By: L.N. Reklai

November 23, 2017 (Koror, Palau) A month before Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee (PPEF) is to take effect, a new law is enacted amending eligibility category of people eligible for refunds from PPEF that will be paid with airline ticket comes January 1, 2018.

[restrict]

RPPL 10-16 narrows eligibility category to a Palauan, spouse of a Palauan, transit passenger, airline crew or a diplomat as eligible to receive refunds for the pristine paradise fee paid with the airline ticket. Workers with valid permit are no longer included in the exemption list.

The new law also added people travelling on government TA’s as ineligible for refund.

The law maintains the language giving the Minister of Finance authority to designate additional categories of people that can be eligible for refund.

Under the Palau Marine Sanctuary Act, as amended by RPPL 10-12, Palauans, spouse of Palauans, non-palauans with valid work permit, airline crew, diplomats and transit passengers were eligible for refunds from the PPEF fee that’s paid with the ticket.

RPPL 10-16 also places a cap on Public Auditor’s Office Budget and appropriate $63,100 to equip ambulances in compliance with RPPL 10-9.

President Remengesau in his transmittal letter to both houses says that he will accept Olbiil Era Kelulau decision despite having some reservations.  He said he will recommend that they review and make amendments to the language capping the budget for Office of Public Auditor.  He added that timing for PPEF amendment raises some concern but he applauded them for focusing on nation’s fiscal stability. [/restrict]