The governor of Yap along with the council of pilung and the Legislature of the state of Yap as well as the citizens can debate the issue of ETG all they want but the final decision comes down to a YES or NO vote from the landowners. If enough landowners decided to lease their lands to ETG then I am sure ETG will move forward with the development. If most do not want to lease their lands then I am sure there is no possibility of ETG developing in the state.
I honestly do not know the exact numbers of legislators, pilung members and the citizen at large that either support or oppose the development. All I can see is that many Yapese people and some Yap friends have been voicing their concerns regarding the impact of this development on the environment, culture, health, social and economics.
There are concerns like what happens if this project fails, who’s responsible of bringing the lands back to their original state, who’s going to foot the bill of expanding the infrastructure in the state to meet the demands as well as what happens if there is emergency, where are these people going to go for help. These are only a few of the many concerns that are out there. But one has to assume that our leaders are not stupid enough to let these concerns pass without evaluating to see if there are things that can be done to minimize their impact.
As Mr. Gang Yang said to me, his office on Yap will always be open for people to share their concern and also to get the point from the ETG side. I have not come across any governmental information on the ETG development beside the Investment Agreement.
I think it’s vital that information on any humongous development be shared not only by the investors but the state as well so that citizens like ourselves can be updated on what’s going on within our state. The government of Yap, I believe, has a duty to inform the public through all means of communication on things that impact the public at large. Having a website dedicated to this issue would be an awesome way of informing the public about such development. I am sure those of us that are outside our state will appreciate it so much.
ETG is no small matter and has to be debated through public forums so to educate the public on the impacts whether it be positive or negative. This will allow the public to fully understand the benefits vs. disadvantages of such a development.
My blog began on one premise and that was to give myself a chance to fully understand both sides of the ETG development issue. Everything I saw online about this development was so negative that it compelled me to seek to understand what advantages if any that are out there beside all the negatives I read about. One side of this issue is not enough for my curiosity and my hunger to understand the whole picture. I must get both sides of this issue in order to understand what people are thinking.
To do that, I must come up with a way of framing my blogs so that I do not completely come out on one side of this debate. To my surprise, it worked as I was able to get to chat with Mr. Yang and also received a message from Mr. Norman. These two gentlemen were so passionate about their side of the issue. I applauded them for doing what they did, but one thing I wish they can do was to open up with one another for the betterment of Yap.
There is no doubt the state of Yap needs this kind of investment to stay competitive with Guam, Palau and other states within the FSM. And most importantly to move our state forward with enough Monetary resources for the government to continue providing the services it provides for the good of the public. But at what cost? This is where both sides need to come together to find common grounds where development can still happen with minimal impact on lifeways and the environment. There must be a way.
One thing I must add before I conclude this blog is for all parties to respect the landowner’s decision on this matter, whatever it maybe. I am sure they are doing their best to understand what they are dealing with. We can only pray that whatever decision they make will help the state of Yap moving in the rigt direction. God bless you and God bless the state of Yap.