On July 8, President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. signed the order authorizing a government-paid stipend to frontline workers as the global pandemic affects Palau. The stipend serves as an additional compensation for time and activities which “entail an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19”.
In addition to the 58 repatriated citizens who returned to Palau last month, the workers have helped to monitor passengers on a returning flight from Taiwan on Tuesday, and will likewise monitor an incoming flight from Guam set to arrive on July 23.
In the executed order, PresidentRemengesau expressed that “although [COVID-19] has still not been identified in the Republic of Palau, it has been reported in almost every country on earth and Palau cannot avoid contact with the rest of the world. Thus, it remains very likely that COVID-19 will eventually arrive on our shores”.
The order also states that the “necessary measures are putting increased strain on those in emergency response, law enforcement, immigration screening and medical care roles.” It further adds that it is important to “recognize the sacrifice they are making by continuing to do their jobs during this stressful and uncertain time.”
Although not specifying the amount of the stipend which these workers will receive, the President said that, “the rate of the stipend will be set to ensure fair treatment of those frontline workers who are covered by the Public Service System, as compared to those who are exempt.”
The stipend is to be made available immediately and will be available to frontline workers until the order is amended or rescinded.