STRUGGLING PALAU AGENCY CUTS SALARIES

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Coral Reef Center deals with $97,000 deficit

Peter Erick Magbanua KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 31, 2011) – The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) staff unanimously decided to cut 15 percent of their salary to compensate the center’s budget deficit.

Dr. Patrick Tellei, chairman of the PICRC Board of Directors, said that the salary cut was brought about by the reduction of appropriation for the center and that the center had to live within its appropriated budget.

"We have done fundraising for the center and we met with the staff and they were one in their decision to cut their salary to sustain the projects of the center. It was a difficult decision to make and we have told the staff to start to look for part time jobs to be able to sustain their needs also," Tellei said.

He added that they are also looking into working with the Palau Visitors Authority to assist the center through allocating funds from the Protected Areas Network funding operations for all states. He added that everyone must work to be able to come up with sufficient fund for the sustainability of the center.

According to a source, who requested anonymity, PICRC has a budget deficit of US$97,000 and that their fund is only up to June and that for the months of July, August and September, the center has no more funds. It was with this that the center’s staff decided to go with the 15 percent cut in their salaries to be able to augment the fund for the last quarter of the year.

The source added that it was also because of the reduction of budget for the center and with the increase in electricity and other needs of the center that they experienced a deficit.

Island Times © 2011 Island Times. All rights reserved

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