Guam CPI going nowhere but up

The Guam Consumer Price Index for the second quarter of 2022 shows an increase of 3.2% over the previous quarter in the fiscal year. Against the previous quarter, the Food Group Index shows an increase of 4.9% and 16.7% compared to a year earlier. The Housing Group Index shows an increase of 11% over the previous quarter and an increase of 13.8% compared to a year earlier. Motor fuel increased 14.8% over the previous quarter and 37.2% compared to a year earlier.

The CPI measures 168 items from eight major groups, according to the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans.

Find the full report here:

https://bsp.guam.gov/wp-bsp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-2nd-Qtr-CPI-Publication.pdf

 

Japan FAM tour on the way to Guam

The Guam Visitors Bureau GoGo! Guam Trade Fam Tour will take place from June 13 to 16, hosting 50 Japan travel trade participants ranging from key travel agents, sales and purchasing team members, group/online travel agents, wholesalers, and a select group of Japanese print and digital media.

GVB is hosting a GoGo! Guam Trade Show on June 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at a venue to be announced.

In other tourism news, the Palau Visitors Authority announced a total of 2,777 visitors for the calendar year through April 30. The majority of those came from the U.S. and Canada, with a total of 1,853. That market has shown a steady increase each month from 316 in January to 688 in April. Palau had 5,262 arrivals in calendar 2021.

 

Micronesian countries reach agreement with Pacific Island Forum

The Micronesian Presidents Summit have collectively negotiated a package with the Pacific Island Forum members to take the sting out leadership going outside the region.

After meeting on June 6 and 7 in Suva in Fiji, a June 7 statement said that the Micronesian countries would remain in the forum, after certain reforms are signed into agreement. These are “that all members of the Pacific Islands Forum agree that equal representation of the three sub-regional bodies of Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia is essential; as such, there shall be two deputy secretary general positions, each hailing from a separate sub-region as the secretary general. The reform package further includes that all members of the Pacific Islands Forum agree to rotate both the secretary general and the Forum chair by subregion, with Micronesia to hold the next secretary general position beginning in 2024 for a term of five years.”

In the statement, the Micronesian Summit members said, “There is agreement to create, and immediately install, a Pacific Ocean commissioner as a role separate and distinct from the duties of the secretary general. The office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner shall be based in Micronesia, the term of the Pacific Ocean commissioner shall last three years, and the commissioner shall report directly to the leaders. There is further agreement that a Pacific Islands Forum sub-regional office shall be created in the Micronesia sub-region.”

Indicating their geopolitical direction, the statement said the Micronesian countries have “a collective recognition that a united Pacific represents the region’s best chances at maintaining peace (and preventing war), developing prosperity (and preventing hardship), and mitigating and adapting to Climate Change (and preventing civilizational collapse).”

The leadership meeting took place while Valiant Shield and other military exercises continue in and around Guam until late June (see www.mbjguam.com for earlier coverage on Valiant Shield), in the Northern Mariana Islands and in Palau – where a Patriot missile is expected to be fired as part of exercises. Four B-1B bombers were deployed to Andersen Air Force Base June 4, according to national media reports.

In other regional news, Japan is giving the Federated States of Micronesia two grants for four mini-patrol boats — one for each state — and about $2,700,000-worth of diesel fuel, according to a June 6 release. While the U.S. Coast Guard patrol’s the FSM’s waters, the FSM will benefit from its own permanent presence, the release said.

And additionally, on May 30, 61individuals were repatriated into Chuuk State from Guam via United Airlines. All were transported to quarantine stations at Blue Lagoon Resort and at facilities by the Chuuk State International Airport for a 10-day isolation process, with release due on June 10. On June 4, three of the 61 individuals tested COVID positive and were isolated.

The Chuuk State government canceled the June 15 repatriation until further notice.

             

DPHSS sees violations in Guam worker housing, restaurant

The week of May 23, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services inspected 15 temporary workforce housing properties, of which eight had various sanitation violations – but remain in use. DPHSS also inspected two childcare facilities which were not cited and the New Town Chinese Restaurant in Tumon, at which the presence of insects, rodents and animals was observed.

 

More Funding for Child Care Programs

The Guam Governor’s Community Care and After School Child Care Programs are now accepting applications from community organizations, non-profit groups, and eligible local businesses, “making childcare more affordable and accessible for working families,” according to a June 6 release from the Office of the Governor.

Funding supports programs such as summer camps offered by village mayors, non-profit organizations, and residential communities offering programs for children ages five to 13 years old

The application period opens June 6 at 12 p.m. and will remain open through June 22, subject to the availability of funds. Application and eligibility information is available on investguam.com

 

Guam Solid waste fees now payable at GWA and GPA locations

The Guam Power Authority and the Guam Waterworks Authority partnered with the Guam Solid Waste Authority to accept payments for trash collection services effective June 6.  Customers can make over the counter payments at the GPWA Customer Service Center in Upper Tumon the Gloria B. Nelson Public Service Building in Mangilao, and the Customer Service Center in the Julale Center. Also, GWA’s new Upper Tumon drive-through hours are Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Only cash and check payments for GSWA services are accepted at GPWA locations. Customer must present their solid waste invoice/payment coupon for payments to be accepted. Additionally, GPWA also has drop boxes for check payments at all locations.

 

Jury viewed helicopters in Hansen trial

The jury in the Hansen helicopter trial was able to view three seized helicopters on June 6 at the Guam National Guard Readiness Center in Barrigada, according to the District Court of Guam.

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood granted the government’s motion to assist the jury in weighing evidence, according to documents. The feral government has charged defendants John D. Walker, Kenneth R. Crowe, Phillip T. Kapp and Hansen Helicopters Inc. with more than 100 criminal counts for allegedly acquiring unworthy aircraft and falsifying records.

 

And finally …

The Center for Biological Diversity will head to Capitol Hill on June 8 “to distribute endangered species condoms in honor of World Ocean Day and mark the 50th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

Center staff will hand out newly designed right whale condom packages with the slogan “Cover your spout… don’t let the right whale die out.” There are 30 right whales left in existence. The new right whale design is part of the Center’s Endangered Species Condoms campaign, which draws attention to how human population growth is affecting critically endangered species, according to a June 6 release. mbj