Our People First

Former President Kuniwo Nakamura visited Palau Congress and raised great concerns of the immediate issue of Palauans leaving their homes to go seek a better life abroad. I applaud his concerns as it really needs to be addressed so we can stop the brain drain from our homes. I know if we can create better opportunities at home, all the Palauans abroad will jump at the chance of returning home and live for the rest of their lives. No place like home.

I know we have the means, what I see as an obstacle is the lack of pursuing and prioritizing. They need to reroute and channel more funding to develop the islands to accommodate our own people first and foremost. A lot of these foreign businesses are coming in, sometimes excluding our people from job opportunities.

I see the our migration to continue at a drastic rate unless we implement sound policies and develop incentives to keep Palauans from leaving.

( I know Trump do not care much about this issue so I am dumbfounded how he is dominating threads in this forum. But then again, the firestarter must be living abroad to care so much about him. More power to you}.

In the meantime, I know the FSM and the Marshalls are facing the same out migration trends. Alarming indeed.

Let us hold our leaders accountable and demand their full attention to this issue above all their agendas- hidden or exposed.


  • @belas

    Thanks for sharing this news This is pure and true Micronesian style wisdom being imparted upon us by one of our wisest men and most honored. I hope Micronesians find some inspiration in reading this and hopefully it leaves a permanent profound presence deep within their Micronesia Souls.

  • Lol-So Trump is to blame for belauans, FSMers&Marshalese migrating to the US and its territory am i right @Belas. Funny you keep boasting about belau tourism boom yet that cant stop belauans from immigrating. Hypocrisy.
  • Pawn, see how shallow your comprehension skills are. Contradicting your shortfalls in reading comprehension, I alluded to why are you giving so much limelight on the Donald. I actually dread why you are filling up the forum with donald-me-this and donald-me-that is mindboggling. Isn't there any worthy news on the islands to share to our audience?

    Like I said, you seem to have grown your roots abroad so good for you.

    And like any proud islander, I boast about my Palau everywhere and anywhere I have an audience. What's wrong with that! At least I have pure roots. Not ones that have been fertilized by foreign pesticides.

  • Belas/coconuts, noble of you to come out and support your individual take on the micro outmigration for better livelihood. I don't know how you 2 think to create opportunities for the people on these tiny speck of lands. Home is where there is prosperity, safety, hope and etc. Hard to find those in the present micro settings. Easy for you 2 2 say what you have been saying but you haven't demonstrated the actual DO IT BETTER scenario. So, please until you tell me where to go and flip burger in Chuuk to support my livelihood I will continue to flip burger at Carl's Jr. for better or for worse. Take advantage of the opportunity available until it runs its course and then ?.
  • Alii kinen. Frankly speaking, I have been around this forum for a long while, and I think I have elaborated a lot of "Priorities" our leaders need to take in order to bring my people back home. The islands face a lot of similar situations but I know Palau is fairing well in terms of its economic stability.

    I will share at the top of my head right now what I know Palau can work on. First, raising the minimum wage. Our tax system need to be more streamlined and tax collection improved to allow this to happen. Our leaders need to lower their salaries to allow this to happen. Those are two big ones that can inject funding to increase our minimum wage, which compared to a lot of the islands, except Guam and Saipan, Palauans do earn a lot per capita.

    The reason why banks are hesitant to lend money for first time entrepreneurs is because they don't make that much to cover the cost. Yes, we have loans for small businesses, but it is limited. If we have a higher minimum wage, that is one of the keys to open the banks for lenders. Too anyone who knows anything about starting a business, borrowing from banks and other financial institutions is a nice way to go. Because if you have borrowed money before, one of the key things they ask for is if you are employed and how much and how often do you get paid. With a high pay increase, and Palauans having lands and a lot of real estate to grow and produce and build (before it gets overrun by foreigners' businesses) don't you think this is a monumental solution?

    Again, there is so much common-sense solutions to share but so little time so for now, I let you ponder on this one while I go drink a cold one. TGIF so it's that time to unwind and do some cha-cha!!
  • Trumo don't care he says yet didnt stop micronesians from coming to america. Lol....ill let you deak with current events in micronesia while i inform micronesia of world events. Decades from now the toursim business in belau will be dominated by foriegners, thats a fact. Let that sink in.
  • All that you have said had been around for the longest time, when do we put them to fruitful reality? That remains to be the elusive wonder. There seems to be no genuine interest in our leaders to rectify the situation. Year after year, the workforce, economic foundation, for the islands development, cried for help no one lend a hearing ear or a caring heart. Sometimes I think the leaders conspire to keep the people in the box to make sure their grip on power is not compromised. I hope I'm wrong. In the mean time let's support our wondering nomads as they venture into the world of opportunities/uncertainties.
  • You have a point there Belas which is happening in all of Micronesia...even CNMI, Guam, ROMI, Kiribati, Nauru, including most Polynesian islanders. However, I would like to see ROP conduct a comprehensive survey to its own people why they left the island in the first place. Yes, green pasture might be first and foremost, second is job opportunities, thirdly is western education....why they left? Well...there are many issues....over population explosion, lack of jobs, inequality treatment, gov't corruption, low standard of education....we can go on and on...but I think there should be a comprehensive evaluation that's needed to be conducted by the local gov't, or NGO's,....to all its residences living abroad. Once data is compiled, then truly scientific measurement will pinpointed exact and precise conclusion why many Palauans abandoned their 'home island'...Sulang.
  • The migration for us COFA nations started when we were still Trust Territories, but gradually more and more moved abroad when we officially became known as COFA nations because there were less restrictions on us. In the TT era until now, in essence, the reasons are practically the same, to seek more opportunities in terms of better paying jobs (education, healthcare, joining the military) are some reasons, but it is to seek better paying jobs that enticed people to move. And yes, it is well-documented if you need to research, well the power is in your fingertips.

    Let us not fool around and pretend we don't know the reasons why our people are moving, all you have to do is become a natural social scientist and observe, listen, make the connections= and walla, you have your conclusions. Your inquiry is well received though Kuluhu, but the answer is very obvious.
  • Going back to the first post on this topic. Of course Micronesians are migrating to the US for better opportunities, in the same way that migration takes place around the rest of the world. This is not unique. What is unique and fueling this migration from Micronesia to the US is the COFA visa-free admission to the US. So long as there is a "safety valve" to escape hardship, low wages, poor medical care, and not great education in Micronesia, people will leave. This situation is further fueled by substantial local spending on social projects, travel, etc that do not contribute to improving wages, medical care, education in Micronesia. If easy migration to US was not available, there would be more pressure on improving conditions here.
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