American Samoa Drug Control Commission official launch

October 2, 2017

The official launch of the American Samoa Drug Control Commission Program was held at the Lee Auditorium on Monday October 2nd.  After introductory comments by newly appointed Drug Task Force Coordinator Ti’alemasunu Mikaele Etuale, the ceremony began with welcoming remarks by Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs HTC Malemo Tausaga.  A hymn was provided by the Samoana High School Choir under the direction of Pati Pati Jr.  followed by the invocation by Reverend Elder Tony Hollister of CCCAS Iliili who encouraged the use of “family values to deal with the growing drug crises in the Territory.  Next to speak was Manu’a District Governor PC Laolagi Vaeao who read the official proclamation. (view proclamation here)

Keynote speaker for the event was Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga who said that the day marked the beginning of concerted efforts to address the problem of tobacco use, alcohol abuse and use of illicit drugs in American Samoa.  He expressed the urgency and importance of developing solutions in order to foster healthy and productive youth and citizens. Governor Lolo stated that solutions must be sought utilizing all resources available which includes government agencies, religious organizations, village and families with a focus on education and public awareness.

Following the Governor’s heartfelt remarks, respective agencies detailed their plans for activities slated for the kick-off week at Su’igaula Beach Park. Themes and presenters are as follows: Department of Health – Prevent Youth Tobacco Use, Department of Human and Social Services – Prevent Underage Drinking and Alcohol misuse, LBJ Medical Authority – Prevent Prescription and Opioid Drug misuse, Department of Public Safety/Department of Homeland Security – Prevent Illicit Drug Use and Marijuana Use.

Closing remarks were then offered by Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga who reinforced the directive of Governor Lolo for all to come together to resolve the drug problems facing the Territory.  A final prayer was offered by Reverend Hollister to conclude the event.

The American Samoa Drug Control Commission members are as follows:

 

Co-chairs:

Honorable Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga – Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa

PC Mauga T. Asuega – Secretary of Samoan Affairs

 

Members:

Bishop Peter Brown – Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago

Reverend Elder Mamoe Eveni – CCCAS

Reverend Pasili Farani – Methodist Church

Reverend Elder Fa’amao Asalele – CCJS

Pastor Uili Solofa – Seventh Day Adventist

Reverend Toelei’u Amuamuia – Nasareta

Reverend Aifa Tanuvasa – Assembly of God

Reverend Elder Pati Vaeao – Pentecostal

President Adney Reid – Latter Day Saints

Filifa’atali M. Fuiava – Department of Agriculture

Dr. Ruth Matagi Tofiga – Department of Education

Motusa Tuileama Nua – Director of Health

Faumuina J. Faumuina – CEO of LBJ Medical Center

Nafanua Eseneiaso Liu – Director of Human Resources

Jonathan Fanene – Director of Youth & Women’s Affairs

Dr. Claire T. Poumele – Director of Port Administration

Le’I S. Thompson – Commissioner of Public Safety

Ueligitone Tonumaipe’a – Treasurer

Samana S. Ve’ave’a – Director of Homeland Security

Dr. Taeaoafua M. Solomona - Director of Human & Social Services

Talauega E. Ale – Attorney General