President Panuelo Swears-in the Honorable Carlson D. Apis & the Honorable Dr. Livinson A. Taulung as Secretaries of TC&I and Health & Social Affairs Respectively

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President Panuelo Swears-in the Honorable Carlson D. Apis & the Honorable Dr. Livinson A. Taulung as Secretaries of TC&I and Health & Social Affairs Respectively

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On January 24th 2020 His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), conducted the oath of office ceremony for the Honorable Carlson D. Apis, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication, & Infrastructure, and the Honorable Dr. Livinson A. Taulung, Secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs.

“Do you, [Carlson D. Apis / Livinson A. Taulung], solemnly swear that you will faithfully execute the duties and responsibilities of the office to which you have been appointed, and will, to the best of your ability, uphold, promote, and support the laws and Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, so help you God?” said President Panuelo.

“I do,” said Secretary Apis.

“I do,” said Secretary Taulung.

In his remarks, President Panuelo said “Cabinet members are a direct extension of the President and Vice President in this administration to run the programs that are important for the country. I want you to internalize that.”

“Secretary [Apis],” President Panuelo continued, “I didn’t want to [take you away from the Embassy in] China because you’ve done such a good job there, but we need your vision, [tenacity], and capabilities in making sure our development agenda…is realized. I look to you that we’ll use your experience to get us going in [utilizing the $200,000,000 of pending infrastructure funding] and strengthening our communications and civil aviation programming. It’s a [monumental] challenge, and you are the best person to address it.”

“Dr. Taulung,” President Panuelo said, “…I already apologized to the Governor, [the Honorable Carson K. Sigrah], that I had to take you from Kosrae to help the Nation, but the good thing behind that is that you’ll be helping Kosrae and the rest of the Nation in your new capacity.  …Beyond priorities like preventing an epidemic of Measles, and being on top of this new coronavirus out of China to ensure that the FSM [protects its citizens from epidemics], and is prepared in case it arrives, we have priorities on [tackling the non-communicable disease/NCD epidemic], empowering youth and underserved citizens, and [social programming] that benefits the country.”

In his remarks, Secretary Apis said “Mr. President…I want to take this opportunity to thank [you] and Vice President for your trust. I can assure you that during your administration, the Department of TC&I will do our best to implement your development [agenda]. As the President said, we have close to 200 million dollars under Compact as well as millions from other donor partners, and we will do our best to implement projects as soon as possible. What we do for your administration will set the tone for the FSM beyond 2023…to my colleagues in [DTC&I], I am a strong team player, and I look forward to working with you all closely to implement our responsibilities and obligations under the President’s overall development agenda. I believe that when one of us looks good, we all look good—so let’s make the President and Vice President look good.”

In his remarks, Secretary Taulung said “Mr. President, thank you very much for having faith in me to take this role as your public servant. I want to say that our Department is a very large [one], and it’s critical that we…work together to protect and enable services that benefit our communities, especially our children and our vulnerable population. …I am very happy and I look forward to committing myself to hard work, and I expect the same thing from my colleagues at the Department to do the same—and I am very grateful to them…and a lot of the work that they’ve been doing in moving the health agenda forward. Many of them are already in the field [for the Measles] campaign…. With UNICEF yesterday, we talked about partnerships: so a lot of the work that we do are with our partners, and that requires all Secretaries to sit down and talk, for us to move forward with the [Nation’s aspirations]—I commit myself to partnership with you, and [look forward to serving the people of the FSM].”


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