By: L.N. Reklai
July 28, 2017 (Ngerulmud, Palau) 10th Senate of the Olbiil era Kelulau called for two late night sessions last night, one scheduled for 10pm and another for 12am, in order to pass House bill 10-38-2 through two readings, a bill to amend 8 PNC Section 115 to “adopt procedures by which President can enter into agreements for the renovation of the Palau International Airport.”
The propose bill is to give teeth to the Senate Joint Resolution 10-10 and House Joint Resolution 10-8-2 which supported and authorized President of the Republic to execute and enter into contracts with Japan Airport Management Partners and JICA to expand and improve Palau International Airport subject to National Government Private Borrowing Authority Act.
Among other concessions, House bill gives President authority to negotiate and execute agreement and delegate statutory authority.
House version of the bill raise borrowing ceiling to $40 million and terms to 30 years.
Senate Committee report raised concerns on the number of issues including the increase in borrowing authority, increase in the terms, the expected number of visitors, and cost of litigation in case concession company does not perform.
According to reports, Senate passed the House version in the Second Reading. Sources say that the borrowing ceiling is likely to be reduced to $24.5 million, terms reduced down to 20 years and final negotiated package be required final approval of the OEK.
Publication of this story comes out before the final reading of this bill. [/restrict]