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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Yap governor requests $1.6M for Covid-19 response plans

Yap Gov. Henry Falan

Colonia— Yap Gov. Henry Falan is requesting $1.65 million to fund the state government’s preparation and response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Falan submitted the funding request to Sen. Vincent Figir, speaker of the Yap State Legislature, on March 24.

According to the governor’s recommendation, the requested funds are to be allocated from the state’s share of the Compact Sector Carry-Over fund that allows the states to carry-over unobligated balances from one year to the next.

The funds will be used primarily for medical and laboratory supplies; bio-medical equipment; responders’ overtime and hazard pay compensation; security and ground services; and general upgrades and repairs of designated quarantine, isolation and treatment facilities, including internet connectivity at these sites.

A detailed budget prepared by the Covid-19 Task Force and included with the request states that “the preparedness and response level of the Department of Health Services, both human and materials, are at a critical, very low level.

FSM President David Panuelo is also seeking support from the leaders of the nation’s four states in the amount of $250,000 each from the carry-over fund.

However, as noted in the letter, all of the states are requesting additional funding beyond that amount since the pandemic may extend past the current fiscal year. For that reason, Falan is requesting that the Yap State Legislature approve the funding for use between now and September 2021.

The president informed all four state governments that their endorsement is needed in order for the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) to recommend swift approval of the request from JEMCO. That approval has been granted by OIA. Governor Falan is now awaiting approval by the YSL, to adhere to the Yap State approval protocol.

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