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Governor thanks A’asu and Alataua for their outstanding performances at Samoa’s 50th Independence Day celebration

Governor Togiola Tulafono used his radio program to thank A’asu village and the  Alataua county for an outstanding performance at the celebration of Samoa’s 50years of independence, commending the villages for the traditional presentations of sua (ta’alolo), as American Samoa’s gifts for Samoa.

The gifts included a tanoa (kava bowl) and $10,000 USD. He added the tanoa was made specifically for this important event, which was created out of a tree found in Vatia.  

According to the governor, the tanoa has the Samoa flag engraved around it. Togiola said he took it to heart the address by Head of State his highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi that Samoa is not a nation but a brotherhood and a family.

Togiola also commended Vatia who won the cricket championship in Samoa.

He also brought up the complaints made by the public in pertaining to the preparations for the trip to Samoa. “Let’s not dwell on it but move forward and be happy as the head of state stated we are a brotherhood and a family.”

The governor said on his radio program a dinner was held at the U.S Embassy Vailima, which was attended by the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese and the Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Efi.

The dinner was hosted by the office of the US Ambassador.

Also in attendance at the dinner were Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele and Gillian Malielegaoi. Togiola said at this dinner he thanked the Head of State and the Prime Minister and congratulated Samoa for achieving 50 years of independence.

Among the callers to the governor’s program, was a man who asked Togiola, “if we are a family of one then why is the LBJ hospital raising the fees for foreigners to a $100 to see the doctor?”

The man said given the hike fee, it’s better to get on the plane to Apia to see a doctor. Togiola responded that the reason the fees would be high for foreigners is because they are not residents of the territory.

He added, this also applies to American Samoa residents who are in Apia — they too also have to pay higher fees because they are not residents of Samoa. The governor added that this goes for American Samoa students who attend school off island; they have to pay higher fees as well because they are not residents in those states.

Togiola noted that given all of this no one can be rejected from the hospital for any medical treatment.

The governor blamed the Senate for not approving the measures, which the House of Representatives approved pertaining to providing financial assistance to the medical cener. He said only four senators approved this bill.

Another caller noted that salaries for the top officials at the hospital are very high and yet the hospital financial status is not steady at this moment and their salaries should be reconsidered.