edited May 2007 in General
Just when things were settling after just nominating the Nation's President, Vice-President and the other leadership posts in the Speakership and etc., newly elect Congressman Fredrico Primo wasted no time and submitted his first congressional BILL on the floor seeking amendments to the current FSM/State Revenue Sharing from the original 50/50 formual to 70/30 in favor of the States.

Congressman Primo, who relinquished his former post as the Chairman on Public Works, Pohnpei State Legislature to take helm of the two year seat vacated by Peter Christian in this 15th FSM Congress, argued that the present 50/50 revenue sharing has proven unworthy time after time as the Nation see clearly see evidence of Kosrae State and Chuuk State now in financial distress. He said that with a 70 percent share of the Nation's revenue given to the States, this will eventually enable the States of Chuuk and Kosrae to regain some financial strength to revive their conditions a bit raidly than waiting on the National Government to scrounge up financial assistance from other sources.

This is a bold and confident move by a very most freshman Congressman and it is interesting to see how his colleagues will react to this BILL as introduced by Congressman Primo who brings to Congress a no nonsense attitude and a message to his colleagues that he, Sen. Primo is here to make a difference.


  • Yes yes that's what they are suppose to do in the seats. Help improve this nation..

    Let's Go AWAK
  • I agree this is quite eye-catching move by the novice senator from Pohnpei, and he certainly will need as much support that he can get, especially starting from his own Pohnpei delegation. I must add that this is quite an unprecedented way of handling business right in the midst of a leadership reorganization. I observed the same from Senator Sitan who introduced the idea of a popularly elected president. Some of the members even took the opportunity to recognize their mothers and wives, which is very much Micronesian but maybe a little over the board, I must say. I hope Speaker Figir is ready to instill some sense of professionalism in the 15th Congress, something many people are noticing about our Congress lately and should be reckoned with to restore the integrity and sanctity of the congressional halls.

    One last word on the proposed bill by the neophyte senator from Pohnpei. While we can appreciate the difficulties that states are facing in terms of funding, I think what is important would be to make sure that more money to the states does not mean more drain into a bottomless crockery of abuse and corruption. My point is let us make sure that increasing States' share fisheries funding is accompanied by stronger accountability and good governance measures. You see, much of the money that is kept by the national government from fisheries eventually end up with the states anyway. In other words, the money is kept safe and sound at the national government. If this money is going to be given up more to the states, then I am afraid the national government will lose the flexibility and capability to come to the aids of the States when they need help. Hence, good governance at the state level must be shored up even more to prevent flushing scarce resouces into the black hole.
  • Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes,,,,,,,,,,,No waist time thats what I like it.......Yes Mr. Primo wake everybody up......I am here in Chuuk and Im kind of wake up when I read this shit..............
  • The congressmans effort in introducing such a kind hearted bill should be applauded; unfortunately its like always bailing out a kid who rather squander or misuse his funds knowing the parents will always bail him out. Ulong, you are absolutely right, giving the states more money will just open up more ways for the states to find excuses to misused funds instead of investing it in worthy causes.

    Futhermore, the national government should invest the money in worthy causes such as stimulating the economy and making sure that every citizens is educated. Our leaders should ensure that her citizens are educated and be independent so they would in turn stop depending on projects and the governments hand me down.
  • Personally acknowledging one's mom or wife in a crowd or meeting is not a micronesian way. Indeed, it is done only in foreign lands, where men have the courage and confidence to show affections to family members without looking unmanly or some would say today, looking cool. That is simply not done in our islands by our men.

    So I applaud the few who had the courage to do so during the opening ceremony of our 15th congress. I have followed congressional ceremonies both at home and abroad, and it is indeed appropriate for our leaders to show appreciation at the appropriate times. The swearing-in ceremony yesterday was one appropriate time. Like the new President did, he found it necessary to acknowledge his family because he now knows the deep meaning and value of family members, having lost some of his own and missing them throughout one of the most important events in his life.

    What I thought was inappropriate because it was so obviously politically motivated was the introduction of Primo's bill. I think it was introduced to call attention to himself, letting everyone know the campaign tactics never end. Personally, I think it was bad timing. It would have sounded more sincere to me if it was done on a regular day of session instead of when he had a big audience watching. What' was the rush? Oh, he didn't want to waste time. right!

    Now, I would understand the introduction of Sitan's amendment about electing a President. That was an appropriate time to introduce it because many people were there to listen and think about it, especially after all the experiences and dramas done during this presidential election.
  • I think Mr. Primo is showing off his future dream(s) to become the next Nation's President soon enough when the deal with Chuuk comes around to be out. Good for him if he's gonna start off like this, can't wait to respect the fact that some people are appreciating the new set of officers in the executive level! Obviously he has no patience to acknowledge time as being of essence to compliment every moments endured.
    The attitude is simply businesslike....casual and plain simple as that.
    We need LEADERS in there...that are compassionate and considerable to other PEOPLE at whatever time it would take to bring about progress.
    If already Mr. Primo is moving at this fast pace and the rest are that slow...then we all know that he's sparks are gonna burn the soonest. He can't get his bill through without all the rest.

    FSMer's, I still do acknowledge Mr. Primo...give him a round of applause for his quick in ACTION.
    Go PNI>all for our one Nation's good:))))))))
  • Prince,

    Depite the criticsm from others, I support your Congressman move in the first session of the new Congress. It demonstrates that he is serious about business. The let's wait and see attitude has been part of the instituional culture in Congress and the executive, may I add. Primo must continue what he belives in, waste no time. His action speaks louder than the spoken criticsm coming from all kinds of directions.

    Congratulation to Congressman Primo!
  • Ate, if you peer the US Congressional Journals you will never find such spousal acknowledgement. But, you will find it in the FSM Congress journals with rather unorthodox for the old Congress.

    Yes, Senator Primo did something unexpected almost of a neophyte representative. While that is gutsy enough, we will see how he follows through given that he is new in the national congress. But, my point holds true that dishing out more money to the States where it can be useful ought to be followed by strict measures of accoutability, transparency and responsibility. This is what good governance is all about, and it is increasingly becoming a requirement of foreign assistance lately. It is not how much money the States have, but how it gets spent is what matters the most. Don't that make plenty sense nowadays?
  • Ulong,

    Neophytes? That is rather and underestimation of Mr.Primo.

    If I understand it correctly, there was never a reference of dishing out more money to the states but rather reallocation of funds which in my view makes more sense. The national gov't in my estimation is equally guilty as the states. It does not makes sense why the national gov't should hold on a bigger share of the funds. Irresponsible? A convinient historical distortion on the part of the FSM gov't. Yeah legally right but morally dysfunctional, that is my assessment of the FSM gov't on the issue of funds allocation. So which one would you support at this stage, legal rights or moral obligations duties?

    Congressman Primo, your one of my leaders I will support for sure.
  • Rebel, if you increase the formula as proposed by Senator Primo to 70/30, you are giving the states more share of the money collected from principally fishing fees and less for the government. My point is that's fine but let's make sure that such increase in funding for the states is buttressed by good governance measures, having learned from the mismanagement and mishandling of funds by the states, particularly Chuuk and Kosrae, while Pohnpei is not far off. And as I mentioned earlier, the national government's share of the funding is kept at the national treasury but often ultimately ends up with the states when they are in serious need of it. Let's face it, the national government is often looked to for assistance when the states have fiscal problems. You call that irresponsible?

    On the point I made about Senator Primo being a neophyte, yes, he is as far as the national government legislative body is concerned, but certainly not his first legislative exposure having served in the Pohnpei Legislature. I submit to you these two bodies have significant differences, and I need not expound on that as you can easily imagine. I have respect for Senator Primo who I know quite well since Xavier days.
  • Well, if the FSM gov't. must play the role of covering the states of their mismanagements then 50/50 share is justified. What happened to the states investment funds from compact I? The problem with congress appropriations is that congressmen have no implementing roles in the funded projects which means there is a need of such mechanism to be putted in place. As always the funds either redirected or abused in a loop-hole process. Audit only comes after when it is too late. Any formula furhering the disadvantage of the FSM govt's. share will be greately affected by all the states and the majority of the people in FSM. I.E. Scholarship program in Chuuk for it's insufficient funds and Yap where educational priority is structure on political bias and not based on true needs of the state. I believe there must be fair and balanced in divising the local revenue in order for a widely disburshment of public funds to each and everyone in the FSM.
  • I applauded the bold move the Politician from Pohnpei had made during the first day of men at work. Infact, I very much encourage the rest to do the same for that's the ultimate reason why we put you in work collectively for the betterment of the people of this Federation and not for your own personal gain. Way to go Mr.Primo!!!
  • Turmai, your points are well taken. While we would like to believe that Congress members have no implementing role in project funds utilization, you and I know they do get unnecessarily involved in actual usage of funds they provided to the states. This is the infamous pitcher-catcher syndrome that has mired sustainable development at the state/local level.

    You will recall that a similar constitutional amendment on changing the funding-share formula was suggested but did not see the end of daylight. I personally feel the idea is not timely and prudent especially at this time of fiscal mismanagement at the state level. If it should come through, it ought to be accompanied by strong application of good governance and enforcement measures, otherwise, such larger funding share risk being flushed into a black hole. What is wrong with the current formula when the national government keeps funding and gives it out, with conditionalities, when needed by the states? The states must prove that they can restore fiscal discipline and management of scarce resources before they ask for a bigger share of the pie. This should be an important pre-condition.
  • To Mr. Primo, I would rather have you as my congress. You are certainly for the people of your state(s). As for the revenue sharing, this would be quite a sensitive topic for now because despite of good governance and transparency, this government is still numb in handling of funds.
  • I'm not sure whether you people are talking from at posts of the national gov't or you're just talking merely by having something to say in regards to the topic. I, however, wish that you people do not start attacking my senator Mr. Primo unnecessarily. Mr. Primo did a great job to begin his new term as Pohnpei's representative to the congress by bringing forth some major agenda for his colleagues to begin with. 70/30 revenue shares formula is not new to the Congress. Actually, that was the original formula about ten or so years ago, which was changed later to give equal share to the national gov't. What is it for really, when we know that it's the state governments who actually do most of dirty jobs? I think Mr. Primo is genuinely concerned for the states' operations as we know now that they are having rough time trying to deal with their deficits. Knowing that the states actually do the collections of revenues, it's very realistic for them to keep the 70% to operate with. Congress can play around with their budgets to cut on costs, considering their salaries and representation funds are way too high for such people who hardly do nothing. It's about time the Congress do something with their own spending. What's the real meaning of their representation funds? I think it's time they do something with their big junk of budget for the Congress.
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