Implementation plan submitted for new war claims legislation

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Photo shows the temporary war claims processing center in Tamuning. (PNC file photo)

Acting governor Joshua F. Tenorio has submitted the administration’s implementation plan for the Guam World War II Reconciliation Act of 2021, legislation that seeks to compensate those who missed the initial deadline for the filing of war claims.

The implementation plan, coming in the form of a still unnumbered bill, was transmitted to Speaker Therese Terlaje Dec. 7 for further legislative action.

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The implementation plan adds a new article that provides for definitions, payments of certified Guam World War II claims, filing period for claims and notice, adjudication and eligibility, and appeals, among others.

The new article, Article 13.3, also has provisions for limited compensation for provision of representational services, affidavits, release of related claims, memorandum of agreement, repository, and schedule and exhibits to the schedule.

Under the implementation plan, GovGuam would pay:

= $15,000 in the case of a victim who was raped or suffered severe personal injury;

= $12,000 in cases of forced labor or personal injury such as disfigurement, scarring, or burns;

= 10,000 in cases of forced march, internment, or hiding to evade internment;

= And in the case of the survivors of a compensable Guam decedent, a total of $25,000 shall be paid for distribution to survivors of the decedent.

A compensable Guam decedent is defined as a resident of Guam who died as a result of the attack and occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II or incident to the liberation of Guam by United States military forces and whose death would have been compensable under the Guam Meritorious Claims Act of 1945. (US Public Law 79-224) if a timely claim has been filed under the terms of the Act.

The sum of $10 million will be appropriated from the general fund to the Department of Administration to pay certified claims to compensable Guam victims and survivors of compensable Guam decedents as duly adjudicated by the adjudication committee.

The plan also calls for the Guam Museum to serve as the administrative office of the adjudication committee. For this purpose, $500,000 shall be allocated for administrative costs or expenses necessary to carry out the mandates of the Act.

In a statement sent to PNC, acting governor Tenorio said that with the transmittal of the Guam World War II Reconciliation Act of 2021 Implementation Plan, he and Governor Lou Leon Guerrero have committed to working together with the Guam Legislature for our Greatest Generation and to provide reparations to potentially hundreds of additional claimants who would not have otherwise received them.

Click on the PDF below to read the proposed implementation plan and the forms for statement of claim, basic claim information, beneficiary designation, and electronic fund transfer form.

21.1207 ACTING GOV to SPEAKER TERLAJE re Guam World War II Reconciliation Act of 2021 Implementation Plan