Del. Ongidobel elected new PIDB Chair
After two days of meetings of the members of Board of Directors and Board of Governors of the PIDB (Pacific Islands Development Bank) in the FSM Capitol of Pohnpei State, members all voted unanimously and in a confident manner, Delegate Swenny Ongidobel, to be the new Chairman of the Board of Governors, CNMI Congressman Joseph Deleon Guerrero as Vice Chair and Marshall Islands representative as Secretary.
Delegate Ongidobel assumes chairmanship of PIDB after having served as a member of PIDB representing Palau for the past 6 years, along with Finance Minister Elbuchel Sadang, who enjoys the distinction of being the longest serving member of PIDB.
PIDB was created on July 5, 1989 through a Resolution approved by APIL (Association of Pacific Island Legislatures) and has a corporate office in Guam and operates as a nonprofit organization. The PIDB members include regional Countries and State governments such as, Republic of Palau, Guam, CNMI, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Republic of Marshall Islands.
Recently, Kwajeline Atoll local government of the Marshalls, was accepted to join PIDB as an associate member. Each member government is required to contribute an initial equity capital of $1M and all members have met this required contribution, except the FSM states of Chuuk and Kosrae. As a result of this non-compliance, the PIDB has placed Chuuk on suspension and Kosrae on a temporary moratorium on issuance of loans.
During the Pohnpei meeting PIDB was able to tackle some important issues facing the Bank’s management and operations, including approval of the annual report which shows significant progress and achievements under the management and leadership of PIDB’s current President / CEO Mr. Aren Palik of Kosrae. Palik took over the Bank’s management in 2002 when the bank was ailing financially with a deficit of $400K. Over the years, with renewed commitments and infusion of the required capital equity of member governments of the region and with active participation and involvement of Palau’s Minister Sadang and Delegate Ongidobel, the bank rebounded in leaps and bounds. According to Ongidobel and Sadang, ‘PIDB now boasts a net profit of $3M annually and has achieved sustained growth for the past 10 years.’
Among other major decisions by PIDB in these round of meetings in Pohnpei was to approve over $1M dollars worth of housing loans to the people of Kwajeline Atoll, the newest member of the PIDB family.
PIDB also unanimously passed a resolution inviting Koror State Government to become an associate member by investing in the bank and have its citizens / residents enjoy the benefits of housing and commercial loans. Delegate Ongidobel who was instrumental in passing the resolution said, “considering the recent crisis facing Koror State, with increasing number of displaced families as a result of the return of public lands to its original owners, this will provide Koror State a better alternative for its people to access funds for housing loans with much lower interest rates compared with existing banks in Palau.”
HOD Speaker Sabino Anastacio made the trip to Pohnpei to congratulate his colleague Delegate Swenny Ongidobel of Ngeremlengui State, as he ascended Chairmanship of PIDB board of Governors. Koror Governor Franco Gibbons and Speaker Alan Marbou, each sent representatives to attend the meetings in Pohnpei as observers. Representing Governor Gibbons was his CAO (Chief Admin. Officer) Earnest Ongidobel and representing Speaker Marbou was Legislators Jennifer Sugiyama and Jennifer Akiwo.