Used as a means of getting information to the entire leadership of Palau, and at times as a strategic means of pushing forward his agenda, President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. held his last national leadership meeting yesterday with national, state and traditional leaders at NgaraChamayong Cultural Center.
This final meeting, attended by President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr., served as an oral exit report to the incoming government about the status of various government ministries and agencies and to the existing leadership of OEK, States and traditional leaders and general public, an oral exit report of this government.
Oral reports given by ministers and heads of selected agencies were focused on priorities this administration deems important for next administration to prioritize.
Topics reported included status of the Renewable Energy bid from PPUC, benefits of PNMS, status of COVID-19 vaccine and its implementation, continued medical referral program, national housing program funding, financial standing of Palau at this time including its debt position, BSCC’s second cable project update, and current status of infrastructure projects among others.
Attendees were given a good overview of the current government position within 3 hours and for details were referred to the written exit reports that have been posted online for public access.
The national leadership meetings have served Remengesau well during his administration by garnering consensus and support for his policies from elected and traditional leaders. Some of the key policies that were made possible through active engagement of national leadership included the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, Renewable Energy Policy, support for public private partnership projects such as Airport Terminal Improvement, Belau Submarine Cable Corporation, repatriation of stranded citizens in Guam and others.
Not all were successful though, very few got push back including the initial proposal for the renewable energy solar project between PPUC and Engie.
And not all leaders saw national leadership meetings in positive light. Some leaders including some OEK members saw it as coercive tool used to push them toward certain agenda, using the traditional leaders to strong-arm the elected leaders.
However the perception of the national leadership meeting maybe, it has been a successful means of getting national leaders informed on key issues, raising consensus and support on key policies and priorities of Remengesau’s administration.
Although President Remengesau said this was the last leadership meeting of his administration, Speaker Sabino Anastacio of the House of Delegates said that it was not the last and that one more meeting will take place before this administration leaves office.