The 2nd State of the Republic Address, issued yesterday, reported progress made by ministries despite the COVID-19 outbreak and budget shortfall.
Delivering his 2nd SORA since he took office, President Surangel Whipps Jr. spoke to the national and state leaders, diplomatic corps, and traditional leaders about the progress made in a year of challenges caused by the COVId-19 pandemic and the success, which he said occurred as a result of cooperation.
“COVID paralysis could not dictate our actions, and we came together, our national leaders, state governors, state legislators, and communities, in unity to face challenges and get through them together,” said President Whipps in his SORA.
Whipps said that Palau’s diplomatic partners, the United States, Republic of China-Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and others, came through, helping Palau to prepare itself to handle COVID, and stayed to train Palauans.
Calling frontlines “unsung heroes” of the pandemic, President Whipps thanked the public health workers as well as the general public for the cooperation that led to the successful containment of the virus.
The State of the Republic Address also touched on new services and plans in the pipeline for Palau including a newly signed law creating a semi-independent body to operate the Belau National Hospital.
Whipps reported the significant changes in the Ministry of Education including the implementation of the year-round school system, starting this summer. Virtual high schools in the outlying states, short but frequent school breaks, and general modernization of schools were some of the changes already in progress.
Diplomatic partners and friends of Palau were repeatedly recognized in President Whipps’s 2nd SORA for their generous contributions that held Palau together during the difficult time. Examples include the provision of PCR test machines from Taiwan, vaccines, unemployment financial assistance from the United States, construction and funding for the 7th Our Ocean Conference, 100% renewable energy to Angaur, and more.
For new solutions, President Whipps seeks OEK support on the new bill proposals such as laws enabling cryptocurrency exchange, stable coin, and amendments to existing laws such as banking laws, PNMS, and EQPB law.
Whipps in his report expects slow growth this 2022 but expresses optimism for the coming years.