Plan

On Monday, September 7, 2020, the Kitti COVID-19 Task Force (KCTF) presented its Protection and Emergency Preparedness Response Plan to Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and members of Pohnpei State COVID-19 Task Force at the Governor’s Conference Room.
Leading the presentation was KCTF Chairman, Mr. Herman Semes Sr., Nahmadau en Dehd, Kitti. KCTF was created by Executive Order No. 1-2020 signed by Luhken Moanlap on August 14, 2020.
After providing a brief background and overview of the mission and vision of the Kitti Task Force, Chairman Semes shared their goals which included, consulting and partnering with relevant stakeholders, conducting awareness programs, creating a kousapw database, hand-washing, and accessibility to clean water 24/7, realistic approach to social distancing to be supported by leadership and people, Food security – long and short term, emergency contacts in all kousapws, curfew, quarantine, and funeral/human remains.
Governor Oliver and Task Force Chairman David thanked Chairman Semes and members for presenting their plans and goals to the Pohnpei State Task Force. The importance of social distancing was highlighted by Governor Oliver. He encouraged and called on KCTF members and everyone present to support and comply with this very important basic sanitary preventative measure, so others can observe and follow. He said the members of these Task Forces will help lead and prepare everyone to safeguard our people from this threatening health crisis. He then asked, “Mah sohte kitail, ihs? Ma kaiden met, iahd?”.
Accompanying Luhk En Moanlap Antonio Sarapio and Chairman Semes were Vice-Chairman Mr. Destry Tom, Secretary, Mr. Wagner David, and Kitti Task Force members Mrs. Benida David, Mrs. Belsipa Isom, and Mr. Herbertson Santos.

Governor Oliver and Lt.Governor Perman meet with Small Business Guarantee Finance Corporation

On September 1, 2020, Governor Oliver and Lt. Governor Perman met with the Board of Directors and the Management staff of the Small Business Guarantee Finance Corporation (SBGFC). The purpose of the meeting was to update the Governor, Lt. Governor, and cabinet members present on the current status of this state-owned subsidiary/corporation. The meeting was significant because it was the first meeting the leadership of this corporation had with the new leadership of the Pohnpei State Government. It is a very important program created by state law to strengthen private sector development. SBGFC not only provides or secures financial capital needed for business development but equally important serves as a capacity-building outfit for entrepreneurial and business management skills for business owners.

In attendance with Governor Oliver and Lt. Governor Perman was Director of the Department of Resources and Development, Mr. Hubert Yamada, Director of Treasury and Administration, Ms. Christina Elnei, Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Kapilly Capelle, and State Budget Officer, Mr. Leon Panuelo, Jr.
SBGFC was represented by the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Salvason Salvador, Board Members Mr. Joseph Felix Jr., and Mr. Rullens Phillip with Mr. Thomas Pablo Administrator and Mr. Kerman representing the management.

Governor Oliver thanked the Executive Director and Board for their presentation. Noting the presence of other lending institutions in Pohnpei, he asked what can SBGFC do, in addition to their lending programs, to help the people of Pohnpei realize economic goals and enhance their living standards. Specifically, Governor Oliver asked about providing financial education on how to start up a business, file taxes, read and prepare financial statements, book-keeping, and other business fundamentals.

SBGFC’s mandate is to provide, promote, develop and widen in both scope and service reach, various alternative modes of financing for small enterprises including, but not limited to direct and indirect project lending, venture capital, financial leasing, secondary mortgage, and/or re-discounting of loan papers to small business. SBGFC is attached to the State Department of Resources and Development. For more information on SBGFC and their programs, call 320-2968.

 

Workforce Development and Skills Training staff visit Governor Oliver

On Friday, August 28, 2020, Governor Oliver was paid a courtesy visit by Mr. Autry Waguk and three trainees from the Department of Education’s Workforce Development and Skills Training Program (WD & ST). Mr. Waguk and his trainees shared their recent harvest of vegetables with Governor Oliver and Lt. Governor Perman. The harvest included cucumbers, eggplants, red and green peppers, green onions, and other vegetables.
Governor Oliver thanked Mr. Waguk and the trainees for their visit highlighting the importance of agriculture to health. He encouraged and supported agriculture not only as a profession but also as an important skill for food security, especially during this global pandemic and for future generations.
Mr. Waguk explained that he also teaches agriculture and farming skills to elementary school students across Pohnpei. The harvest yielded by Mr. Waguk and his trainees also supplement the school lunch program at all Early Childhood Education (ECE) centers in Pohnpei.
Mr. Waguk was accompanied by trainees Relian Saimon, Jaylee Barnabas and Marlo Kallop
The Workforce Development and Skills Training program train the youth to develop and acquire the skills for employment and to be self-sufficient. The services are designed and delivered in a manner that maintains focus and relevant career development, education alignment, and job placement. For more information please contact the Department of Education at 320-2103.

Board of Land Trustees Organizes and Selects Officers

The newly appointed Board of Land Trustees for the Administration of Public Lands held their inaugural meeting on August 25, 2020, 9:30 am at the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Hon. Peter Lohn (Wasahi Sokehs) and key staff were also present for the inaugural meeting.
The purpose of this inaugural meeting was to organize the new Board as follows:
Chairman – Mr. John Nakanaga
Vice-Chairperson- Mrs. Antonia Primo Moses (Likend U)
Secretary – Mr. Patterson Shed
Trustee – Mr. Lewis Santos
Trustee – Mr. Wayne Mendiola Jr.
Trustee – Mr. Max Lebehn
Trustee – Mr. Esirom Neth
The Pohnpei State Public Land Trustee Board of Trustees is now set to conduct business with the first regular meeting scheduled for September 9, 2020.
Photos: Courtesy of Mr. Patterson Shed

Governor Oliver Attends Pacific Islands Development Bank Board Of Governors Virtual Meeting

On August 27, 2020, Governor Oliver, Lt. Governor Perman, and Director of the Department of Treasury and Administration, Christina Elnei attended the Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) Board of Governors Annual Meeting. It was conducted virtually.
The agenda items for the meeting included Bank´s Operations, Strategic Initiatives, Budget and Financial Statements, Loan Portfolios, and Delinquency Reports. The PIDB Board of Governors is ultimately responsible for overseeing the Bank´s activities and administration, although, in practice, they delegate many of those responsibilities to the Board of Directors.
The Pacific Islands Development Bank (PIDB) is a sub-regional financial institution established to assist member countries/island jurisdictions in their economic development endeavors through its lending and assistant programs. Current members include Pohnpei State, Chuuk State, Yap State, Kosrae State, Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
For more information, you can visit the PIDB website at https://pacificidb.com/

or contact the Public Information Officer at phone number: 320-2235 or email:pohnpeipublicinformation@gmail.com