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$833,000 also earmarked for boat, arts project

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Dec. 22, 2010) – The Government of the Republic of China, through Ambassador to Palau Maggie Tien, Tuesday awarded a grant totaling US$833,000 to the Government of Palau for the procurement of 12 new police patrol cars and one passenger/cargo boat and to fund the Palau Ceramic Arts project in 2011.

Tien said that the grant is a "special one-time grant to assist Palau in dealing with urgent needs in terms of public safety, transportation in outlying states and revival of traditional heritage in ceramic craftsmanship."

Of the total amount, US$260,000 will be used to purchase patrol cars, US$535,000 for the transportation boat and US$88,000 for the Palau Ceramic Arts project.

Tien said that stability and safety are basic requirement for the progress of a country. The procurement of new police patrol cars is anticipated to improve police patrol services and provide better safety especially to the tourists.

The transportation boat, Tien said, will serve the regular commuting need between Angaur and Koror. From time to time, the transportation between Koror and Angaur is disrupted due to dilapidation and often breakdown of the existing boat. Tien also commended Angaur Del. Horace Rafael for untiringly seeking the assistance of ROC government on this matter.

The Palau Ceramic Arts project, according to the ambassador, is aimed at reviving the country’s traditional pottery-making skills and introducing innovative new ideas in ceramic works so as to lay foundation for possible ceramic industry and to create job opportunities in the near future, through series of workshops and exhibitions to be organized in 2011 by an expert ceramic artist from Taiwan.

"It will also help boost Palau’s tourism by creating ceramic artifacts and artworks with distinctive Palauan cultural characteristics," Tien said.

In July, ROC also awarded Palau with a 10-million grant for various projects under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce. The projects are aimed at improving public health, infrastructure, agriculture, education and the community.

Tien emphasized that the donations demonstrate that ROC has been and will continue to be a proactive and effective partner of progress to Palau with Palau’s sustainable development always in mind.

President Toribiong, on behalf of all the leaders and people of Palau who witnessed the awarding of the grant, thanked the Government of Japan for continuing to support Palau’s development projects. The president also presented a carving to the ambassador as a token of appreciation.

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