KOROR, PALAU – President-elect Surangel Whipps, Jr. established a special subcommittee to prioritize the development of an economic recovery plan amid COVID-19 pandemic.

With approximately 3,000 people to stop receiving financial support as a result of the PUA through WIOA lapsing in December, the CROSS Act to cease in January, and businesses in hiatus, President-elect asserted there needs to be pro-active efforts to plan for when the assistance ends. “We cannot continue the wait and see approach and expect people with no sources of income to sustain themselves, we need a plan of action,” says President-elect to the subcommittee.

Palau has been very fortunate that the economic impact of the pandemic was cushioned by financial relief given to those who lost their jobs.  However, this assistance will end in the fast- approaching weeks. The Economic Recovery subcommittee is looking at all the options and avenues to avoid an economic depression and get people back to work and businesses operating again.  It is in active consultation with health professionals, experts, and partners to come up with the safest and most effective plan that can keep people safe from COVID-19 and allay anxieties in the community while moving forward to revive our tourism industry.  These discussions include Taiwan that has been successful in controlling the transmission of COVID-19 in their country and has been free from community spread of the virus to date.  The subcommittee is following up earlier dialogue regarding opportunity for a travel bubble between Palau and Taiwan with proposal for a sterile corridor, a more secure process. 

The Economic Recovery and COVID-19 subcommittee is made up of diverse members from different sectors of the community including business, tourism, and health. One of the tenets of President-elect’s vision is that Palauans are the driving force behind our country’s development.  Thus, the subcommittee also emphasizes that return of tourism will also mean an opportunity to prioritize Palauans in the workforce- A Kot a Rechad er Belau – by empowering them with job opportunities that have normally been acquiesced to foreigners.

The Transition Team of President-elect SWJ is coordinated by a secretariat body led by Ms. Landisang Kotaro. For inquiries, please contact secretariat at 488-8857 or email: info.swjtransition@gmail.com.  (Press Release)

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