Monthly Archives: January 2017

Non-timely release of IMF raises concern: Barker

IMF Report

The non-timely release of the International Monetary Fund Article IV Report is almost unprecedented around the world and certainly in the Asia/Pacific to withhold from public viewing.

It also raises a lot of concern and suggests that the IMF has provided figures and commentary which express concern over the state of the economy and presumably over management aspects affecting the balance of payment says an economist.

Director of the Institute of National Affairs (INA) Paul Barker was responding to the explanation by Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani and the continued delay of the release of the report.

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                                                                                                                                                                                           Picture from Business PNG- EMTV

This is despite the assurance by the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last week at the PNG Media Council’s inaugural luncheon that the report would be released by relevant authorities.

“Last week the PM said he had no issues with the report and that he would ask the central bank to endorse its release.

The bank has now produced this unheralded condemnation of aspects of the Article IV Report and stated that it will consider authorising its release, but only basically after it (IMF) uses figures that concur with those of the Central Bank.

“It’s almost unprecedented around the world and certainly in the Asia/Pacific region to seek to withhold the IMF report from public viewing and therefore also the market.

“It would be better to have the report released and reduce negative speculation. “BPNG has highlighted the areas of its key concerns so has in effect revealed some of the content of the IMF report.

“It is odd that some of the issues apparently raised were also contained in the 2015 Report which was released,” Mr Barker said.

The economist says the issues that may have been raised thus resulting in the non-release, notably may be the use of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and debt figures, while also the management of the exchange rate and foreign exchange.

Nonetheless he said the private sector is well aware of the issues and particularly the impact. “They realise the kina value was raised by some 17 per cent in 2013 with a negative impact on agricultural producers and the tourism sector.

All busineses are aware also aware of the impact of the foreign exchange squeeze on their operations. “Imports were reduced dramatically by the restrain on import figures as the measure of months of foreign exchange reserve held,” he said.

The economists argues figures had been revised adding that if they had been then the bank and the National Statistics office may need to explain and defend the basis of the new data provided, not just to IMF but the wider community.

Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele said yesterday that he would be releasing a statement explaining the issues on the IMF  report.

 

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/Stories/non-timely-release-of-imf-raises-concern-barker/#.WJAvPFN96Ul

Remote Central school receives assistance from Police

ROYAL PAPUA NEW GUINEA CONSTABULARY

MEDIA RELEASE

Sunday January 29, 2017

Community policing and public relations are very essential aspects of effective policing in this challenging society says Assistant Police Commissioner Sylvester Kalaut.

ACP Kalaut who is Commander of Police in the National Capital District and Central Provinces made this remarks when donating 50 desks and 50 chairs to the Duramu elementary school in the Abau district of the Central Province. Duramu elementary is a remote school in the Central Province that has being providing basic education without proper facilities.

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Mr Kalaut said after visiting the school he noticed the challenges faced by the children and decide to help them with the desks and chairs as part of the community policing.

Head Teacher Rupa Abi said it was a first of its kind for the community to receive donation for the police

“I’m very pleased to receive the donation for the police on behalf of the Duramu Elementary school and the community. This will, indeed need have great impact on the community and the school,” Abi said.

The desk and chairs have been previously use by the Southern Division Training Centre at the Gordon. However, Mr Kalaut said the training centre have been moved to Hohola to cater for the temporarily relocation of Central Police headquarters in town to Gordons.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki Re-Introduces 2017 as the Year of Discipline

Police Commissioner Gari Baki has reintroduced 2017 as the years of discipline and urged all policemen and women to uphold the Constabulary’s disciplinary values.
Commissioner Baki announced this last Friday during the pass-out parade of the Police Recruit intake 1 of 2016 at the Bomana Police College.
“I have reintroduced the year of discipline in 2017 and expect all members of the Constabulary including you all 242 recruits on parade to uphold these values.
“I expect you to strictly enforce these values because our aim is to eradicate the rot and regain the confidence and trust of our people,” Commissioner Baki said.

2017
He said the only ways to win the public’s trusts and confidence is to demonstrate Godly principles in everything they did, whether at work or outside of their working environment.
He challenged the 242 probationary constables to work hard in the next 18- months Competency Acquisition Programme (CAP), to become fully-fledged members of the Constabulary.
“Over the next 18-month, I will assess your performance and decide whether you should become permanently enlisted as members of the Constabulary,” Commissioner Baki said.

He said this assessment period is critical because Probationary constables who step out of line faces the risk of being immediately dismissed and they will not have a second change to re-enter the organisation.

MEDIA STATEMENT Sunday January 29, 2017 

Democracy not compromised

The Democracy of Papua New Guinea is not compromised.

That is the assurance by the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato when responding to comments by the former government printer Ken Kaia and current Government Printer Christine Lenturut in relation to the printing of the 10 million 2017 election ballot papers overseas in Indonesia instead of locally.

“Let me assure the nation that we (PNG Electoral Commission) are not compromising the democracy of this nation.”

“The important thing to note is that we have to secure the ballot papers because there were attempts in the past to duplicate them,” he said.

Mr Gamato said that the 2017 ballot papers are a more improved version (of the 2012 election ballot papers) that has a total of nine security features embedded.

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He said the 2017 ballot papers will come in a pad of 50 leaves and are expected to be in the country by the end of March or early April where they will be unpacked and repacked to be distributed to all the provinces and electorates prior to commencement of polling on June 24.

During polling two ballot papers (provincial and open) will be issued to a voter at polling stations and the butts of the ballot papers will be kept by the presiding officers and will be used later to account for every ballot paper that has been issued at each polling station.

‘Each ballot paper is the choice of a voter and it’s my responsibility as Electoral Commissioner to protect that and ensure that the ballot papers we print must be secure and of world class.”

“I want to assure the people of PNG that the Pura Group of Companies which is printing the 2017 ballot papers is a world class and reputable company and I have actually visited the company myself and have seen the premises and I’m satisfied,” he said.

Pura Group prints ballot papers for the Indonesian general elections as well as ballot papers for other countries. The company also prints currencies for foreign countries.

It has also delved into the mobile sim card business, embedding sim card security features.

 

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/Stories/democracy-not-compromised/#.WJA0IVN96Uk

 

Sitting at work: a health hazard

by Cathy Johnson

Spending hours of your day sitting might be shortening your life, even if you’re getting the recommended amounts of daily exercise.

Many of us spend large chunks of our day sitting, especially when we’re at work. If we’re not glued to a computer screen or tethered to a phone, then we’re stuck in seats around tables in meetings. And that’s on top of the hours we spend sitting in cars, buses or trains getting to and from work.

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All this sitting seems to increase your risk of death from heart disease and other causes, research has found. And surprisingly, this happens even if you exercise regularly.

“If you do 30 to 60 minutes a day of exercise, you tick the box of being active,” says Melbourne exercise researcher, Dr David Dunstan. “But then you potentially have 15 or so hours a day when you’re not sleeping and not exercising that you could be spending predominantly sitting.”

There’s evidence the typical office worker is sedentary for 75 per cent of their working day. From research conducted over the past decade, it’s become clear this sitting affects our body’s processing of fats and sugars in ways that increase our risk of heart disease and diabetes.

And exercising every day won’t necessarily undo this damage. In fact, excessive sitting might undo the benefits of our daily exercise.

“When we’re idle, we’re not contracting muscles and muscle contraction is an important component of the body’s regulatory processes,” says Dunstan, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. In fact, one American expert, Professor Marc Hamilton, from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has gone so far as to suggest sitting for most of the day may be as dangerous to health as smoking.

Lounge room to workplace

Earlier in the year, the issue had some publicity with the release of a study, by Dunstan and others. The researchers linked four or more hours a day of television watching with an 80 per cent increased risk of death from heart disease, and a 46 per cent increased risk of death from all causes. That’s compared to people who spent less than two hours a day in front of the box.

But it’s the fact we watch TV while sitting or lying still that’s the problem, rather than TV per se, Dunstan says. This clearly has implications for the highly sedentary workplace environment, something health authorities and employers in Australia are only just starting to come to terms with.

The key is to avoid sitting as much as possible or at least break up your sitting time – even if only by standing, which uses more muscles than sitting. (This is not mentioned in the current national exercise guidelines but Dunstan and others believe they need to change.)

In Scandinavia, height-adjustable desks, which allow you to shift from working in a sitting to standing position at the press of a button, are becoming common. But the demand in Australia so far is low, which affects prices and availability.

“Some are as cheap as $500 but most are around $1000 to $1500,” says Dunstan, who has a made his own homespun alternative – a wooden box which serves as a laptop pedestal for when he wants to work standing up at his desk.

“I don’t think we’re at the point yet where we can say exactly how long we can safely sit… The broadest recommendation we can make is just to avoid prolonged sitting; stand up and move about more often.”

What you can do

Even little activities like getting up to make a cup of tea can make a difference.

“We’ve actually reported that people who break up their sedentary time throughout the day, regardless of their total sedentary time, have a better health profile,” Dunstan says. “It all comes down to moving the muscles.”

For Dunstan that means not sitting on public transport, and standing or moving around as much as possible while taking phone calls and during meetings.

“I just say at the start of the meeting ‘I will get up and move around. Please don’t think I’m not listening.’ What happens is once one person starts to stand up, others start to too. But we don’t usually stand and move all the time because you know, you still need to write.”

Ultimately, he’d like to see changes in office design that encourage us to be less sedentary: centralised mail collection points, standing “hot desks” for internet browsing, lunch rooms with benches at standing height, and reading rooms with exercise bikes.

But you can try smaller measures – both at work and at home, such as:

  • Standing when you use your phone (or use a cordless handset or headset so you can move around even more)
  • Moving your rubbish bin/printer further away from your desk so you need to get off your chair to access them
  • Taking the stairs instead of the lifts between floors
  • Walking to a colleague to talk to them instead of sending an email
  • Getting up to move around for few minutes or so every hour
  • Doing household chores like ironing or folding the washing while watching TV
  • Standing to watching children’s sporting activities.

 

 

http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2010/02/25/2829781.htm

2017 legal year opens

BY: Sally Pokiton

Agencies of the Law and Justice Sector today came together to commemorate the opening of the 2017 Legal year in Port Moresby.

The morning started with a march from the Jack Pidik Park at Five-Mile to the Sione Kami Memorial Church, were a service was held.

2017-legal-year-opens

Members of the Judiciary, Lawyers, Disciplinary forces and the Correctional Institute were reminded of their role, which is to protect and uphold the constitution of this country so that PNG remains an independent and viable democracy.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, in addressing those gathered, said the Law and Justice sector agencies have a common interest in ensuring that the laws of Papua New Guinea, including the constitution, are maintained and protected at all times. This is because it is the laws and the constitution of PNG that hold us together.

“The future security of our country is in your hands and my hands. Politicians will come and go, you and I will remain steadfast and continue to uphold the constitution with our responsibilities,” he stated.

“We are talking about justice and we have a mutual common interest to uphold the law in such a way that justice is done fairly so that the people’s rights, the constitution and obligations are respected and upheld at all times.”

Sir Salamo told the agencies to put the past behind them in order to meet the challenges of the new year with a new vision, and with the purpose of the law in mind.

“The security of our country, the safety of its people lies in our functions being performed in a fair and efficient manner,” Sir Salamo went on to say.

Hela Call Out Progressing

Jack Lapauve Jnr

The Call Out Operation is progressing in Hela, with another notorious warlord surrendering his guns on Saturday.

Gigita warlord, Buka Miape, surrendered more than 15 homemade guns, with two being factory made. Miape and his community walked the streets of Tari town under the escort of joint forces to surrender their guns.

call-out-progressing-hela-2017

While surrendering his guns, Miape appealed to his enemy tribe to do the same. Governor Potape also echoed same sentiments for all warring tribes.

Praising the Gigita warlord, PNGDF Contingent Task Force Commander, Lt. Col John Manuai, says more guns are still in possession of warlords and must be surrendered.

This is the third gun surrender program so far since the Call Out was launched three weeks ago.

Hela Governor, Francis Potape, says a program will be drafted for each LLG’s to surrender before the Gum amnesty ends.

All weapons seized will be recorded by the joint forces, including names, and will be destroyed a day before the gun moratorium elapses.

 

http://www.emtv.com.pg/news/2017/01/hela-call-out-progressing/

Defence engineering battalion to have four bases

BY FRANKLIN KOLMA

Four Defence Force engineering battalion bases are planned to be set up across the country to help utilise the division’s capacity to boost infrastructural growth.

One of which most probably will be built in Daigul, in Madang Province after an exchange during question time in parliament yesterday.

In a ‘question without notice’ put forward to the Minister for Defence Fabian Pok, Madang Governor Jim Kas asked if the Department of Defence could consider moving the engineering battalion to his province.

Exercise Koa Moana: The first direct training between U.S. Marines, Papua New Guinea Defence Force

Mr Kas enticed the Defence Minister with the added mention of K1 million of his provincial government funds being set aside to help with the move in the instance that Defence chose to do so.

Dr Pok said that the matter of choosing an ideal province to relocate the engineering division was crucial and that Madang was not the only place that was being considered for the relocation.

He said that due to the need for the division’s expertise in more than one region, the department was considering the possibility of building four depots housing engineering division personal.

Parliament heard that the division in concern was being underused and that relocating it to a key strategic location would prove useful in boosting infrastructural growth.

“The engineering battalion is a sleeping giant and all we need to do is wake it up in the right places to fully utilize and benefit from its services.”

While the Minister spoke on the possibility of one of the bases being set up in Yangoru, East Sepik Province, Governor Michael Somare interjected with a point of order aimed at scrapping the idea.

“Yangoru is definitely a no for the relocation of the battalion as we already house a military regiment there,” Sir Michael said.

A point of order that led to the unanimous decision to scrape Yangoru from the list of possible places to relocate the engineering battalion’s bases.

 

http://www.postcourier.com.pg/Stories/defence-engineering-battalion-to-have-four-bases/#.WI7IA1N96Ul

ZERO-TOLERANCE TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN 2017

As we begin this New Year, 2017, I appeal to all men and boys in Port Moresby and indeed around the country to pause for one moment and make a new beginning. A beginning where we stand together with our mothers, sisters, aunties, girl cousins, wives, girlfriends to ensure that they are safe, feel secure to live their life in freedom, in equality and in safety at all times.

A mother or young woman in our county is filled with huge challenges just because she is a woman in our country. I ask all of you, just for one moment to imagine what life would be like being a woman in Papua New Guinea?

Imagine if you were a women or a mother having to go into pregnancy for nine months and then endure the labour of childbirth. You risk your life to birth a child in expression of love of your husband or partner. And almost every day you have to do daily chores like washing, cooking and clean up for your husband and children. Then you send them happily to school and to work and look forward to their return at the end of the day with a meal prepared for the whole family.

If you live in the city, imagine too if you walk to the shops or markets, or getting on and off the bus, you risk your bag or bilum or mobile phone to be snatched and you feel so insecure. In addition to that, because you are a woman, you might be subjected to stares, looks of a sexual manner, guys making suggestive remarks, or being teased, pretend accidental touches or molestation? Imagine too that you are not able to go out freely, to the beach or shops on your own because your safety is not guaranteed just because you are a woman and can be picked up or be raped if you are by yourself? Imagine? How is it to live everyday with eyes on your back and having to look over your shoulders and wondering what is at the next corner?

If you live in the village, imagine if you go to the garden or river to have a bath or wash clothes or cooking utensils on your own. Will it be safe? Would you need a man escort? Can you go on your own? If there was a tribal fight or war, will it be just a fight between men or will you be attacked, kidnapped or raped as a means of pay back to your tribe because your tribal or clan enemy cannot get and attack men of your clan? In the village too and now also in towns, imagine if there is an allegation of sorcery? Imagine the horror you will endure because you were accused of sorcery just because you are woman?

After all of that, imagine if you have a husband or a partner who beats you, get possessive on you, and on the smallest of dispute or disagreement, uses threats, intimidation, hostility, abandonment to solve the problem?

It is sad but true that the plight of women in our country is not easy. Their life is a constant struggle on a daily basis filled with risks. Either at home, on the road, in public transports, at markets or shopping malls, in schools, on the way home from work or after visiting friends. Life is limited and restricted simply because they are women. We fail to see our women as human being with rights to express their sexuality without judgements and name-calling. So women in our country is regarded as of lesser value, do not need our respect and can be picked on, assaulted, molested, touched, attacked and raped. Their potential to be who they are and to contribute to their family, community, LLG, district, province and nation is restricted or limited because of all these limitations placed on them. To top it up with all the problems and challenges men and women face in our country such as lack of basic services or poor health and education services, poor police service and poor infrastructure, its even harder being women in PNG. A woman or a girl in PNG cannot truly enjoy a good quality life.

Now imagine a new beginning, a new normal where there is more respect for women and both women and girls feel safe in their own environment to go to school, to go to work and markets, shopping, go to the beach, dance and visit relatives without intimidation and fear. Imagine if all the restrictions or limitations are not placed on women and girls of our country. They can live normal lives, feel free, and express their lives purposefully. If you were a woman or a girl in our country, imagine how beautiful and empowering that could be. And imagine the combined energy, labour and intellect of our people, man and women working together? We can achieve so much more, not only for our individual selves but also to our children. We will create a climate where our city and our country is truly the paradise we own and make it enticing for tourists, for volunteers, for businesses to thrive and for our women to play more important roles in politics, in businesses and corporate ventures.

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Now, for me personally, this is an area, where we need to put more attention and move forward positively as a nation. Empowering our women and girls in all sectors of society and social well being, reduction and complete elimination of gender based violence so we can all live and work together as one people and one nation. Women are recognised and respected as human beings (not sex objects) and enjoying the same rights and freedom of movements, exercising their abilities and living to their highest potential. That’s the hope and the dream for me going forward and setting this new beginning and I encourage our men and boys to join me in this journey. The bulk of responsibility lays with us men and boys. We need to do this together, right NOW.

One of the key goals at the level of the city this year, 2017, is Zero-Tolerance on Gender Based Violence. It is part of the transformation we are undertaking in our city and our country to make our city a better place for our children and ourselves. We have witnessed amazing physical changes in our city. We have seen the economy and population increase in our city. We are beginning to deliver to our resident’s basic services like water and sewerage. We must also improve the values and virtues that guides and holds our city as a community together; in order for the transformation to be real and sustainable and to bring a better lifestyle to our people as a whole.

This is a goal man and boys in our city can and must deliver. If we place ourselves in the position of women and girls in our city and if we conclude that it is not a good life then we must stop and change our behaviour and habits NOW. Real men respects women. They value women. Let’s be the change Men and Boys of Port Moresby. Make 2017 a year in which we Sanap Wantaim and Stop Violence against women and girls and make our city and our country safe for all women, children, men, workers, students, tourist, investors and all ethnic and nationalities. I know we can, together bring total reduction of violence to our city and our country.

HON. POWES PARKOP LLB LLM MP [Governor] January 29, 2017 1.11am

PM O’Neill Welcomes Green Climate Fund Opportunities

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has welcomed the commitment by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to provide finance for addressing the effects of climate change in Papua New Guinea.

In a meeting this week with the GCF Chairman, Mr Ewen McDonald, the Prime Minister highlighted the need for finance and capacity building to enable Papua New Guinea to implement its obligations under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

“Our nation and the region faces serious threats from extreme weather exacerbated by climate change,” the Prime Minister said.

“Developing countries did not cause climate change, but we all suffer because of climate change.

“It is important that industrialised countries contribute to projects that will help to protect our communities from the affects of climate change.

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“The Green Climate Fund provides important opportunities to implement climate change projects that will help our communities.

“As part of this it is essential that funding be streamlined to enable climate change projects to be rolled out around the country.”

The Prime Minister said an important focus for current GCF engagement is to work with Pacific countries to develop project proposals before submitting to the GCF Board for deliberation.

“The process of identifying and developing projects is driven by individual countries and ensures that projects are developed that are specific to the dangers faced by our people.

“Papua New Guineans know what we need in our communities to deal with damage brought about by extreme weather.

“Through the GCF process we have the opportunity to identify and develop these projects.”

Mr O’Neill thanked the Green Climate Fund and the Australian Government for their continued support on dealing with the consequences of climate change as a shared concern.

“Papua New Guinea is a signatory to the commitments arising out of COP 21, in Paris in 2015, and we look forward to receiving capacity building and financial support from GCF to enable effective implementation.”

GCF officials have already conducted a number of workshops for participants from government entities, businesses, NGO’s, foreign donor agencies and other interested individuals.

Prime Minister’s Office PNG January 30, 2017 10.22am

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