A second bill to re-organize Executive Branch ministries has been submitted to the House of Delegates, House bill number 11-25-2. The bill follows the pledge given by President Whipps’ administration to make government services “more efficient and people-centered”.
The bill creates a new Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism & Development. This ministry absorbs roles from the Ministry of Community & Cultural Affairs (MCCA), and takes on the Division of Labor from the Ministry of Justice, the Bureau of Tourism from MNRET, a new Office of National Aging Care, and the Bureau of Public Service System from the Ministry of Finance.
In addition, the National Housing Commission, which is now administered by MCCA, will be administered by the Ministry of Public Infrastructures and Industries (MPII) and the Minister of MPII will chair the Commission.
President Whipps’ transmittal letter says that the Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism & Development (MHRCT&D) “will play a big role in advancing capacity building and employment opportunities for all Palauans in both public and private sectors.”
It further states that the “ministry will monitor, develop, support and promote our Palauan workforce and be equipped to continue the important cultural and historic preservation work.”
What is now the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism (MNRET) will become the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment (MAFE).
Biosecurity and quarantine which is now under the MNRET Division of Agriculture will be established as a new division under the Ministry of Finance.
The Division of Immigration will also be moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Finance.
Under this change, the Ministry of Finance will also have the authority to inspect vessels and implement regulations pertaining to entry and movement of persons, vessels and aircrafts.
Net salaries of people affected by this re-organization will not be reduced as a result of the new classification.
If the bill is passed into law, there will be no MCCA or MNRET, but in their place will be MHRCT&D and MAFE.