Dou Lel A Tuu Ra Policy (Take Lightly Policy)

By Santy Asanuma —-

“Dou lel a tuu er ngii” is used to describe a person when one takes no seriousness or commitment on an issue or work that he/she is undertaking. This expression is disappearing as banana trees are obviously not lining the street sides of Koror as it used to up to 1980’s. Banana leafs are very light and would sway on the slightest wind. And the fact that banana leafs easily wither (mo moualech el mo merat). Also most of the time they are not tended to and leaving them in a mess. These are the characters implied on a person when he/she does not perform up to the expectation.

My economics students are studying fiscal policy. Fiscal refers to anything having to do with government revenue (income), spending, and debt. Yes, they understand what inflation (rising of prices) is and that it can lead to economic depression resulting in loss of jobs or loss of purchasing power for those working without increase of wages. Fiscal policy in a nutshell is the government using taxes and government spending to keep inflation and deflation (decreasing of prices) which can put businesses out of business. In a sense, it is the role of government to maintain balance in the economy for the consumers (rechad el omechar a klalo) and producers (businesses) by taking certain policy. Prices should not be too high or too low…in the middle is best. In short, it should be both good for the people and business at the same time.

It is easy to teach principles and concepts out of the book. But a problem hit me when a student asked what Palau policy is. We looked at what policy means to better understand the question first before answering it. Policy is a plan or principle or course of action chosen to guide decision making. So what is the plan or principle or course of action taken by the government to address rising cost of living (gasoline, water, sewer, electricity, rice, and other daily needs) or national priorities like education, health, safety, and environment or social issues like alcohol, tobacco, and drug use by youth, school dropouts, teen pregnancies and suicides among other social problems brought up in their sociology class.

The problems in all the above seem to be growing more if there is anything to say about them. So plan or principle let alone a course of action taken by the government to solve these problems are either not working well or not in existence. I am more inclined to the latter. There are no clear policies as far as I can remember. Okay I promised them that we shall evaluate the national annual unified budget (another problematic area to make student understand) next week to at least see how allocation of resources can be an indication of some kind of policy. They know that funding level correlates to the order of priorities according to their book.

The students were clearly disappointed because they know full well that their problems and needs are clearly not considered priorities. They know that OEK is the policymaker out of the three branches and they can override the president to impose a good policy if need be. It is hard as it is to explain to students their studies when they know that policy makers…a diou lel a tuu er ngii. Econ 101.

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