Taxpayers in American Samoa will receive nearly $US24 million in stimulus cheques from the US Government this weekend.
The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act as the US territory struggles with economic strains caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe'a said the money would cover 9,300 taxpayers and their qualified dependants who filed their 2019 taxes up to May 13.
Single filers will receive $1,200. Couples who file jointly will get double that plus $500 for every child under their care.
The cheques are expected to be delivered over the weekend.
A second round of cheques will be distributed at the end of the month for those who have only filed their 2018 returns.
Committee to review declaration phase
American Samoa's governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has appointed a new committee to come up with recommendations for the next step to take when the current emergency declaration expires at the end of this month.
Committee members are acting Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Taase, task force chairman Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, Health director Motusa Tuileama Nua, LBJ Medical Center chief executive officer Faumuina John Faumuina, the Governor's authorized representative Fiu J. Saelua, and Dr. Fred Uhrle of the local federal Veterans Affairs Clinic.
Lolo said this new committee has already been informed of issues to look at for consideration if changes need to be made to the declaration.
The committee has been asked to provide its recommendation when the task force meets this Sunday.
One of the issues concerns local residents who are stranded off island since American Samoa borders were closed, including those stuck in Samoa.
Lolo acknowledged complaints from businesses over restrictions placed on their hours of operations but he said protecting the lives of local residents was of utmost importance.