Government

According to the official website for the Yap State Government, the island has a constitutional democratic form of government. The Federated States of Micronesia, which used to be under the rule of Germany, Spain and Japan, is now an independent sovereignty. It is however in alliance with the United States through an agreement of free association which helped the Federated States of Micronesia become self-sufficient.

The U.S. dollar is used in the FSM, the U.S. Postal Service serves the island chain, and the government is also largely funded by the United States.

The Yap State Government website states that its Constitution took effect on December 24, 1982, and while much of Yap’s structural setup and constitutional mandate is modeled on the U.S. democratic system of government, in addition to the three branch system of government, the Yapese government has a fourth branch of traditional power- the Councils of Pilung (Yap Proper) and Tamol (Yap’s Outer Islands).

The executive power of the State is vested in the Governor who is the head of government. The Executive Branch consists of five departments and three offices. Governor Tun is given credit for the much repeated saying in Yap, “If you don’t have a dollar, you don’t spend it.” Another famous Yapese saying: “If you don’t save for a rainy day, you will get into a lot of trouble” also shows the importance of frugality. This is one of the reasons why Yap is in a better fiscal position than the other islands. A very interesting article by Robert Underwood from the University of Guam points out that the bank loan default rate is the lowest in the FSM and when the Bank of Hawaii branch closed in Yap, there were still individual saving accounts totaling over $10 million (article can be found in the blogroll section).

If you’re looking to make Yap your new home, however, finding a job would not be an easy task since the government has made it an official policy to give FSM citizens first priority for employment consideration. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you are lucky because you come second. Third country nationals are last on the priority list which makes a lot of sense. Maybe living in Yap is not a bad idea if you’ve quit your job back home, you’ve sold all your stuff and you’re ready to live on your savings and experience the ultimate island transformation.

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1 Comment »

  1. Larry Larson Said:

    I have many friends in Yap! I taught 49 years ago !n Yap


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