Underwood plans WWII Trust Fund for the people of Guam

Former Guam Delegate and UOG President Robert Underwood (file photo)

Candidate for Congress Robert Underwood has announced his plans to further honor the survivors of World War II.

“On this 76th anniversary of Guam’s Liberation, we need to not just remember them, I plan to establish a Trust Fund so that no one in the future will ever forget,” Underwood said.

As the World War II generation passes on, Underwood said it’s the responsibility of island leaders to resolve war claims quickly and extend the opportunity for those who may have missed the deadline.

Under his plan, Underwood said he will amend the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act to extend the opportunity to apply for a claim for those who may have missed the deadline.

“Unfortunately, hundreds may have not received information about deadlines, especially those who live in the U.S. mainland. Delegate San Nicolas dismissed this and said that the Government of Guam should start its own program. National recognition ensures justice. He ignored the petitions of the people,” Underwood said.

In addition, Underwood plans to establish a Trust Fund in his planned amendment to ensure that there will be a stream of funding from public, private and international sources that ensure continuing programs to recognize the people of Guam for their World War II experience.

The planned trust fund will also be able to provide direct benefits to descendants in the form of educational and small business assistance.

“Japan has already provided direct benefits to similar trust funds via non-governmental organizations. We will give Japan the opportunity to step up,” Underwood said.

Underwood also plans to directly engage the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) which is responsible for approving the claims coming out from the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic, FCSC has met several times, but only approves 100-150 claims per session. The Delegate’s office needs to be engaged directly to speed up the process,” Underwood said.

Underwood’s last bill in Congress (PL 107-333) created the Federal Guam War Claims Commission, which he says validated the experiences of the people of Guam that ultimately led to the justification for the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.

“The recognition of our people is an obligation we must fulfill and cannot ignore,” Underwood concluded.