July 11, 2017
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga held a cabinet meeting at the Lee Auditorium in Utulei. Attending were senior officials and respective school principals of the Department of Education, filling the venue along with Governor Lolo, Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Mauga, Cabinet members and relevant support staff. Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua served as Master of Ceremonies and offered customary salutations before the Invocation was delivered by Deacon Malaki Timu.
After brief welcoming remarks, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga asked for the introductions of the Cabinet members and Governor’s Office key staff by Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua and then that of respective principals from DOE schools by DOE Deputy Director Philo Jennings. Governor Lolo then addressed the assembly and said that the most important item on the day’s agenda was the Adopt-a School Initiative. He instructed the educators to look to the Territory’s leaders for guidance. Governor Lolo said the importance of coming together is to consult and send a unified nurturing message to our school children. He called for the Cabinet to work attentively with their adoptive schools and for the educators to be more engaged and aware of the needs of their campuses in order to improve the quality of education for our students.
The meeting proceeded to other items on the agenda.
Manu’a District Governor Laolagi Savali Vaeao spoke about plans for the forthcoming celebration of Manu’a Cessation Day scheduled for July 17, 2017 in Faleula, Manu’a.
Reports were delivered by Office of Budget & Planning regarding the 2018 Budget Call/Status and by Port Director Dr. Taimalelagi Claire Poumele about hosting the 104th Conference of the Association of Pacific Ports for July 17 th to the 20th. Director Taimalelagi stated that this is the first time American Samoa is hosting this conference and reflects growing recognition of the work being done by the Administration to improve port and airport facilities. The short video presentation shown to the Cabinet which highlighted the potholes in our runway and the tarmac precipitated the award of $20 million this fiscal year to mitigated these deficiencies. It was most opportune because the new Deputy Secretary of Transportation was at the conference. The tarmac improvement project is ready to be bid out.
A detailed report regarding revenue measures was presented by Attorney General Talauega Ale and Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipea. The net effect of this effort is $27 million of new revenues to be generated in FY 2017. Revenue Task Force Chairman Talauega Eleasalo Ale informed the Cabinet that the total package had been presented to the Leaders of the Fono along with all drafted legislation.
The progress of the 2 Samoa talks was detailed by Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele who described the multi-faceted negotiations and a planned Executive Summit and Conference.
Governor Lolo Moliga spoke about reinstatement of normal working hours, improving spending controls for the remainder of fiscal year 2017 and the change of Samoa’s Head of State before returning the focus of the meeting to the Adopt-a-School program.
Multi-media presentations were conducted by Public Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua, Public Works Director Faleosina Voight and Environmental Protection Agency Director Ameko Pato with overviews of all school facilities and strategies designed to fulfill the Governor’s directives to improve the quality of education for the students of American Samoa.