Dear Editor,

Good day to you and thank you in advance for taking the time to read my letter of concern. This letter has been long overdue and I write with genuine concerns about recent events leading to further financial struggles of our fellow Palauans. To avoid jeopardizing my source of income, I shall remain as an anonymous writer for the purpose of this letter. I have been an employee for the National Government for the past seven years and I have dedicated my efforts in providing the best of my services.  {restrict] Unfortunately, my faith in our government has rapidly declined over the past two years. Over the course of my career, I have seen numerous coworkers, family and, friends leave Palau to the United States in search of better opportunities. This is not a new thing to many Palauans. However, Palauans who’ve left our country in the past consisted of younger Palauan generations in pursuit of education and experience in the outside world. Most recently, I’ve noticed a significant trend that has been gradually occurring without any proper notice. The popular trend over the past five years has become a whole family of Palauans relocating to the U.S. This should’ve triggered some sort of an alarm to our leaders. I know of five Palauan families that have relocated to the U.S. and within those five families, the smallest family consisted of four members leaving Palau at one time. Obviously, this has a significant impact to our community considering our low population. The relocation of Palauans to the U.S. has been brought up several times in discussions by our Politicians but no remedies have been introduced. We all know that Palauans are suffering financially and this is a major factor in their decision to leave Palau.

In recent events, our Politicians have made a law to increase pension deductions from our fellow Palauans salaries whom are already struggling financially. Not only is the plan to increase deductions from government employee salaries, but to reduce payouts to those eligible for their pensions. The Palauans should be asking questions like “Is this the only viable option?” Or “Are there any other options?” And “What happened to the options proposed during the election campaigns?” Essentially, instead of putting much needed money into the Palauans’ pockets, our government is taking more money out of our pockets. This is another overwhelming factor especially considering the inefficiency of Palau’s tax system. I am confused. As a Palauan, I know many Palauans would read this letter and make comments like “Tia rcngum ngbechcs el tekoi? Se kuk di mle tekoi ra sengkio e chelechal blal ngai a kingeli.r e tobesonger kid.” So should we allow this to continue and be as naive as they expect us to be? But that’s really just the reality we live in and we should be seeking solutions instead of arguments. People have different perspectives based on the way they were brought up, their religious beliefs and, significant events in their lives. Considering all of these factors, I can honestly see the reasonable choice of relocating to the U;S. This is something I’ve never wanted to experience or even consider and the thought of it scares me. I can only predict that in the near future, many more Palauan families will make the same rationaldecision and leave our country behind in search of welfare. The key word is “WELFARE”.And I quote a popular phrase once said by the Honorable Delegate of Peleliu State Jonathan Isechal “It doesn’t take scientist to figure out something is wrong.”


Concerned Belau! [/restrict]