AS awarded $16.2 m for unemployment insurance

Govrnor Lolo Moliga is pleased to announce that the US Department of Labor has approved our application under the Employment & Training Administration the award of $16.2 million through the CARES Act of 2020 to administer the Unemployment Insurance Programs for American Samoa.

On May 21, Governor Lolo signed an Executive Order to administer the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs for the territory’s workforce affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Lolo acknowledges with gratitude the hard work and diligence by Director of Human Resources Eseneiaso Liu and her staff who facilitated receipt of these much needed funds to provide financial relief to those who were furloughed or had their hours reduced because of our collective efforts to stop the entry and spread of the COVID-19 .

Governor Lolo stated, “I am truly thankful to the Honorable Assistant Secretary  of Employment and Training, John P. Pallasch and the US Department of Labor for continuing to be very sensitive and responsive to the needs of the people of the Territory of American Samoa.


  1. Thank You Amata!!

    Now, you know very well Ese had nothing to do with those funds. She only ‘received it’. There was no "hard work and diligence" on her part. Get real, Lolo! You ain’t fooling nobody. Give the credit to whom it is due, namely our congresswoman, Amata Radewagen!! Neither you, anyone in your office, nor ESE had anything to do with that. It was the efforts of our great congresswomen that’s pouring in millions of dollars in federal assistance into our territory. You guys are just using and abusing it!!

    1. Jelly Beans

      Do they even know how to work the details of how individuals can get assistance relief through such a program? There are qualifying criteria’s, that’s been one factor aside from lack of funding why this program has been slow throughout the U.S. in processing claims. It takes time for the providers to approve claims if the information is incomplete or inaccurate. I know, I have a sibling that’s worked for an unemployment for sometime and those people scrutinize information that the applicants and their employers submit. There’s NO MONKEY BUSINESS…and, Moli’s spot on!

    2. Onosa'i La-ia

      That is exactly what the great congresswoman is doing at the Capital, taking the credit and praise over the hard work and diligence of agencies who worked on submitting the application and justification for these funds to support our economy and our people. Enough already.

      1. Guest reader

        What government entity applied for this relief funding, and Mr. Sam’s following post inquires how the 16.2M$ amount was arrived at and based on what? XXACTLY! Diligent agency, yeah right, not this one, that’s for sure!

  2. Moli Lemana

    This funding should be for the private sectors who actually shortened hours, layoff etc, their employees. All ASG employees got full salaries during the.lockdown…Again, the private sector is the backbone of any economy

  3. Just Sayin'

    Please don’t forget the Taxi Drivers and Bus Drivers. With all this assistance money coming in, please let’s not be greedy with it. Use it for what it’s for. You may not have to give an account to the U.S. but God sees everything.

  4. Sam

    I just want to know where this $16.2 number comes from, it’s just such an arbitrary number. What factors were considered in generating this amount of money. COVID has affected the US since March and brought a partial halt to Am Sam but still a full functioning economy.

    If it’s anything like the small business relief programs that were administered a few weeks ago, it should be intended to cover the affected months plus an additional 8 weeks. And so my question would be, “Does Am Sam labor force really turn over $16.2 in a 20 month period”? I’d probably guess no.

    I just wish there were more details about these sorts of things. I feel that all of Am Sam is left out of the loop when it comes to these sorts of things. We all know it isn’t as easy as Lolo asking sugar daddy trump for money. We want to know the process, the details in criteria, etc.

  5. salamo lumaava

    Let alone us Travel Agency whom cater for the Government n the Public. Till now we are still waiting for unpaid travel . We SUFFERED MORE then any private sectors with Airport shut down and NO BUSINESS.
    What so ever to pay our Bills, Lease to the Government, Aspa, Astca , NEED HELP DESPERATELY PLEASE AMATA RADEWAGEN

  6. Justice

    Amata where are you ? Lydia faleafine from DOI where are you ? Money is pouring in Am. Samoa like water. I know it’s given by the Federal to our local government. Need What?Who? Where? nd When?. Accountability nd Transparency!!.. Please really needs your help, unless you’re part of CORRUPTION.

    1. Lydia Faleafine Nomura


      Thank you for your comment. The PUA and FPUA funds were awarded based on a plan submitted by the ASG Department of Human Resources. This plan should be available for review to the public. I believe most of the beneficiaries are members of the private sector that were furloughed or was unable to work because of the limited hours of Code Blue or loss of business revenues for the same. Keep in mind that many of the businesses received PPP, which should cover payroll for their employees during this time. Like the receipt and disbursement of the stimulus checks, ASG should announce the details of the plan for the PUA and FPUA. I believe the Governor has asked the DHR to provide this information via the media, radio and television. Regarding other COVID funds, plans and details of expenditures for these federal funds are required and must be COVID impact related. If not, ASG will need to repay the funds. Please know that the federal agencies who administer these funds are doing their due diligence to ensure that the funds are being used as they were intended. It is a difficult and meticulous job and everyone should be commended for their efforts.

      1. Justice

        Mrs. Lydia Faleafine Nomura, thank you for your prompt response and clarification. However I characterize you in a big picture for our local Government especially our people with your high caliber. And I hope you support the right candidates for G/Lt.G but not some same old boys network. Faafetai lava.

  7. Puipui o Gagamoe

    Its obviously absurd for this outgoing G of being pleased and truly thankful to the USDOL, while deliberately holding back on crediting our Congress woman on her lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill, who is a cousin of his own wife Cynthia Malala-Moliga; but would rather publicly acknowledge his handpicked uneducated corrupt DHR that has never testified in any congressional subcommittee for this PUA 16.2M award!
    So G, since you’re the mouthpiece of this press release, Could you single out any of ESE’s staff (James, Irene, Makerita, Marie, Peau) which diligently worked hard on securing the congressional funding approval for this particular territorial 2020 CARES Act app; at this point of Talanei’s media reporting through this thought-provoking news article, What is our local prevailing UNEMPLOYMENT Rate within the ASG Workforce versus the Private Sector?

    1. Da Wiz

      Name one ASG EMPLOYEE that was furloughed??? There are 200+ new employees ….while the United States has millions standing in the unemployment lines or food bank lines…YOU ASG ARE HIRING PEOPLE LIKE we just struck GOLD.. You guys are wizards!! The USA could learn from you!

      1. Monica Miller Post author

        EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes you are right, there were no furloughs in ASG but there were in the private sector and details of how affected employees can apply are forthcoming from ASG.

        1. Moli Lemana

          Thanks Monica. Looking forward how they came up with data if Chamber of Commerce was consulted

  8. Guestty

    Hopefully, bc u know they have a poor track record when it comes to federal funds and local money for that matter. Y do u think we’ve been HIGH RISK all these years, huh?!? Transparency and accountability…what’s that???? That doesn’t exist in their playbook and right now they’re antsy more then ever bc there’s heaps of $$s flooding in…and, its the madd last- ditch effort for them to SPEND, SPEND, and SPEND b4 their exit…good riddance, too bad time can’t bring it on sooner.


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