The Yap State Government in close collaboration with the FSM national government and the 2018 Micronesian Games Organizing Committee (MGOC) was able to reach an agreement this year with Philippine-based Fahrenheit Company Limited to provide accommodations and catering services. Accommodations came in the form of a 146-room cruise ship—the M/V Forever Lucky—to be docked at the Colonia port in Yap.
Last July 3, Forever Lucky was intercepted by the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Coast Guard at the Orion Port of Bataan, Philippines. The ship, along with 41 crewmembers and 139 workers, were being held in custody at the port pending submission of required documents and the results of the authorities’ investigation of alleged human trafficking and illegal documentation.
Last July 4, the Micro Games Organizing Committee co-chairs convened with the Yap State Leadership in a special meeting to discuss the issue. The governor met with selected cabinet members again to provide the government’s side of updates after close collaboration with the group tasked by the FSM president to assist the State of Yap on this particular matter. Following that meeting, the Directors of the Departments of R&D (the co-chair of the MGOC Marketing & Communications Committee) and DY&CA (the c o-Chair of the 2018 Micro Games Organizing Committee) were tasked by the Governor to take the lead on this urgent matter. The directors called a special and final meeting of the Organizing Committee to update the MGOC on developments on the cruise ship issue, and to formalize the necessary course of actions.
The MGOC marketing & communications committee co-chair reported that as last Saturday (July 6), the outlook seemed positive with the ship still coming to Yap, after liaising with the ship’s management in the Philippines. During the meeting, it was shared that one of the issues faced now in the Philippines with the ship owners was no longer the transport of the 139 workers on the ship—which was not permitted by Philippine authorities—but the seaworthiness of the vessel to transport that many persons aboard. Fahrenheit Company Limited has informed Yap State that it is exploring options to fly in the workers in a charter flight to Yap directly from the Philippines, leaving only the crew to man Forever Lucky to Yap after the successful issuance of a special permit. The workers will then rendezvous with the ship in Yap. The company also reiterated their understanding that the ship reaches Yap on the stressed deadline of two days before July 13.
The Organizing Committee during the meeting stressed that the pressing problem now was catering. The ship was supposed to arrive a week earlier before the start of the Games to prepare for catering services. The Athletes Village is scheduled to open on July 13. MGOC co-chair & CEO stated that local food providers would need to be identified; the Food Security & Catering Committee would have to take the lead in coordinating this along with its currently ongoing tasks, to engage local catering services to provide for the over 300 athletes from the different participating entities scheduled to arrive in Yap as early as this Saturday.
The first arrivals of athletes and teams from the other islands will be coming in on the double United Airlines flights this weekend. The meeting concluded with the Organizing Committee affirming its support on the CEO’s request with the assistance of the Food Security & Catering Committee.
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