Palau President Tommy E. Remengasau Jr. has conveyed the appreciation of the Palauan community to the government and people of the CNMI after a portion of public land on Saipan was designated for the purpose of building a bai, a Palauan community hall.
Remengesau and members of the Palau National Congress (Olbiil era Kelulau) met with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres last week at the Palau Capitol Building in Ngerulmud and presented him with Presidential Proclamation 19-259.
Discussions between Palau and the CNMI on the possibility of securing a piece of public property began in 2006, with the planned construction of a bai for the use by the Palauan community living in the CNMI for various functions.
Palauans first moved to Saipan when it was the capital of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands government. They established families and later became permanent residents of the island. The Palauan community has grown over the years and had also contributed to the CNMI’s economic development.
On May 29 last year, the CNMI Department of Public Lands assigned a 7,000-square meter public property to the Department of Cultural and Community Affairs where the bai can be constructed.
Remengesau said the people of Palau welcomes the opportunity of having a fixed place on Saipan that would support the Palauan community in the CNMI. Funds to build the bai would either come from a Palau congressional appropriation or fundraising efforts.
Once completed, the bai would house the Palau Consulate and serve as a typhoon shelter and gathering place for Palauans living in the CNMI.
Its creation is expected to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the people of Palau and the CNMI.