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June 24, 2005

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According to a conservative estimate, the number of foreigners working/residing in Palau amounts to approximately 36% of Palau's indigenous population. I find that a bit worrisome. Well, actually, I find this matter something that requires serious consideration. Maybe it is time for Palau's children to step up and start contributing to society. For those who are progressing in their learning abroad as I am, God speed. But do go back home as I shall and be a part of helping the greatest nation in the world.

Belau_1: "Maybe it is time for Palau's children to step up and start contributing to society".

Book of Genesis Chapter 9:1
"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth".

I'm a Palauan living in a foreign Country. I wonder if they feel the same way about me.

I understand some of the nations listed because we see them everywhere. To me, the Asians stick to their businesses. But the growing filipinos and bangladesh population are more noticeable.

Oh, and I didnt realize that we had foreigners from Nepal.

I saw a billboard in the city advertising a play regarding what if there were suddenly no Mexicans in California. I wondered the same about the foreigners in Palau. They are 30 + percent of our populace yet account for 73% of the paid workforce according to the Bureau of Democracy& Labor. This is scary thought but I am sure will be our island's reality for years to come unless our leaders make some tough decisions. Just my thoughts.

Thanks JOE for sharing! Palau should do something of the kind. Perhaps another ''Techebui" of a sort local tv show but focusing the theme on Palau's future WITHOUT say Philippino workers or another show with multi-ethnic filled Belau with Palauans being pushed to the ''honto'' areas doing low paying jobs similar with the case of our Hawaiian cousins...and a minority in their own nation. This will definitly have a great impact in the ngelkel Belau ra klukuk.

sulang,

Smiich

Badrei: 'Book of Genesis Chapter 9:1
"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth".'

Fortunately, not everybody's a Christian. But really, why not argue the issue and give the Christian rhetoric bull!@#% a rest.

Perhaps my point should have been made clearer. That is: Palau is in need of something, economists such as myself, would call a human resource. Unfortunately, the demand for a job in Palau is high but the supply (salary) is low. Whenever there is an imbalance in a system, one side tends to weigh heavier. Simple common sense. Ghastly arithmatic. If one pays attention to the salary breakup, especially in the goverenment sector which is the largest employer, the higher margins tend to lean towards the white and blue collar occupations. Two major issues stem from this and lead to other issues. One being that the government is still the largest employer because this does little to contribute to revenue and second, salary unfairness just discourages people from getting a job in Palau.

Care to counter?

Sometimes a complex question requires more than a simple answer. Numbers indicate that the govt. accounts for 33% of total employment while the services sector driven by tourism stands at 46% with the remaining numbers attributable to the industry sector i.e. food processing, handicrafts etc.. (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat). If these numbers bear out than it's the private sector that is the largest employer in Palau. As you are probably aware, it is the one sector where the indigenous population is least represented. The employment makeup more than likely is foreign. I cannot say with certainty what the actual figures are but the salaries earned by this class of workers does not stay in Palau to benefit our economy to the point that it ofsets the impact on our infastructure and basic govt. services. Just my thoughts.

I agree with Joe. Obviously, foreign workers who make up 1/3 of Palau's population, work for mostly private employers (i.e private households, and private businesses). These foreign workers are called sojourners. They come to Palau to reside TEMPORARILY while earning income to send home or to take home at end of their contract(s). To my knowledge, the lowest pay that the foreign worker earns in Palau is $100 to $150 per month granted that his/her employer provides housing and food. Though they earn a meager salary per month, let's do the math. If there are 6,000 foreign workers earning $150 per month, how much money have the private businesses and homes spent? At the end of the month, approximately $900,000 is earned by foreign workers. Mind you, $900K is only the payment per month -- what about the cost of housing and food for these foreign workers? If you know the average amount, just add that to the amount of money they earn per month. It should be over a $1million. We Palauans must be very rich. In anycase, where does that money go? Again, they are temporarily employed in Palau and their reason is to earn money to send home. Now, my figures aren't exact, but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why Palau is NOT making money. Private citizens as well as the government rely on foreign employment because some of us believe that it would be cheaper to employ foreign labor rather than employing our own citizens. Now let's say, hypothetically speaking, that Palauans began employing other Palauan citizens to do the work foreigners were paid to do. The money spent by the employers would then be paid to citizens; where does that money go? Back into the Palauan economy. Think of it like your were recycling used bottles. The bottles would then be made into glass and that glass would be put back into the buildings. Well, just like that, the money given to the private citizen would then be put into use. For example, better education for their children. And as we all should know by now, children are the future of Palau. So with more money to the employees, they can educate their children and one day, those children will better lead Palau. BUT as of now, most of Palau spends money on foreign workers so foreign workers can earn money to send their children to better schools. And one day, their children will come to Palau to educate the Palauan children.

Oh well...it really is easier said than done...but just think about all that money and how poor we Palauan citizens are and might be if this continues...

Yeah, I agree with the 2 commenters above. They both put in pretty interesting points. I think I meant to say that the government employs the larger part of the indigenous population in contrast with the private sector. Just so that we're clear on that.

Where do we go from here? What do we do as a collective? Foreign workers are only the tip of the iceberg! There is only one ROP Patrol boat but 300 longliners plying our territorial waters. From this industry, what do the actual numbers translate to in terms of jobs and the actual dollars put in the pockets of the people of Palau. As it stands, only a few individuals benefit directly form this industry. You have a OEK who has the tools to play proctector or equalizer if you will. Yet, some of its members feel that they are a priveleged class and don't want to get down and dirty and fight for us ordinary palauans. Just my thoughts for now.

I don't know about you Joe but I feel like starting a revolution! Ever since I was in Palau. Belau you just wait. I'll get my degree and we'll see what happens when I return.

You know what? That last comment didn't really do it for me.

What is it going to take for Palauans in Palau to take action? "The government by the people for the people...and so forth". Seriously! What is it going to take?

I know it's a complicated matter. But the Great wall of China was built from a single stone. And Rome wasn't built in a day. Therefore, changing how the government runs things will neither be quick nor easy. Only concern oneself with the pre-eminent issue at hand. That is, a movement should start from someone in Palau right now.

It might be a radical idea but Radicals are known to get the job done.

What to you thing?

Belau_1 sounds like you need to go home and start the movement. You up for the challenge?

Nah, I'm just saying that we have the answer...

BUT WHO'S WILLING TO DROP THEIR PERSONAL BUSINESS TO DO IT?

That's the question.

Why should there be this question?

BECAUSE...we have school, we have work, we have mouths to feed, we have this and that...

Someone needs to stand up in Palau or else no one will do the job. AND that someone has to have support from the multitude.

Any BRAVE and SELFLESS souls out there willing to strike up a revolution?

Every society is really governed by unexplained doctrines and by unspoken but deep truisms on the part of the people. Palauan society is no different. But wait minute, I thought Palau was a democracy. It is but we also adhere to another system based on our cultural practices. Can the two systems coexist? The answer is that they have been. The problem is in the minds of the people that one can overide the other. Maybe by accepting this duality will we find our strength and the means in which we control and further define the society in which we live. We Palauans must continue to educate ourselves as well as stressing the importance of education to the children of Palau. The nation's transformation will come sooner than you think. I end with the our constitution's preamble. I hope it moves you to continue thinking about what is best for our country and its preservation.

"we all proclaim and reaffirm our immemorial right to be supreme in these islands of Palau, our homeland"

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