Governor Lolo Moliga's Cabinet Meeting

Governor Lolo Moliga hosted a cabinet meeting on Wednesday April 25th at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room.  After welcoming remarks by Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua, an opening prayer and a spiritual message was offered by Deacon Malaki Timu. Chief of Staff Fiu then introduced Honorable Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his remarks. Governor Lolo first offered his appreciation for the gathering before addressing the day’s agenda.  The first topic was a positive assessment of 2018 Flag Day celebrations for which he commended the respective government agencies for their efforts to make this a memorable and meaningful day for the people of American Samoa. Governor Lolo was especially pleased with the attendance of Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs Douglas Domenech and Office of Insular Affairs Director Nikolao Pula.  Governor Lolo described the favorable impression of Assistant Secretary Domenech with all the major accomplishments he was able to view while he was on island including his trip to visit the Manu’a Islands, the Flag Day festivities, the arrival of the tugboat “Iseula” and the opening of several local infrastructure projects.

The second item on the meetings agenda was the arrival of the long-awaited Hawaiki cable and the anticipated improvement of internet and communication services to American Samoa due to the increased bandwidth capacity. The projected completion of final connection is expected by the end of July.

Next mentioned by Governor Lolo was the ASG apprenticeship program noting that three college graduates have recently been placed in jobs within ASG. The Governor reiterated the value of employing youth who have received their college degrees in order to familiarize them with government service as well as to provide an incentive for them to return to serve the Territory.

The upcoming United Nations meeting which is scheduled to be held in Grenada on May 9 – 11 will be attended by the Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua and Attorney General Talauega Ale who explained that the annual event will be used to clarify the status of the relationship of American Samoa in the United States. Governor Lolo asked Attorney General Ale to prepare their presentation for Cabinet review prior to their departure.

Governor Lolo next spoke about the Summer Youth Summit scheduled for July to explore issues such as political status and our relationship with the United States and to expand the theme of the Flag Day 2018 celebration of “Tupulaga mo le Lumana’i” or “Youth for the Future”.  He asked the relevant agency heads from ASCC, Department of Education, Department of Youth and Womens Affairs and Political Status Office to finalize plans for review by the cabinet before the first week of July.

Governor Lolo then directed Individual agencies with facilities that suffered property damage from tropical storm Gita to prepare their claims to ensure assistance from FEMA who are now winding down their recovery operations.

The Governor next spoke about the veto override which is now being discussed in the Fono. Governor Lolo said he believes lack of understanding about the veto override amendment was the reason the change was not approved in previous elections. Secretary of Samoan Affairs HC Mauga Tasi Asuega was given an opportunity to expound and briefed the cabinet about the planned public awareness campaign which will include presentations in villages, churches, and schools to fully explain the veto override change. Governor Lolo added that the overall purpose is to give more strength to our Constitution and that the Department of the Interior wants the people of American Samoan to fully understand the impact and effects of the change of the Constitution. He further stated that it is imperative to provide information so a final informed decision can be reached by the people of American Samoa.

Governor Lolo Moliga concluded his remarks by listing upcoming infrastructure improvement projects for American Samoa. He expressed thanks to all the agencies involved and noted the continued assistance of the Department of interior and their local representative Lydia Faleafine-Nomura for the CIP funding. Governor Lolo reiterated the importance of getting projects started and working hard to make them a reality.