Hafa Adai and Alii, everyone!
This week I had the pleasure of meeting the president of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Dr. Hilda Heine. She is the first woman president in the Marshalls and in our region.
We recently attended the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit, which is now called Micronesian Islands Forum, hosted by the Republic of Palau.
She stated, during the forum, that working together as one Micronesia we have a stronger voice: â€œIn unity there is strength.â€
I agree. The people of Micronesia have to come together and work together to build our respective economies.
Thereâ€™s a quote that I used during the forum that ties into what President Heine noted: â€œA rising tide lifts all boats.â€
Whether itâ€™s working on strategies to address the negative impacts of climate change, increasing tourism in our islands, improving education and health services – it is critical that we work together.
Last week, I had to choose between two meetings. I was given another opportunity to attend a meeting with federal officials in Washington, D.C. to discuss the issues related to our region, to include Compact impact, or work with my fellow leaders of Micronesia on solutions to challenges we share.
I sent someone to represent Guam in Washington, D.C. to reiterate our concerns as well as our pleas for the federal government to live up to its promises.
I decided it was more important for me to attend a gathering with my brothers and sister. I asked them to help us knock on doors to address the disparity in various issues, including the underfunding of Compact impact and Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement rates. Both of these issues impact us all – our hospital relies on reimbursements from Medicare & Medicaid to pay for the supplies and services they provide our people – and the federal government promised to help states and territories hosting FAS migrants with the cost of opening their doors to public services.
I appreciate the open-mindedness of the group, which included leaders from RMI, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and, of course, Guam. I look forward to ensuring the issues we discussed at the forum develop into a tide of solutions that can indeed lift all of our boats.
- Gov. Eddie Calvo