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March 03, 2009

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Kudos to you Senator Akitaya,

This is the first one I have seen in 2009 that has something to do with "Cost Saving".


Mesulang and keep up the good job...

Its about time something is done to EQPB.

First of all, the board has too much discretionary powers over approval of permits. Yet, most of the members of the board are neither scientists, engineers or trained in the field of environmental protection.

EQPB has been the biggest obstacle to development in Palau. Meantime, they have not addressed air pollution from cars in Koror, fixed up Koror's sewer overflows and open up a new dump site.

Alii all,

Though I am for revision of EQPB to make it more efficient, I am not for removal of the agency that has protected the goose that laid the golden egg. I am skeptical that we can take care of our environment on our own without stern enforcement body. Remember the only allure for outsiders to continue to have the slightest interest in us is because of our environment. Spoil it and we are a piece of rock in the middle of nowhere. FYI, I am told that Cementary snorkeling site is literally devoid of fish that has made it an attraction for visitors and locals alike for many years. I would be very cautious.

Quality investors/developers would not subject the very cradle (environmment) that holds their multi-million dollars investment. As a matter of fact, they are assured of their investment if they are sure that the environment is protected and defended against all transgressors.

With current trend there are far too many prevailing circumvention of our environment protection. Raw sewage spilling into the sea on regular basis-PPR area is an example, dumpsites overfilling into the marine environment and rivers (Airai is an example), and housing projects extending into coastal wetlands and mangrove forest. These are few examples that convince me that we do not need to water down protection for our environment but rather step up and be more forceful. Just a thought but the biggest challenge for us is how to develop and yet take care of our environment.

There is a proposal to regress on the classification of Nikko Bay from AA class which is prestine quality to BB class which is comparable to Malakal Harbor classification. Happens to be one of only two similar locations in the entire Palau. Now only one left as Ngchesar already approved dredging of Taberngesang marine environment. I do not know about you but this is not a move forward but rather cutting the same hand that is feeding you.

Again I say we need to up date our environment laws but not water down protection of the land that gave birth to our nation Belau. Sulang.

santy

Santy

Amen, Amen and Amen---Sulang

Santy,

I disagree with you !

You made a statement and contradicted yourself at he end. You said that developers come to invest in Palau because of our environment and you mention sewer discharges, dump sites and circumvention of our environmental protection.

First of all Santy, the same people who are supposed to protect sewer overflows, dump sites and prevent environmental circumvention is EQPB.

And who is violating Palau's environment ? ITS NOT FOREIGN INVESTORS BUT LOCALS PEOPLE AND EVEN THE GOVERNMENT FOR FAILING TO DO THEIR JOB IN PREVENTING SEWER OVERFLOWS AND OVERFILLED DUMP SITES.

Foreign investors do not damage our environment Santy. I am sure you cannot give an example because there are none on record.

Its the government that has failed and EQPB is taking the rap for it. When the media asked Remengasau about sewer overflows in Koror, he said, each pump cost $75,000 and the government does not have money to keep $75,000 spare pumps on the shelf waiting for the next pump failure.

So there you go. Who is in charge here of protecting our sewer overflow ? Its definately not foreign investors but the previous administration's poor management and double talk on environmental protection.

And may a remind you, you were part of the last government. Where were you when you had the power to make good laws ?

Sorry Santy but you sound like a broken record and your assessment of EQPB is wrong. Senator Regis is right in doing something about this agency that has turned out to be a monster and not a problem solver.

i think its a terrible idea to abolish eqpb. cost-saving is one thing, but i feel that the existence of eqpb is crucial to the safety of its citizens and palau's future. we need an agency that exist primarily for environment protection and not one that wears many hats. terrible idea!

Santy,

If it is, as you say, that investors only have an interest in Palau because of our environment, then with our bad track record (that you are at pains to highlight) it is no wonder that we have so little foreign investment!

Secondly, if the foreign investor is interested in a good environment, then he will not be the one to violate our environment!


Get real!

To all those who are living in fear of change, you should thank the Lord that we have a new government - maybe they will get things done right! Are our citizens as safe as they should be - what has eqpb done to make it so safe?

Has eqpb done that much to make Palau's future any better? It has been a stumbling block used by those in power to chase away investment - is that how we prosper?

Man, you shoud get your head out of the sand!

Sulang.

Consolidation generally means cost-savings but I think Santy is saying we should be careful not to marginalize EQPB power as that could turn Belau from a Lost Paradise to a Lost Phillippines!

Where were they(EQPD)when the sewer systems were built along side some of the residential homes in Melekeok? What is going to happen when the over flow or leakage takes place in the near future affecting their livelihood not to mention their health issues. Someone wasn't thinking straight when they allowed cetain leaders to persue their agenda. Let's not kid ourselves thinking the foregners post a greater risk endangering our enviroment.

Exactly domfree,

That is what he meant. And it's very true.
Cost Saving is one thing, but let's make sure
that it does not affect their work for the
people and the island depends on it...


Mesulang,

Alii Kem Mrar Ker and Curious,

I think you are arguing the same premises that I raise. Re-read your postings and mine again. The government is the biggest violator of environment and the bill proposes to give that authority to the Minister of NET. EQPB had fine the government in the past because it has a board. Yes, it may be faulty in some aspects but it is better than to have the public works do the work evaluate it and police it for possible violations. This is skewed governance if you ask me.

Kem Mrar Ker funny you asked where was I. I fought the government when they propose the compact road be only compacted substrate with bituminous coating and without gutter system. I fought the government when the public water system was contaminated with chemical pollutants. I am a member of Water Safety Plan. I have been involved with many work and discussion on environment.

Curious I did not get the point of your first paragraph. Investors are not flocking to Palau mainly because we have a limited economy for one and plus many prospectors have been burned in the past. Actually Palau has a bad name in Japan already. FYI, many fly by nights come to Palau as investors but are really brokers for other people. The main reason they cannot comply with FIB requirements is they fail to disclose their financial backing.

Chetik...you missed the point. It is us (esp., state goverments and even nat'l government violating these regulations). And the bill proposing that the ministry will police and penalize the government. Is this for real? Please rethink this out. The Melekeok issue unfortunately is a political one and the people gave in to the pressure by both state and national goverment. And you want to give the power to the minister to approve environmental permits. I think with the board there is a light of hope that there will be some scrutiny.

You ask what EQPB has done for Palau? It at least has slowed us down from destroying our environment beyond repair. We still have an environment to speak of. If you want to stream line EQPB for cost-effectiveness and efficiency then I am all for that. Sulang for the discussion.

santy

i agree with santy

Santy is right. This move is just cut red tape and have EQPB fall under the Government so our Leadership can violate the Environment all they want. It will be easy for them to get permits for projects that they want without anybody telling them to stop. Who said it will cut cost, are you guys joking!! Its just going to be transferred to another office!!!

Santy,
Don't we have a requirement under the COFA to establish an independent body to regulate and safeguard the environment?

If the government absorbs this agency, who will fine the government for their violations? Who will fine the states? This is old school Palau coming back to destroy the future of our kids.

May I remind you all that EQPB has become too political and too discrentionary.

Get rid of the board and let the engineers and experts make the final decisions on approving the permits.

Foreign investors do not damage our environment.


Meral Belau:
Boards need to be overseen by the OEK. For a long while, the only "oversight" hearings are the dog-and-pony shows that are the budget hearings.

There are boards, not just EQPB, that trip over the line sometimes and yes, become too political and too discretionary and not implementing the law in a fair manner.

There are challenges but EQPB has done a good job overall. Foreign investors do damage our environment - if a "business" is not looked after properly, it will take all necessary shortcuts to make sure their bottom line is not diminished. That's a fact.

Investment in Palau is a good thing. EQPB is not a deterrent to investment, its a tool to protect what we have from abuse and to make sure our children enjoy the same Palau that we have enjoyed growing up. If investors CANNOT PLAY BY OUR RULES, DON'T COME TO OUR COUNTRY.

We have jackals and hyenas at our doorsteps waiting for the walls to come down. There will be problems - look around, we are dismantling everything that is protecting our citizens.

Everything has a price and our policy of opening up Palau to investors will have dire and long term consequences that will not be able to be undone...especially when it comes to environmental degradation.

Support the EQPB. If the Board is getting too political, remove them. Do not dismantle/absorb this crucial agency into an ineffective ministry or department.

Santy,
So, did the state of Melekeok went ahead with their plans with EQPB's approval or not? I know some people who are still very upset with what happened. I, personally don't see any difference with the board there now because the government is going to do whatever they choose to do, anyway. Sulang for this discussion!

Mardingaol,

As usual you are in a state of paranoia. Jackals and Hyenas indeed!

The past EQPB had little or no expertise with regards to environmental issues.

In any event, the EQPB should not have been authorised to issue permits. They are a policing agency and enabling a policing body to issue permits is a conflict of interest. It is the same as allowing the police to issue gambling licences!!!

The State Council should have the authority to issue building permits. The State council must of course follow a National Building Code and National Codes that regulate environment protection.

It is time for the National Government and State Governments to cooperate and zone Palau so that Foreign Investors know what is able to be built where.

Sulang.


Curious:
You are all good and fine with the National and State Governments having the reins of allowing development until someone comes to your backyard and starts digging and putting up structures and decimating the reefs.

Now, I being realistic when I say there are people out there waiting for our system to be weakened so they can have their way. I've met quite a few and I've had lengthy talks with them on their "visions." This is not some made up nonsense or paranoia on my part.

Your reasoning for a "policing" agency to issue permits doesn't hold water. First of all the EQPB is a "Regulatory" body. As a regulatory body, they have all the authority to issue or not issue permits for developments which will do harm to the general public, individual landowners, and especially to the environment. Policemen issue licenses to drive on the road. A license means you have met a certain set of criteria to enable you to drive safely on the road without endangering others. This concept holds true to the EQPB.

As for their technical capacity, the EQPB is very well equipped with some very bright and committed people working there. Even the board has some highly educated people with in depth knowledge of environmental issues and in SCIENCE.

Please go and make an appointment to meet with them or ask to sit in on a Board meeting - they are open to the public.

What is a conflict of interest is having the EQPB diluted into a Ministry which is run by someone who has little regard or understanding of how the environment plays a part in ensuring the QUALITY of life for all Palauan people and residents, and visitors. That minister will bend to the will of the open door policy to investors and truly POLITICIZE environmental protection and marginalize the EQPB's functions until it will no longer be viable and will no longer be effective.

Look around man and if you were strategically minded, you will realize that we are being set up for a free for all for the outsiders.

Who is going to benefit, NOT the everyday Palauan people like myself or maybe even you, who are not "belsachel."

Mark my words. Support EQPB.

Mardingoal,

'Bright and committed' does not mean being an expert - and, by the way, what are they bright and committed about? Their OWN agendas and that dictated to them by the TR administration? That's about right, is it not?

I also think you look down your nose at all other Palauans - after all, we are all committed to preserving the environment but we are not willing to be rediculous about it. Why must we all starve if preservation leads to poverty and stagnation - and , dare I say it, the HYPOCRACY of it all! Why not highlight exactly WHO said they were shit deep into preservation yet cut through the mangroves for their own house?

Nah! Enough is enough! All talk and pointing fingers at everyone else and even supposing others will be just like the old guy - please stop tainting everyone with the same brush! I know the stench is still there but you should realize that not everyone is so into hypocracy as you would have us believe! Too long under the last administration to see straight?

Perhaps if you believe in an even playing field then you may just see that SOME Palauans are in fact decent and truthful people!

We all supported the EQPB from its inception but where has it got us today? Nowhere!

Maybe it is YOU who feel excluded and are full of fear because you are not among the 'belsachel'!

Sulang!

I think the idea to abolish EQPB is not right at the moment. What is appropriate is to abolish the board members, and hire at least a scientist, an environmentalist, a surveyor, a biologist and a commoner. The problem we are faced with is: the people we rely on to review cases and request being brought to the board are appointees whose interest evolve around their ignorance, lack of appropriate expertise and personal interests. That is why Palau has not been able to move forward (development wise) but rather staggering backwards most of the time. Maybe the problem raised was a simple issue of chemical containment, but because the board lack the capability to act on it, they table it instead until it lapses. Then they would move to deny an already lapsed issue.

Just a thought!

"If the government absorbs this agency, who will fine the government for their violations? Who will fine the states? This is old school Palau coming back to destroy the future of our kids."

Mardingaol, I agree with the intent of EQPB, but today it already reports to the Government. When it fines the government for raw sewage dumping the same coffers that would pay the fine is that which would pay for EQPBs day-to-day operations. It's like you renting a car and it gets vandalized. Upon suing the vandal you realize he's the son of the agency owner. The owner will either write it off or take his son to court. EQPB's power is only as good as the president's support of it. So it doesn't matter where it goes - it's still under the president.

I'm curious with the abolishment of EQPB whether it will allow scams like Nautilus City and UKHIL other proposed projects to be revived again. Look at where JT put the UKHIL bagman and what ministry he currently heads. Visit the scam Naulius City website, its breathing again. Where o where has Moran gone? Too many men including Lily Chen in our midst! Got LD LOL

Forgive Sen. Akitaya he doesn't know what the F__k his doing!!!!

The (proposed) abolishing of the EQPB is somewhat of a shock to hear for me but then again, they haven't been something that I have heard high merits off. I don't know what will come of this but I do sure hope something good comes out of it. And if they need some scientist, I'll be sure to fill in that application (but let's keep the salary reasonable, my school was not cheap to pay for..)

Insecurity means Incompetence with EQPB under Minister Fritz! Sorry but that's the truth!

Mardingaol,

You are in fact paranoid.

Putting EQPB under the Ministry will not break any walls down. Environmental protection will continue but it will be done without politics and discretion of the board that lacks expertise.

EQPB is broken and needs fixing. Sen. Regis is right. Fix it. This board has stiffled quality development under the pretext that foreign investors destroy our environment. No !!

Abolish this monster and have the Ministry do the environmental protect. This will stop duplications and unnecessary discretion by a board that lacks expertise in this field.


Curious:
I am a commoner and I've worked very hard for what I have, and indeed ngdiak ngara belsachel.

It is indeed expensive to follow regulations for the environment and sometimes you wish they were not so tedious and indeed sometimes you do get frustrated with the EQPB. But, to discredit the Palauans working there is another thing. Expertise comes with money and time, and developing our country's capacity. We are not there yet, but we are getting close.

You didn't have a good answer for the "policing" comment and your "conflict of interest" argument. What say you?

Ked: You are right on the fining the government issues. But, what about when it is a private enterprise that gets fined? Does this lend itself to politics if people go straight to the Minister or to the President? I don't know, but at least now we have some sort of autonomy and independence.

Razzio, as far as your concerned. every government agency that doesn't let you do whatever you want is a "monster". That is sad because you fall into the "old school" category. Your senator Regis is a contractor and has had his run ins with the EQPB in the past which has made him quite the crusader for killing this agency. That's funny, I thought he was one of the new good guys - guess self service is key, just like the old dogs. Senator Akitaya's company is the one that put the solar panels at the hospital - hooray for that.

However, he didn't even go through any bidding process or follow any proper protocols for his solar panel projects. This gives you an idea of the type of person who introduced the EQPB deal. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too; no rules apply in Palau because we are a nation of MEN and not LAWS. Razzio, with all your comments I see here, you might as well be sitting at Did Ra Ngmatel. I'm being real and you are trying to play down the facts and issues that are going down right here at home. Don't distract buddy. Leave that to the Government to create distractions while things are going down.

Your thoughts?

Mardingaol, you really hit the nail. Its obvious why he ran for Sen. Ng meruul ra rolel mo er ngii!! Razio, kede ebuul kau ke kirel ker! So work will be done without ploitics eh, RIGHT, tial obis a mo under ra Executive branch.....you know scratch my back and I'll scratch yours!!! Also they will be doing the same thing hiring experts from outside like before cause not too many Palauans are yet qualified to hold most positions in EQPB.

Mardi,

Good observation but you are stilling missing the point. Environmental protection is best done without a board. When an applicant fulfills the EQPB requirement, he is entitled to his permit without foot dragging, personal agendum, and no arbitrary decsions inject by a dysfunctinal board.

The present EQPB board has too much discretionary power over permits, yet they are neither engineers nor environmental scientists.

Asian Development Bank agrees with my comments.

It is you who is from the old school. Additionally, you sound like you never applied for an EQPB permit so you have not been subjected to their inuendos, ineffieciencies, fillibusters, log jams and petty politicking.

Regis is right in doing what his is doing becuase he knows the unecessary inner workings of the EQPB board. This does not mean Regis is against protecting the environment. He is an engineer and has more knowledge about environmental protection than all the member of the EQPB board combined.

I say kudos to Regis and get this Bill passed. EQPB does not need a band aid solution, it needs a major surgery.

EQPB is supposed to help people. Instead, they intentionally crucify applicants and subject them to mindless redtapes, endless and irrelevent interrogations. That is why I call it a monster.

I have applied for environmental permits in the US, which has tougher laws than Palau, but the process is quick, professional and all requirements are done without a board. If you meet the requirements with proper engineering certifications, you get the permit. Palau's system is outdated, outmodeled, and out of synic with today's methods of issuing permits.

Fix it Regis ! You know best !

Razzio,

You are really out of Belau and the actuality taking place in Belau. Regis blasting the chelbacheb at Toiuechuiu qualifies him as an environment protector? You need to caliberate your head. They gave him 65 feet and he cut and destroyed 120 feet of the rock island. What engineer? No more measuring tape? Get out of here. No get out of Palau!

Buik Belau

Sounds to me there's a nonperformance issue with the existing EQPB. As a senator, Regis can fix it by specifically identifying and rectifying problematic discrepancies with the status quo instead of bureaucratizing an agency that I and others here think would be more effective if it remains adhocratic and independent from political forces. This way both Legislative and Executive branches can address issues directly to the agency independently or have equal say or access to. I say spread the power!

Buik Belau and the rest who are very informative on Senator Akitaya's previous EQPB violations....BRAVO!! I myself have done some digging up and have found more about my candidate. It is sad to know that this same person who introduced Senate Bill to dissolve EQPB has been fined by the EQPB board of a $150,000.00 when Vacation Hotel digged up more than 65ft of Toiuechuiu Rockisland where SLC was previously located. Sen. Akitaya, you owe me an explanation. My entire family voted for you because we believed that you will put people of Palau first before your own. Sadly to say that this bill was introduce for your own interest! I have lost faith in you. Do yourself some mathematics and deduct 150+ votes, next election.

Those comments who say that we need engineer and experts at EQPB, please do some digging up yourself. Aside from the board, EQPB is consist of different sections (Laboratory, Compliance, Hazardous Materials, Pesticides, Engineering, Hydrology, Legal, and Administration). FYI, EQPB Laboratory is certified by U.S. EPA. The EQPB Executive Officer and Laboratory Supervisor are both certified by EPA. These people are experts and yet we are not satisfied!! Just to make it short, Palau EQPB is the only office in Micronesia who holds EPA License. If EQPB is cetified agency by U.S. EPA, and the board appointees are appointed by the President of ROP and approved by the Congress, then why are we still complaining. With only $30 stipend for each board member for each meeting then in order to get rid the seven board members, Sen. Regis is only saved $2,520 annually. Sen. Akitaya, are you sure this cost-savings was the only reason why you wanted to get rid the board and nothing else?! How can a Minister of NRET fines you a $150,000.00 when your wife relatives have been a strong supporters of the current President?! I bet you don't have to pay private consultants to write yourself an Environmental Assessment that's worth couple of thousand of dollars, anymore. What you may need to know instead of pay some bucks is some energy to pick up the phone and dial in...we'll see.

News Worthy Idid,


I too voted for the guy, but if that is true than
I want some explenations too. We can't sacrafice our environment for the interests of the few....


Mesulang and I will do my digging too...

Some say that EQPB Board members are not scientists nor environmentalists thus they are not qualified.

People, please do call EQPB office and ask for the time and date of the next board meeting. Or leave your name and number and ask them to inform you when they have the next tentative board meeting schedule.

Once you attend, you will know the relationship of the EQPB management team and board members clearly. The board meetings consists of seven board members, EQPB legal council, executive officer, assistant executive officer, compliance specialists, engineer and one more person who keep minutes. The EQPB employees who have meticulously read the Environmental Assessments (EA is required when the project is 12 units or more) and compliance, engineering and laboratory sections have gone to analyze the site will comment on these EA's before scheduled board meeting. The EA's are not only reviewed by EQPB employees, but also other environmental agencies (Division of Environmental Health, PCS, Marine Resources, and so forth). This also prolong the process of permitting. However, the board wants to make sure that all other environmental agencies expertise need to be considered as well before the board meeting. So the actual board meeting, all environmental agencies expertise comments as well as EQPB's expertise comments will be provided to the board members. From there, the board will vote for the approval of the project.


People, even though the current board members of EQPB are not real scientists, they consider other environmental agencies expertise for each projects.


Razio,

Did you get permits in the States to build big projects or just a small project in your back yard? There is only one beautiful Palau and I agree that we must take our time and plan carefully to build our nation for us and our children and their children!! We need EQPB to be indipendent so it can do its work withour bureaucracy!

Its obvious why Sen. Akitaya wants this bill passed. I no longer support this guy!!

Hello Mosisecheklak,

While on your digging expedition, can you find out whether Palau has formal statutory building codes that address requirments for land cutting, burning, sewage disposal, rubbish disposal, drainage, fire-fighting, etc.

If Palau already has Statutory codes as deatiled to protect the environment, why do we need to spend public to maintain an EQPB agency.

Sulang.

Hello Santy,

If you claim that the EQPB is sooooo goooood, doing such a ggod job are you not contradicting yourself by saying that there is a cemetary dive site? ARE YOU CONFUSED SANTY?

You say that "foreign investors will not subject the cradle (environment) that holds their multi-million dollar investment". If this is true, why do we need the EQPB? Is'nt it a waste of public money to maintain an EQPB when no one wants to ruin the environment? Perhaps it is Palauan nationals like TR, and TS who are ruining the environment? Are you advocating that the EQPB is set-up to monitor Palauans? ARE YOU CONFUSED SANTY?

Santy, I suggest you give your pea-brain a rest about trying to find a solution as to how to develop and yet take care of the environment. Our new Minister of the Environment Harry Fritz being of german decent has the German know-how!!! Ha Ha Ha.

Did the Germans need EQPB's approval to dig the German Channel which we use everyday for Palau seaway transportation!!! Without the German Channel where would we be? Please answer!!! Santy, are you confused?

Certain development that is in the interest of this nation must come before environmental considerations! Wake up! Get real!

Sulang

LOL! Wow, Red Herring,

Seems like your on fire. Swooping in with
scattered firing and no clear target...LOL!

One at a time my friend,

Let's start with less rethoric and more on what
you really want to get across...


Mesulang,

Red herring,

U funny.... Good to have you back and read your different views and not the same commentators who keep repeating themselves.

bravo, bravo red herring..
Mosisecheklak, now now, are you saying you can't answer our friend Red Herring? LOL!!

Comment deleted by the Administrator.

Comment deleted by the Administrator.

I think red herring is being childish, trying to argue or rather attack with no real reason. It's embarrassing and not funny at all. We are moving forward, and the economy has fallen of the cliff. It's either you support EQPB being abolished or you don't. Grow up!

Red Herring,

First you have the advantage of addressing me knowing full well my background but I do not have the same privilege on your background for me to draw up my response. I gather from your comments that you are very angry person or I have personally offended you in the past like we have some unsettled business. Calling other people pea brain is a good sign of immaturity or lack of good manners. I have stated my views on this issues and you can promote yours on this blog as well. I happen to respect Senator Akitaya but I just differ with his views on the EQPB issue. You do not see me calling him names. Such behavior only bring down the level of discussion on this blog. Until you argue your views in a civilized fashion I cannot see how I can communicate with you. Oh and you do not have to agree with me or anybody for that matter but that does not warrant being rude acceptable. Sulang ma uriul.

santy

Hello Santy,

I am not a politician and as such do not have to be politically correct in my manners. All I know is that EQPB has been the single largest barrier to development and foreign investment in this country. Palau is in dire financial and the cause is corruption by both the Nakamura and Remengesau administration supported by the general corruption and ineptness of the EQPB and FIB. This ia the undiable fact!

There are developments that are essential for the survival of our country, such as the compact raod. Palau needs larger ports, Palau need a larger airport, palau needs its own airlines, Palau needs international banks and insurance companies. Palau needs more and larger hotels.

If the likes of EQPB and the FIB put in barrier to stiffle these developments on the excuse of environmental protection, Palau is Kaput! That is what I know to be real!

So as far as I am concerned getting rid of the EQPB abd FIB is a good thing but more importantly Palau needs to reform the laws that governm foreign investment!

Sulang

Let's see--hummmm---Red Herring says to abolish the EQPB---Red Herring says for us to ignor that proven deliberate environmental violations of Senator Akitaya and Red Herring says for us to "trust" our Environment to Harry Fritz--Can we all do our research?---EQPB is the best friend of our Environment which is our greatest asset---be appreciative if Red Herring could just list one reassuring fact that qualifies Harry to be the protector of our most famous national heritage. As for his comments on Former Senator Santy I can only say "shame on you Red Herring". Santy Asanuma is one of the "Rare Breed"--his love of country, integrity and honesty are well known. Agree with him or disagree, he deserves and is "worthy" of our respect. We need not destroy our environment to reap financial gain. I ask you Red Herring to place our nation, our heritage, our culture and our self respect first and be leery of those with questionable motives and pasts.

I completely agree that the EQPB needs to be completely independent entity whose money / ties have nothing to do with the Ministry. Why would eqpb object to things that harm the environment if their compensation/job is tied to the opposite, which is agreeing with the Minister?

Many here are continuing to miss my point.

IF in fact eqpb is EPA licensed with engineers and so forth, THEN WHY DO WE NEED A 7 MEMBER BOARD ? GIVE THE AUTHORITY TO THE DIRECTOR TO GRANT OR DENY PERMITS like all other countries around the world.

If an applicant meets all the eqpb requirements, give him/her the permit !!!! This can be done by the director or a Minister.............NOT A a dysfuntional BOARD.

The 7 member board only adds another layer of bureaucracy to an already slow moving agency.

Get rid of the board and let the real people behind the scene (lab technicians, engineers and scientiests) make the determination and the director approve or disapprove a permits. Simple !

My contention is the inefficient board. I am not compromising environmental protection in Palau.

It is the same board that acts political, does delay tactics, aggravate applicants, lacks quorum at times, meets only once a week and lacks the expertise.

This is exactly what Regis is trying to do.

If eqpb is broken, then lets fix it.

Razzio Belau,

Your question is noteworthy. Governmental problems need to be looked at on the broader picture and historical landscape so that one have the full view why things are the way they are today. Isolating an issue and discussing it without reference to the past can lead us to useless discussion. The package does have some bearing on the content's quality so to speak. I swear that the rice cooked over wood fire or wrapped by mengchongch definitely taste better than the ones cooked by rice cooker or wrapped by aluminium foil. Of course, non-Palauans would find these assertions hard to believe. And mind you, my son thought this was absurd but now he is sold on this Palauan tested practice. He is a Palauan after all.

Once upon a time during the T.T. days there were rare or no boards or commisions in existence. When Palauans filled the positions of responsibility and authority across the spectrum in government, omeluchel became the practice and put so much pressure on those individuals to give in easily. Then there were directors who were medidiich and harassed to give their approval to those who are bekeu malechub e temetaet. To make critical government approval more objective and compliant with our natioanl policies board and commisions were born. I happen to think that this policy is still relevant so much more today than T.T. days.

Civil Service Board when it was taken out, the whole sky of Palau has been covered with helicopters ever since. And you have to have the Palauan anecdotal perspective to understand this statement. When ABC Board was removed you are not sure if walked into high school functions every time you go to the local bars.

To spell it out in plain language: it is easier for one person to be bought than to bribe a whole board. That's the protection that we hope will protect our society from the evils of corruption. I happen to think we are going to be sorrier if removed EQPB Board. If the board is not doing its job then change the members.

I also happen to believe that the contention that EQPB and FIB are hinderance to development in Palau are not substantiated or overplayed by developers who wants short cut on the process and in most time at the expense of the environment. Soon we will not be able to swim in the waters of Koror because of pollution. This is a real problem and not an academic statement. Sulang for bring this question to the discussion.

santy

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