On February 13, 2017, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. submitted an $87 million proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Annual National Budget Authorization and Appropriation legislation to the respective houses of the Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau with continued and increased funding allocation to social programs that are responsive to the needs of the Palauan people.
In his transmittal letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules, President Remengesau stated:
“…the proposed budget is intended to support our ongoing efforts to ensure sufficient cash flow, maintain adequate fiscal reserves to meet national emergencies, and strengthen long-term fiscal capacity. Accordingly, programmatic funding are reallocated within available resources aimed at ensuring that ongoing social programs that support our most vulnerable populations are sustained while allowing for expanded health and public safety services at the community level.”
President Remengesau is putting more focused efforts on strengthening human resources, public safety, health, and education by sustaining and increasing funding appropriation to help aid those programs.
In the area of public safety, an increase of 61% or $242,000 is requested for the purpose of supporting operations of the National Drug Trafficking Task Force (NDTTF), and to expand public safety services in Babeldaob and the outlying states. The increase would enable a wider and more efficient effort for peace and orderly in our communities against the illegal use, possession and distribution of illicit drugs across Palau.
The health and wellbeing of the Palauan people is another important aspect of the National Government that must continue. Therefore, within the proposed budget, President Remengesau appropriated $1.8 million to the National Coordinating Mechanism continuing and reinforcing our prevention efforts on non-communicable diseases (NDCs).
Providing limitless educational opportunities to the children of Palau is among President Remengesau’s highest priorities. In line with this vision, $2 million scholarship funding was allocated for higher education.
The overall operation and management of the National Government and all of the programs within are a direct result of the continued dedication and hard work by civil servant employees. Thus, the $25 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) was sustained in the FY2017 proposed budget as an added incentive for all government employees under civil services.
In submitting the proposed budget to the Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau, President Remengesau expressed his deep commitments to work with the Congress to reach a consensus on enacting a comprehensive budget that is responsive to the needs of the people of Palau. [/restrict]