By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Following reports and pictures of residents and citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia stranded at the Guam international airport because the FSM is not accepting any flights, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes wrote to FSM Consul General Teresa Filepin to ask for some help.
"I write to you today because it was brought to my attention through social media posts that FSM citizens are stranded at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport due to the closure of the airports within the FSM. The post goes on to read that amongst those at our airport, are individuals who need medical attention. Out of an abundance of caution, I seek your assistance as we ensure that our Micronesian Brothers and Sisters are given the services and information they need as we address COVID-19 within our Blue Continent. My office, and our staff, stand ready to assist in any way we can – please reach out for any logistical needs you may have, or concerns that I can help to facilitate." - Speaker Muna Barnes
Within hours, Ms. Filepin's office reported to the speaker that the airport has since been cleared of the stranded passengers, according to the speaker's office. There has been no word yet on where the people were taken, if they have homes in Guam, or whether they're being cared for by family or friends.
Contained within the same letter from Ms. Muna Barnes to the consul general is the speaker's commitment to work with Congressman Michael San Nicolas in ensuring that federal economic relief includes the citizens of the FSM living in Guam.
"Furthermore, as the United States Congress, particularly our Congressman Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, is working hard to ensure that our local families can get the assistance they need during this economic downturn, I will be reaching out to Congressman San Nicolas regarding services and programs that are available to our FAS migrants who have made Guam their home – and contributed tremendously to our local community. I would also seek your assistance to see if any information has been relayed to you or your embassy in Washington, DC and I will also be reaching out to my counterparts in the State of Hawaii to see how we can coordinate a strategy to help many of our local working families within our jurisdiction." - Speaker Muna Barnes