PALAU LAWMAKERS URGED TO STUDY U.S. COMPACT

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Obama proposal would authorize 15-year funding agreement

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 31, 2011) – While the second Compact agreement is finally before the United States Congress, Sen. Raynold Oilouch urged colleagues in the Senate to also start reviewing the agreement thoroughly among them to fully understand it.

Oilouch admitted that he does not fully understand certain parts of the second Compact agreement.

"There are certain parts of the agreement that the Republic is suppose to do, the measures the Republic needs to comply with in order for the compact funding to be available to Palau. Those are not fully explained to us and the people of Palau and I believe it’s essentially important," Oilouch said.

[PIR editor’s note: U.S. President Obama’s 2012 operating budget proposal now before Congress includes $12.2 billion for the Interior department, which includes a provision enacting an agreement between the United States and the Republic of Palau for a new 15-year Compact of Free Association. ]

Oilouch said that the Senate now has to do its part. He urged the Senate to begin actions on this issue so when the time comes for its approval, the Senate knows and fully understands the agreement.

"If we find ourselves not fully understanding the agreement then we should be able to have the people who were involved in the preparation of the document to discuss it with us in order to be fully aware of every aspect of the agreement. That way, the people of Palau can better understand the agreement, if we, here representing them, have full understanding of the agreement," Oilouch said.

Oilouch hopes that the agreement will not be like the national healthcare where a law was enacted and then a great uproar from the public rises not knowing how this came to what it is today.

Oilouch commended President Toribiong "for doing a good job" on the Compact.

Island Times © 2011 Island Times. All rights reserved

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