Community News Briefs
FILIPINO COMMUNITY CONSULATE OUTREACH PROGRAM
The recently elected leaders of the local Filipino community are already making things happen for their countrymen who now call American Samoa home.
As part of their quest in improving services, the leaders have reached out to the Filipino Consulate in Honolulu, to pay a visit to the territory, to offer help in critical matters like immigration.
Samoa News has confirmed that everything has been finalized, and the Philippines Consulate's Honolulu representatives will host an outreach program in the territory August 26- 28 at the Fagatogo Square.
During that time, members of the local Filipino community will be assisted in matters concerning citizenship including passport renewals, as well as applications for notarial services, authentication of documents, reports of births and marriages, dual citizenships, and the administration of the Oath of Allegiance for dual citizenship.
As part of the agenda, the Filipino community will be holding a ceremonial oath taking for the newly elected officers and board of directors for the Filipino Community of American Samoa (FCAS) and a welcome ceremony for Consul General, Gina A. Jamoralin and delegates, set to be held at the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium at the conclusion of the first day of the Consul outreach program from 7p.m. to 10p.m.
USDOT AWARDS $3M GRANT TO PAGO PAGO AIRPORT FOR RUNWAY REPAIR
Washington, D.C. - Monday, August 14, 2017 – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award a $3 million infrastructure grant to Pago Pago International Airport to repair Runway 5/23. The grant is one of $162.4 million awarded today to 72 airports around the country as a part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program. The program funds various types of airport infrastructure projects, including runways, taxiways, and airport signage, lighting, and markings which help to create thousands of jobs.
“The Airport Improvement Program helps to maintain our aviation infrastructure and supports safety, capacity, security and environmental improvements,” said Secretary Chao. “This is an important investment in American Samoa’s air service and the economic vitality of the region.”
Airports are entitled to a certain amount of AIP funding each year, based on passenger volume. If their capital project needs exceed their available entitlement funds, then the FAA can supplement their entitlements with discretionary funding.
To date this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced more than 1,351 new grants to nearly 1,205 airports for a total of $2.1 billion. These grants will provide funds for 564 runway projects and 475 taxiway projects that are important to the safety and efficiency of the nation’s system of airports.
The FAA will issue AIP grants to the airports over the next several weeks in time to take advantage of the summer construction season. The grants will ensure the projects at these airports are either under construction or completed prior to the onset of the winter season, which comes in late fall in some parts of the country.
(SOURCE: FAA NEWS, WASHINGTON DC)
AUMUA AMATA WELCOMES SIGNING OF VA CHOICE ACT
Washington, D.C. – Monday, August 14, 2017 — Congresswoman Aumua Amata, who serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee and its Health Subcommittee, welcomed the signing into law of the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017.
“Veterans in American Samoa and other remote areas continue to face obstacles to getting the care they deserve, and efforts like this one make a positive difference,” said Amata. “This act is another step forward, authorizing a $2.1 billion increase in funds for the Veterans Choice Program at the VA, and helping preserve and grow this program to assist our veterans with the medical care they’ve earned.”
Veterans are eligible for the Veterans Choice Program if they live more than 40 miles from the closest VA medical facility, or wait times are over 30 days from the clinically indicated date.
The program was started in 2014 to ensure veterans can get services in their own communities, and the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act preserves that effort, prevents any interruption in services, and expands its reach through the new funds.
The Act also strengthens the VA by investing in recruitment and retention of medical professionals and the VA workforce.
On August 9, the Congresswoman was privileged to host a Veterans Choice Workshop in American Samoa to help veterans and their families know their options. The VA sent representatives of the VA’s third-party administrator, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, to lend first-hand expertise to this beneficial informational session.
“I so appreciate the work of Chairman Phil Roe and all the Members of the Veterans Affairs Committee for their efforts on behalf of the Veterans Choice Program and the help it provides the veterans we serve,” continued the Congresswoman. “Thank you also to VA Secretary David Shulkin for his commitment to this program and the recent developments at the VA to increase healthcare access everywhere.”
DHS-TEMCO TO CONDUCT A FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE TOMORROW
The American Samoa Department of Homeland Security/ TEMCO Division wishes to advise the public that as part of our Disaster Preparedness Training, we will be conducting a Functional Exercise (FE) for Tsunami called “Sunami 2017”. The Functional Exercise will be for one day, Wednesday, August 16, 2017, and it will start at 07:30 a.m. and conclude at 03:00 p.m.
The A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building (EOB) will be evacuated as part of the functions of the exercise.
Please do not be alarmed in hearing the sound of the emergency indoor siren this Wednesday at the Executive Office Building at noon.
The goal of the Functional Exercise is to validate and evaluate the Territorial Emergency Operation Plan (TEOP) and the American Samoa Government (ASG) departmental Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).
Please do not be alarmed — this is just an EXERCISE.
Should you have any questions, please contact 699-0411 or 699-3800.
(Source: DHS/ TEMCO Office)