Wed. May 27th, 2020

Omereng el Saul el Kirel a CROSS Act (HB No. 10-133-14, HD1, SD1, RPPL 10-56)

Dear Palau Leadership 2016-2020:

We, as citizens of Palau who actively exercise our constitutional rights not only for ourselves but also on behalf of those needing a voice to channel their pleas to you our elected Leaders, hereby take this opportunity to THANK YOU for your efforts in expediting the Coronavirus Relief One Stop Shop Act, which was signed by the President on Monday, April 27, 2020.

A few people are told that our Leaders were already working on ways to provide the private sector assistance in order for our economy to be sustained. However, credit to you is not as important as carrying on your fiduciary duties in serving the people – which is the only thing that matters. People such as yourselves and those employed by the Government continue to receive paychecks whether or not you work at all.

Our Petition dated April 17, 2020, signed by over 500 people, was addressed to you, our Leadership, to plead with you and to give you a push to act in a timely manner, after two and a half months already of the COVID-19 crisis. Otherwise, civil unrest, crime and poverty in Palau is guaranteed to increase when unfair practices by our Government officials are being done in complacency without timely and fair distribution of resources to the rest of the country. We truly appreciate that finally after 3-months of televised meetings, you acted to help the suffering private sector of Palau to rise above the COVID-19 impact.

Remember, the Government of Palau is of the People, by the People and for the People, not only for Government leaders and employees.

The CROSS Act funds are now in the hands of the Minister of Finance; likewise, we also take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Minister Elbuchel Sadang and his team for their efforts to efficiently process the proper and fair distribution of the $20 Million to the private sector of Palau. The OEK chose not to decide on the specific amounts of relief distribution and to provide the regulations, perhaps due to their lack of time or busy schedules, so the public now knows that the

$20 Million CROSS Act funds are in the hands of the Minister of Finance who has prepared such regulations concerning the distribution of the funds and the President signed off on those regulations yesterday, May 6, 2020.

We the people of Palau, especially those who are private sector employees and small business owners, would like to trust that Minister Elbuchel Sadang will do what is right in the eyes of God, to ensure that the funds are distributed in an honest, transparent, fair and efficient manner. We trust that greed and corruption have absolutely no place in Palau. If we allow such to occur, then crime, poverty and civil unrest may happen or increase. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galations 6:7) We all need to rise together above the COVID-19 impact, not leaving anyone behind, for the sake of a sustainable economy in Palau going forward and peace within our borders.

While some say we are in the same boat, we all know the truth that in Palau those who are employed by the Government can still make their loan payments, buy fuel for their cars, pay for their utilities and put food on the table. But those who are in the private sector, especially those whose employments or small businesses are reliant upon tourism, are currently unable to pay their bills and put food on the table for themselves or their families.

Once again, we believe that the CROSS Act funds will be transparently, fairly and efficiently distributed in accordance with law to all of those affected by the COVID-19 impact in Palau. We are responsible one to another that such work will be done accordingly to serve the best interests of all people living in Palau.

We pray this COVID-19 crisis that has impacted us in Palau and all over the world will soon be over.

Kom kmal mesaul!

John Mengidab                                                                Irene Olkeriil

Citizen, Republic of Palau                                             Citizen, Republic of Palau

mengidabjohn@gmail.com                                            ireneolkeriil@gmail.com