A large delegation of national and state governments from Palau joined Palauan citizens in Guam and Saipan this past week to celebrate a belated Palau Independence Day.
With the national election next year and twelve state general elections in 2023 and 2024, the courting of nearly 2,000 votes in Guam and Saipan begins. With the recently passed budget for FY 2024 and over $5 million increase in State block grants over FY 2023, such travels are to be expected.
In addition to the Guam and Saipan visits, the Palau government appropriated $150,000 to pay for repairs of the three “bai”s in Guam that were damaged by Typhoon Mawar in May of this year.
The belated celebration of Palau’s Independence Day in these two islands that host large Palauan communities was attended by the leaders of the host islands. In Saipan, for example, Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez, and Chief Justice Alexandro Castro joined the Palauan community for the celebration. Governor Lourdes Aflague ” Lou ” Leon Guerrero joined the celebration in Guam.
Meanwhile, Palau’s economic performance is predicted by the International Monetary Fund to improve compared to the previous year but is still far below its pre-pandemic level. The high inflation rate caused by global factors, PGST, and the continuously rising cost of fuel pushes more and more locals to relocate to the United States and its territories, with an estimated 5% having relocated out of the country in the last 2 years.
With election campaigns rolling out, people are eager to hear from the candidates their solutions to the current difficulties affecting Palauans still residing in Palau.