Both houses of the Olbiil era Kelulau (OEK) had requested the Ministry of Finance for rental payment for the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center that both Senate and House of Delegates have used as their satellite offices in Koror since the renovation of the old OEK building started last February.
In their letter to Ministry of Finance, they requested funds from Our Oceans Conference to pay for the rental since January of this year to date.
Minister Kaleb Udui Jr. of the Ministry of Finance, in response to OEK leaders’ inquiry, said that there was no more funding under these grants to pay for the rental. “Unfortunately, funding under these grants has been reallocated to different purposes since the end of December, and are no longer available.”
Udui said that the Executive Branch can make payment for January but says that OEK has sufficient funding to pay for the rest of the lease contract. He said that they will continue to work to find source of funds for rental payments before the end of the contract.
According to Speaker Sabino Anastacio, it was an understanding between them and the former administration that they will pay the rent of the space used by OEK while the old satellite office is being renovated and used by Our Oceans 2020. “We will pay for it ourselves for now,” stated Speaker Anastacio.
In preparation for Our Oceans 2020, old OEK building was designated as the site of the Pacific Pavilion and had to be renovated. OEK satellite offices moved into Ngarachamayong Cultural Center as temporary offices. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference that was supposed to be held in August of 2020 was postponed. It has now been scheduled for early 2021.
Meanwhile, OEK (House and Senate) has continued to use the old OEK building for satellite offices in Koror while also maintaining offices at the Capitol.