Ministry of Finance is disbursing $1.8 million dollars today to 1,815 applicants of COVID-19 Relief assistance under CROSS Act.  This is the first payout where everyone will receive the same amount but each week eligible applicants will be receiving payouts depending on their qualifications according to Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang

Minister Sadang reported this Wednesday that over 1,815 applications were received since they began processing applicants at the COVID-19 Relief One-Stop-Shop.  Of the 1,815 applications, 425 are Palauans and the rest are non-Palauans.   More applications are expected in the coming weeks.

Regulations governing the implementation of the Temporary Relief Measures took effect on Wednesday upon being signed by President Remengesau.

The regulations provide specific definitions of eligibility for the relief assistance.  For example, it allows for humanitarian assistance to qualified employees whose employment or salaries have been terminated, suspended or reduced due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Another measure in the regulations include transfer of employment or temporary employment for affected employees.  In addition, government may also fund temporary job programs in government agencies, semi-government agencies, NGOs or non-profit organizations.

Concessionary loans for employers is also available through this program but will be administered by National Development Bank of Palau (NDBP).  The loans if approved will have 0% for up to 2 years and after year 3, will be charged 2% on interest only and for 4 years up to 10 years will be 2% on principal and interest.

The relief measures under the CROSS Act will continue until January 31st and monthly reports on expenditures and other related programs administered under this Act are to be provided including report on loans by NDBP.