By Francis Talasasa
Disgruntled legislators of Peleliu state have expressed their discomfort over a letter signed by a party also from Peleliu called the Peleliu State Leadership group and various business owners regarding their support to Visa Free legislation.
In a letter signed by 6 legislators, they challenged a number of points regarding the importance and benefit of implementing Visa Fee Revenue Collection.
They said while they support the fact that Peleliu State Tourism Industry is thriving after Palau reached 100,000 visitors few years ago, such tourism economy alone in Peleliu does not and will not collect enough money to improve Peleliu infrastructures nor will it improve the lives of the people of Peleliu at this time and into the future.”
They said Palau is not the first country in the world to require visa fee’s and many countries do so to collect more money to fund public services, build and maintain infrastructures.
Visa fee collection by the national government is the most prudent aspect of the economy and public services at this time if we want Palau to continue progressing forward into the future.
The legislators said they were quite surprised that a so-called leadership of Peleliu signed such letter trying to make them legitimate when they continue to violate the laws of Palau. They have never held meetings with the people of Peleliu and explain to them the impact to their lives with the visa fee collection decision.
They continued to say that most of the signatories on the letter are living in Koror and are in one way or the other vested personal interests in the tourism industry which gives them the reason to oppose visa fee collection because they prefer mass tourism package, rather than high-end tourism which Palauans have been talking about far too long.
They have made a call on the Honorable representatives of Palau to put politics aside and do the right thing. Pass the visa legislation so that Palau government may have more revenue to fund its programs and services.
In a previous letter signed by other members of Peleliu State Legislature, chiefs and governor, they called on national congress not to pass the visa bill, stating that “we strongly believe that requiring visas with corresponding fees to tourists and foreign visitors to enter Palau will have a devastating and negative impact to the tourism industry at this time.” [/restrict]