YAP/ETG: Speaker Henry Falan and Yap Governor Sebastian Anefal


Read a summary of this issue in the form of a debate: "Is the Yap/China Memorandum of Understanding a Good Thing?"

View a petition started by concerned citizens of Yap: "Yap ETG Petition".


The following letter is from the governor of Yap, Sebastian Anefal, to the Speaker of the House, Henry Falan. The letter is in regards to the ETG investment agreement. The response to this letter is included.




February 28, 2012

The Honorable Henry Falan


Eighth Legislature of the State of Yap

Yap State Government

Colonia, Yap FM 96943

RE: Resolution No. 8-29 and Public Education on ETG Proposal

Dear Speaker Falan,

I am writing to you concerning the passage of Yap State Resolution 8-29,  which includes the request to defer signing an investment agreement  proposal by ETG until the people of the State have been “fully informed” about the proposal.

So there is no misunderstanding, the State has not entered into any investment agreement with ETG.  One reason for this is that currently there is no final agreement to  execute. In respect of the decision of the Council of Pilung to move  forward with the offer from ETG, a draft investment agreement was submitted by ETG as a proposal for consideration by the State. After thorough  consideration by the Executive branch, this proposal was reviewed and  annotated, and then circulated to the Legislature for further review and  comment.

I understand that there were no comments, suggestions, proposed  revisions, or policy considerations communicated by the Legislature for  inclusion in a counter-offer proposed by the State. Consequently, a  counter-offer was then drafted and informally circulated to the  Legislature for comment. As no comments were received, this  counter-offer has been transmitted to ETG for their consideration. I have enclosed a copy of this counter-offer hereto.

Since the process of negotiating a final agreement with ETG may be a lengthy one, and may involve communication of several drafts  of an agreement, I would think that the most logical point in time to  conduct any program of public education on the proposed ETG investment would be once the terms and conditions of an agreement have  been largely finalized. Public education on draft terms, which may be  changed through the negotiation process moving forward, seems premature  at this point and may result in confusion, rather than education, of the  public.

There is no question that as the elected leadership of the State we have  a duty and a responsibility to keep the people of the State informed  about the actions of their government. This proposed investment project  by ETG is certainly no exception. However, the  questions of when, and in what manner, information can be best presented  to the public should be carefully considered.

To that end, I gladly invite the Legislature to communicate their input  in this regard. I feel that consultations among State leadership can and  should be ongoing, not only to collaborate on educating concerned  communities on the ETG proposal, but also to present a unified resolute State leadership in any future dealings with ETG and others.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the enclosed  document, and I look forward to working with you moving forward.


Sebastian L. Anefal



xc: Chairman, COP

Chairman, COT

All Members, Cabinet"


The following is a letter is a response from Spkr. Henry Falan to Gov. Sebastion Anefal regarding the ETG proposed investment agreement.


March 7, 2012

The Honorable Sebastian Anefal


Yap State Government

Colonia, Yap FM 96943

Dear Governor Anefal:

Thank you for your letter of February 28, 2012 concerning the ETG proposed investment agreement for which a counter-offer, according to you, “has been transmitted to ETG for their consideration”, and also concerning the Yap State Resolution No. 8-29.

As you clearly pointed out in your letter, the Legislature did not forward any specific comments on the specifics of the unofficial copy of the proposed investment agreement which we received from your legal staff. Our reading of the unofficial copy, together with our unequivocal support for development, especially in the private sector, prompted the adoption of YSR 8-29 expressing the sense of the Legislature as a whole that a proposal of this magnitude requires the review and complete understanding of the State Leadership and the people of Yap. YSR 8-29 is merely requesting to “defer signing an investment agreement proposed by the ETG until such time when the people of the State of Yap have been fully informed about the proposal, and until the State Leadership has unanimously agreed that such proposal will be in the best interest and welfare of the people of the State of Yap.”

Since we learned of the proposed agreement during the January 19, 2012 State Leadership meeting, we took to heart with the understanding that a position will be taken on the proposal by consensus of the Leadership.

The proposed agreement specifies that “ETG has executed the Strategic Framework Agreement with the government of the State of Yap, ..., to develop a unique world renowned top grade tourism project according to a Master Investment Plan to be developed, ...”. [Italics and bold added.] The Leadership needs to review and discuss the proposed agreement along with the strategic framework agreement which is already signed, before making any decision for the most appropriate next course of action to take, if any. It appears that the proposal may require the use of privately owned land in Yap over which the State Government may not have any authority to commit to ETG for the project. Because of the potential requirement for lands NOT owned by the government, we must be extremely cautious and not respond in any way to the proposed agreement until we have fully informed the people whose lands and communities may be directly affected.

The government news brief of January 18, 2012, stated that the Chairman of the Council of Pilung had signed the MOU with ETG on Thursday, January 12, 2012; this has cause concern amongst the people of Yap as more people have been calling the Legislature to register their concern about ETG, and to find out more about the project which some people claim will be implemented in their own communities. People want to know what ETG is planning to do in Yap. Obviously, the Legislature does not have any information except the proposed investment agreement.

Although most of the specifics of the ETG matter may still be unknown or unclear to some, the known specifics such as the signed documents agreement should be shared with the people of Yap.

The Legislature through the Chairman of the Committee on Government, Health and Welfare, has asked for a copy of the MOU and copies of any other signed documents including the signed Strategic Framework Agreement; and to date we have not received any copy of any of these signed documents. An unsigned copy of the MOU between the Chairman of the Council of Pilung and ETG was given to us by a staff of the Council. If the signed document is in fact the same as the unsigned document, then we as elected leaders should defer taking further action until the people understand the possible direct affect that ETG activities could have on their lives. As you know, the MOU includes statements such as:

“The Parties [ETG and Council of Pilung] acknowledge that the role of ETG as the full scale developer of the tourism resource of the State of Yap. The Council hereby supports ETG regarding the development of the Project to the largest extent. The Council further agrees to give to ETG their full assistance regarding the acquisition of land lease.” “The Parties agree that the Member of the Council shall witness, in a written form, the execution of the land lease instruments between ETG and the land owners with respect to the lease of land located within the community that said Member is associated with.” “The Parties agree that the Member of the Council shall coordinate and mediate should any dispute arises between ETG and respective local community.” [Italics and bold added.]

We all fully support economic development, and especially improvement and development of the private sector, but it must be done responsibly and in a sustainable manner. This would require transparency and informed decisions by all stakeholders and especially the people and communities whose lands will be required for the ETG project to become a reality.

In your letter you were asking if we have any questions regarding the “counter-offer”, and to work together moving forward. As much as I am grateful for working together moving forward, I also truly believe that the people of Yap must first be made aware of the things that their government is negotiating on their behalf. It is on behalf of the people of Yap that any moving forward will occur. The people of Yap are unequivocally sophisticated who need to be fully informed of government acts that are being contemplated to affect their lives. The people should be fully informed about what the State government may have agreed to and/or may be negotiating with ETG concerning the people’s lands and their communities. Hence, perhaps the “counter-offer” could be reconsidered and be referred to the State Leadership for assessment and appropriate next course of action.

Thank you.


Henry Falan


Xc: Members

Chairman, COP

Chairman, COT

All Members, Cabinet