President Tommy Remengesau speaking before the Palau press on October 2. (Rhealyn C

On January 2nd, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. convened his first cabinet meeting of the New Year, setting a sense of urgency saying, “Let’s get things done”. He urged ministers and senior staff to fully commit during this final year of the administration.

The president used the occasion to thank his top aides for their efforts over the last year, and urged them to give even more in 2020.

“Let’s Get Things Done” was the message, as the president highlighted major issues of the administration’s agenda for the remaining year of his presidency. Topping the list were infrastructure, housing, and the enhancement of a locally-driven economy

Remengesau reminded everyone about the full implementation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which took effect on New Year’s Day and closes 80 percent of the country’s exclusive economic zone from commercial fishing and exploitation. On the same day, the reef-toxic sunscreen law also took effect, banning reef-toxic sunscreen products from being used in local waters.

Further looking ahead, the president asked for stepped up efforts in preparation for the upcoming Our Oceans 2020 Conference, which Palau will host in August. The summit is already billed as the highest-profile international event ever to be held in Micronesia.

In the meantime, the president said he is optimistic about the economy, as the airport improvement project remains on schedule and with more airlines and charter flights scheduled to come on line in the coming weeks and months.

Finally, the president asked for everyone’s full support and cooperation during what is expected to be a busy year. (Contributed)