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PISR now one of the fastest growing and most efficient ship registries

Panos Kirnidis
The Palau International Ship Registry has recently seen a strong increase in its fleet size as more shipowners and operators look to become a part of the new breed of smart registries. As the Palau flag starts appearing on more vessels the appeal of a registry based on technology and detailed attention to service becomes more important to world shipping. At the end of September 2017 the Palau flag fleet stands at 380 ships with 3,000,000 gross tonnage. The main Palau fleet now comprises 27% general cargo and 20% tankers, with the rest vessels accounting for 53% of its total ships covering all vessel types and across a wide range of countries. There have been increases in the number of barges, tugs and bulk carriers looking to fly the Palau flag and more recently, a growing number of yacht owners talking to the registry looking to join the fleet. Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry believes the flag has become increasingly attractive to ship owners looking for stability, security, attention to detail and technological advances. "Since our inception in 2010 the registry has grown steadily with different types of ships joining our fleet. 
We have a strenuous vetting process for all our ships and we know that owners, charterers and operators want a quality flag. As a relatively new one we know that attracting ships into  our fleet takes time and our clients need to be comfortable with us, our operations and our quality management approach. 
This recent increase in fleet size shows we are sailing the right way." Smart ships and smart technology in running a fleet are currently driving shipowners to look their vessels is using the current world economic forecasts to reach out to the maritime industry to attract even more ships into the Palau fleet."
We have been saying for more than a year that the maritime industry knows that smart ships and smart technology is the way forward and yet there seems to be reluctance on the part of some owners to fully embrace technology. When the world economy turns and the shipping world recovers, progress in technology will be one of the real driving forces. The time to embrace this technology is now. Smart ships are here and so are smart registries. Waiting until the world economy picks up might be the wrong time to switch registries. PISR is the fastest growing and efficient ship registry, which is investing in advanced technology, highly experienced staff and is built on foundation of a fully-electronic registry. We introduced a new Deficiency Prevention System (DPS) at the end of 2016 through a dedicated department monitoring all Palau ships to reduce deficiency and casualty rates. It's just one of the advances in looking after our fleet we feel puts us on course to be the smartest of smart flags in 2018." 


Palau fleet grows as owners look for smart solutions

Eddie Calvo
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo has called for the U.S. Department of Defense to halt military construction projects on the island until a shortage of foreign labor is remedied. Federal immigration officials have denied most of the requests by Guam businesses to use temporary foreign labor under the H2B visa program, the Pacific Daily News reported on Friday.
A few years ago, the U.S. territory had a foreign work-force of more than 1,000. After the number dropped below 100, businesses on the island filed a lawsuit over the denials last year. Calvo has asked the Defense Department to stop military construction and for the guidelines of the buildups to be reassessed. The military has relied on the island's temporary foreign workforce in the past. 
"Unfortunately, this H2B denial, which started with the bureaucrats of the Obama administration, continues to linger," said Calvo, a Republican. "In so doing, it is not only hindering our island's economy, but I believe it is risking our island and our nation's security as well." In a letter to the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, James W. McCament, Calvo said the visa denials are causing harm by inflating construction costs and leaving fewer bids for military and civilian projects.
"I consider this a clear and present danger to the safety and health of the people of Guam,"Calvo said. Also Friday, the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Guam and the island's Chamorro Land Trust Commission, saying the territory's government has violated provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit says Guam's Chamorro Land Trust Act, which holds public land for the benefit of the island's indigenous people, has discriminated on the basis of race or national origin, the Pacific Daily News reported.
The territory's law allows the Chamorro people to apply for residential and agricultural leases of that land. The commission also leases some of the land for commercial purposes to non-indigenous people in order to generate revenue.
As an example of the law's discriminating practices, the lawsuit outlined the case of a non-indigenous man married to a Chamorro woman who lost his home on a land-trust plot after his wife died. The lawsuit stated that the commission evicted the man following a hearing on his claim because he was not native to Guam.
The lawsuit asked the federal court to prohibit Guam's practices it claims are discriminatory. The lawsuit also called for monetary damages to be awarded to those harmed by the law.
Calvo said Guam plans to fight the lawsuit. "It's clear that they don't understand or don't care about the reason behind the creation of the Chamorro Land Trust's Commission," Calvo said. "We must allow the native inhabitants of this land the opportunity to build a home and live on their native land  and I have no compunction about fighting this out in court." PACNEWS


Guam governor asks U.S Defense Department to stop construction

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is off to the Our Ocean conference in Malta scheduled from 5 - 6 October 2017. The European Union in a press release said that "Our Ocean conference aims to inspire joint solutions and ambitious commitments in managing seas and oceans — which cover 75% of our planet." Over 700 participants are expected to attend, from more than 60 countries, including more than 50 Heads of State or Government and ministers. Our Ocean 2017 will address the themes of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate change. 
This year, it will also offer a distinctively European flavor by introducing the themes of blue economy and maritime security. Our Ocean will engage participants from around the globe who will make significant commitments. Remengesau in his address before the United Nations General Assembly last month said Palau is committed to achieving the global 2030 agenda to help protect the oceans. 
We have created one of the largest protected areas in the World. Within this context, we emphasize our support for a new Implementing Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. We have also given our support to the 2016 IUCN Motion 53, promising to work towards designating and effectively implementing at least 30 percent of their national waters as marine protected areas by 2030. In addition, we have committed to action on addressing marine pollution in all forms," Remengesau said. In 2016, Palau signed into law the establishment of the National Marine Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, which encompasses Palau's entire EEZ, prohibits all extractive activities, including foreign fishing and mining in 80 percent of the area, and the remaining 20 percent of the sanctuary will be developed into a domestic-only fishing zone. 

Remengesau off to Malta for Our Ocean conference

 A tour boat carrying 25 passengers, 3 tour guides and a boat operator ran into a rock island in Ngermid Bay yesterday morning. The accident caused injuries to 20 passengers, with one female passenger dying of her injuries shortly after being brought to hospital. 
According to reports, 6 of the passengers remain in critical condition while 13 only had moderate injuries. Those injured include 16 adults and four children. Koror State Government issued a public notice early this week to tour operators and boat operators reminding them to maintain boating safety. Part of KSG message states, "A number of tour boats and boats, carrying tourists and persons are seen traveling at high speeds, cutting through the fringing reef and bypassing the shallow water marker during high tide along the length of the clock by the Bureau of Marine Resources Building, past the corner of the concrete dock where the concrete arch structure is located at the Malakal Ice Box Park. 
This is extremely dangerous and all boat operators and tour operators are strongly urged to stop and desist this practice." The message also reminds boat operators that it is illegal to go above 5 knots within Malakal Harbor. The boat involved in the accident belongs to a local boat rental business and was operated by Mr. Leland Naruo. The cause of the accident is still being investigated. 

Rock Island boat accident claim one life and injure 19

To mark the 23rd Independence Day of Palau, a weekend long celebration continued with the annual boat race yesterday and a 45-minute display of spectacular fireworks on Sunday night. Hundreds people packed the capitol for the fireworks and some cultural show as early as Sunday afternoon. Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. in his remarks during the Oct. 1 celebration thanked several nations in their continued partnership with Palau in achieving its development as a sovereign nation. The Palauan Way is a system of sharing and respect. So today, in recognition of the fact that our independence is only as strong as the support that we give to it, and the partnership that we gain as we grow and prosper, we would like to take a brief moment to express our appreciation and thanks to Palau's friends, who have so generously supported our efforts and contributed to Palau's political and economic development," Remengesau said. 
He also stressed the need of the people of Palau to unite and speak with one voice ensuring that no Palauan will be left behind. "My 'friends, my fellow Palauans, our nation may be young in the eyes of the world but it is built upon the footings of a strong and vibrant culture and a community that cannot and will not be forgotten. We have always worked together and our Palauan national family will continue to speak in one Voice moving forward. And so in this the Year of the Family, we can be assured of one thing: our nation's future looks birther than ever- together," he said. 
Remengesau said Palau has come a long way since its independence with several achievements to boot from its national marine sanctuary, tourism development, fiber optic and an aim to be energy independent through clean energy initiatives. He however said these achievements were possible with friends of Palau assisting is sustainable development such as Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, European Union, private organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Remen.gesau also gave special mention to its longtime ally the United States and reaffirmed its commitment to stand America in its condemnation of North Korea's threat to Guam and the Pacific Region. 
"We thank the United States Of America for its constant protection of our country; our region and of the world and stand beside her in her efforts to limit provocative actions by North Korea on our neighbor Guam and the entire Pacific Region," Remengesau stated. The president also continued to stress that the foundation of Palau's development to remain a caring government that is responsive to the needs of its people. 

Palau celebrates it's 23rd Independence

Furthering the work on improving Palau national power grid, Palau Public Utilities Corporation and JICA Study Team signed an MOU outlining expected outcomes of an ongoing study to assess Palau existing power grid and identify improvements it need in order to meet Palau's projected power requirement by 2030. 
PPUC CEO Kione Isechal and Mr. Mitsuhisa Nishikawa, head of JICA Project Team consisting of Yachiyo Engineering Co. Ltd, and Kansai Electric Power Co, Inc., signed off on the MOU. JICA Project Team consists of power companies contracted by JICA to make an assessment of Palau's power infrastructure and make recommendations for improvement and expansion. 
"This is a part of an ongoing work to improve our national power grid. Basic outcome will include stringing a second line along the power lines between Molokai and Aimeliik power Plant. It will also include power lines from the Capital down the east coast to Airai to provide power lines to an area that is not currently covered. 
This will provide PPUC with redundancy so that when power is disrupted, we can switch to another line to prevent what we are experiencing now," stated CEO Isechal. Expected recommendations include improvements and expansion of substations and realignment of power lines along the Babeldaob road. "We were fortunate that this study was able to be incorporated into the grant for renewable energy project. 
We informed them that we can't have renewable energy programs if our power grid is not efficient. And they agreed and included this complete as
sessment in that grant." Final report is expected to be completed by early next year. 


PPUC inks an MOU with JICA for study of national power grid

The Office of the President was happy to see the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Belau Tourism Association, hold a public forum on Telecommunications Regulatory Reform in Palau. This was a very timely action, considering the important legislation currently under consideration by the OEK. The president's office was pleased to assist in this action by sending a member of its technical staff to help inform the discussion and answer questions about the contents of this important legislation, and to relay concerns that our office has received from the community.

It is hoped that the forum will result in clear guidance from Palau's business community; however, it is understood that many key stakeholders, including Palau's telecommunication service providers, were unable to attend. 
Considering the importance of this legislation, and the need for informed decision-making, it hoped that Palau's most knowledgeable telecommunications experts will have greater representation at any future public discussions. Now is the time for all informed Palauans to contribute their knowledge for the good of a healthy and efficient telecommunications industry. 


Public Forum on Telecommunications Regulatory Frame-work

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson
Washington, DC - Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson: "On be-half of the United States, please accept our best wishes as the people of Palau celebrate their 23rd Independence Day on October 1st. "Palau is an extraordinary friend of the United States. We continue to work together to promote peace and prosperity around the world as well as at the United Nations. Our relationship goes beyond that of our two governments Americans and Palauans share warm cultural ties and democratic traditions. 
From Palauans contributing to our mutual security serving in the U.S. military, to Palauans actively engaged in their local communities across the United States, we are bound together by our shared values. We are deeply grateful to those Palauanas who have given their lives in combat to protect our shared way of life. We look forward to working with Palau to create a better future for our two peoples. We offer our congratulations to Palauans everywhere on this special occasion." (US State Department) 

US sends Independence Day message to Palau

On September 29, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. accepted the letter of credence from H.E. LyQuoc Tuan accrediting him as the fourth non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Republic of Palau. In his statement to Ambassador Tuan, President Remengesau expressed the Republic of Palau's commitment to maintain and enhance the bonds of friendship and solidarity with the Government of Vietnam, further stating "Palau is looking forward to working with you to promote mutual cooperation in areas of trade, agriculture, fisheries, and technology transfer, and to promote the welfare, peace, and security of the Asia Pacific Region." 
Ambassador Tuan congratulated Palau on its 23rd Independence Day anniversary and expressed his commitment to work closely with the Government and People of Palau on matters of mutual interest. He expressed, "In the last two days in your beautiful Palau, I have been mesmerized with the warm hospitality and the friendliness of the people here. 
Bearing in mind these deep impressions, as Ambassador of Vietnam to Palau I will do my utmost to further strengthen and deepen our bilateral ties in the best interest of our nations and our peoples." 
The Presentation of Credentials ceremony was held at Capitol and witnessed by Senate President Hokkons Baules, Speaker Sabina Anastacio, Paramount Chief Reklai Raphael Bao Ngirmang, Chief Justice Arthur Ngiraklsong, Vice President Raynold Oilouch, Cabinet Ministers, Ambassador Hershey Kyota, Ambassador Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Ambassador Jeraldine Tudong, Ambassador Francis Matsutaro, Ambassador Dilmei Olkeriil and Palau Consulate Office representatives. Ambassador Tuan was accompanied by his wife Madame Vu Thi Tam Dan, First Secretary Mr. Dinh Huu Phuc and Second Secretary Mr. Ngo Tuan Anh. 

New non-resident Vietnamese ambassador to Palau

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.
President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., has said he will be sending to the Olbiil Era Kelulau for ratification the, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Remengesau signed the treaty on September 22 on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
"Minister of State Faustina Rehuher Marugg will submit the signed treaties in the next few days to OEK for ratification," said Remengesau at last Wednesday's press conference. International treaties require majority approval by the respective houses of the OEK. Palau was one of the six Pacific island countries and the first group of 50 to sign the treaty when it opened for signing. It needs 50 ratifications among the signatories for the treaty to take effect on nations that backed it. 
Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu and Kiribati are among the other Pacific Island nations who have signed, while notable exclusions from the region the Marshall Islands. More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies. 
Countries acceding to the treaty would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons "under any circumstances." In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Remengesau encouraged all world leaders to accede to the treaty. 
"Taking into account the recent actions by North Korea we must take seriously the long term need to ban nuclear weapons," said Mr Remengesau. "I must give credit to the leaders of my country who over 30 years ago recognized the threat of nuclear weapons and banned the use, test and storage of nuclear weapons in Palau's constitution," he said. 

TR to send UN nuke ban treaty to OEK for ratification

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