Goilala Schools will not receive subsidy – The National

Source: The National, Monday 14th January, 2013

TWENTY-three elementary schools in Goilala, Central, will not receive free-education subsidies from the government this year because most teachers from the schools have fake teaching certificates.
“The schools were suspended since 2011 after we had carried out an annual audit,” education adviser Philip Alu said last Friday.
Alu attributed the suspension to fraudulent qualifications of teachers, low student enrolment, poor attendance by teachers and land disputes in the schools.
He said more than 200 students were affected and some had been forced to enrol at primary schools.
“The education board cannot lift the suspension until a census form from each school is submitted before the school year begins on Feb 4,” he said.
“Most schools in the district are very remote.
“And many teachers find it hard to cope living there due to the lack of basic services.”
Alu said such schools included the elementary schools Omu, Watape, Ghivena, Erume, Gupou and Tanipai.
Wesley Yalamu, a community leader from the area, has urged education authorities in the province to lift the suspension.
“If the authorities turn a blind eye to my call, they will deny the students’ right to education,” he said.
He called on parents in the area to provide teachers with food and shelter to keep them committed to their duties.
He said local parliamentarians should provide allowances for the teachers.
Yalamu said more than 200 Grades 6 and 8 students from Givena Primary School in the Guari local level government area withdrew from their studies last year because teachers were absent from classes.

MONA Embarks on NEW Program

Edit post
The Goilala district of Central province will be embarking on a new program to train and groom its own local people to help run and manage the flow of basic services in the district..

Member for Goilala Daniel Mona says he’s taking the initiative because a lot of public servants especially teachers and health workers don’t want to go and work in the district.

Mr Mona says this is because of the remoteness and distance including accessibility to and from Port Mores by.

He says training their own people will help solve some of these problems, paving way for development and and the delivery of services to the people.

“We’ve embarked on a training program so that we can train our own Goilala young people that can work as health workers and teachers to actually fill that gaping so that they can move and walk kilometers and attend to people in health centers and schools,” Mr. Mona said.

Mr Mona also urged public servants, sounding a warning to those who are still on holidays to start returning to the district or find themselves out of the payroll.

Calvin Caspar of NBC News on the NBC New PNG page on FB

Research trip to Tapini, Goilala – By Sussan MURRELL

Research trip to Tapini, Goilala, Central Province – September 2012

Thomas Eme, President of Goilala Foundation Inc. extended an invitation to visit Tapini in Goilala District of Central Province during an informal chat regarding my upcoming fellowship to the International Lung Conference in Kuala Lumpur in November 2012.

My intention had been to travel to Daru, in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea to collect information on the tuberculosis situation in the country.
Thomas informed me of the dire situation in Goilala and offered to facilitate the trip through the Foundation – the offer was gratefully accepted.
Logistical arrangements were then made through the Foundation’s Leontine Javia and Anthony Morant.

Chronology of events.
Saturday 15 September
• Susan Merrell arrived in Port Moresby under her own arrangements.
• Met with Leontine Javia that evening to discuss trip to Goilala that was to take place on the following Monday.Sunday 16 September
• Met with Paul Kaita, who told me his story of surviving Tuberculosis
• Met with Brian Tobias of the Goilala Foundation who briefed me on what was happening in Goilala – providing a written synopsis

Monday 17 September
o 8 am breakfast with Leontine –
o 9 am left Port Moresby town headed for Tapini.
o Arrived into Tapini mid afternoon
o Met and spoke with Sister Marina
o Welcome barbecue with health workers.
o Supper with Father Brian Cahill
o Overnight at home of Sister Marina

Tuesday 18 September
• Breakfast at Sister Marina’s house with the Sister and Leontine Javia.
• Visit to hospital where I spoke with health workers and patients.
• Morning tea with Father Brian where I recorded an interview
• Lunch with Sister Marina in her home where I had more opportunity to talk with her of the situation in Goilala. During lunch I met Joseph Kaita who is a TB sufferer who has seemed to have relapsed after treatment – bringing up the problem of accurate diagnosis.
• Left for Port Moresby in late afternoon
• Arrived back in Port Moresby approximately 11.30 pm.

Thursday 20 September
• Met with Thomas Eme to discuss the trip and to ascertain my observations.

Subsequent to this trip, I have published an article (http://www.pngblogs.com/2012/09/png-par … -this.html) that was also widely distributed through the social networking pages. Angle of the article was to encourage the local member to address the situation in his electorate. (I thought that maybe someone in government may spring for an Xray machine – no uck to date)

I have submitted a commissioned article to The National Weekender that I hope will be published this Friday October 5 (Sorry if this is postponed – I have no control over publishing schedules.)

I am currently in the throes of putting together a pictorial essay of the situation in Goilala and my trip which I am to present to the conference (International journalists section). I will contact EMTV and Kundu to see if they will broadcast. Will let you know the outcome.

I have been making inquiries about obtaining X-ray machine for Tapini Clinic in Sydney.

Observations and discussions with Thomas Eme
With available statistics indicating the Papua New Guinea has an incidence of Tuberculosis of 303 per 100,000 – it would seem that the incidence in Goilala is far greater, possibly even double or more – considering that the population of the district would be around 7000 with the new (recorded cases) being around 39 per annum.

However, due to the closure of the 15 aid posts and the difficulty of accessing health facilities in Tapini the figures are likely to be higher.
Around 10 people per annum are ‘retreated’ for the disease. However, once again, due to the closure of the aid posts and many other factors the number of ‘defaulters’ in the community could well dwarf these figures – contributing to the risk of the Multi Drug Resistant strain of tuberculosis (MDRTB). Currently there is no way of telling.

The clinic is currently running with no diagnostic equipment (e.g. x-ray machine) so diagnosis becomes difficult – especially like the case of Joseph Kaita who has not completely responded to treatment. He will have to make the long, expensive journey to Port Moresby to obtain an x-ray to establish his status.

There is also a problem of the reliable supply of drugs.
Tuberculosis is working in a deadly combination with HIV/AIDS in the district. People living with HIV/AIDS with their weakened immune systems are more likely to contract and succumb to TB.

Furthermore, the problem of poor nutrition exacerbates the problem. In Goilala there are few sources of quality protein.
No district funds have been received in the last 15 years for health services in Tapini. Nowadays the Catholic Church, headed by Father Brian Cahill provides 85% of the health services in the district

Discussed with Thomas Eme
The problem of providing a source of protein – Suggestions for research and consideration were, to introduce:

• Chickens (source of eggs and meat)
• Ducks (source of eggs and meat)
• Goats (Milk and meat – by product, cheese)
• One cow per village (milk and meat)
• Trout to stock the river

Also discussed was the problem of transportation and the vast distances villagers have to walk to access facilities in Tapini. Would the solution of introducing pack animals (i.e. horses and donkeys) be viable?

It was agreed that the hospital was in dire need of an x-ray machine and I have been making inquires in Sydney to see if I can locate one that someone wants to donate. I am still making those inquiries and will continue to do so in Kuala Lumpur if unsuccessful in Sydney.

Also discussed was the ‘Coffee Night Markets’ where we stopped for refreshment on the way back to Port Moresby. These markets were very atmospheric, and a welcome oasis for the traveller. However, it was marred by the build up of rubbish along the road from the markets. Yet, the markets had no rubbish bins. Why doesn’t someone provide these – the stallholders have open fires, they could burn the rubbish at the close of trade. This is easily done if the rubbish bins are those 44 Gallon drums. Thomas Eme to look into this.

My Thanks
I would like my thanks to go on record to the Goilala Foundation Inc. my admiration for your proactive approach to your problems is considerable. You are all prepared to stand up and be counted, to go the extra mile. Bravo.

Firstly to Thomas Eme, your President who had the forethought to extend the invitation: To Leontine Javia who put considerable and thoughtful effort into guiding my visit – I think of her as the ‘pocket rocket’ not very tall but a bundle of energy: To Anthony Morant who made many of the arrangements and always kept me informed – a true believer in Goilala: To Sister Marina for her lovely spirit and her splendid hospitality – next time I come I’ll bring some cheese, Sister so we can make that cabbage salad. To Father Brian Cahill who in spite of his busy day made time to talk with me and who also extended much appreciated hospitality. So glad you are a Catholic, Father, and not, say, Salvation Army (teetotal). I was in need of that glass of wine after the long trip: To Casmiro and his men – who did a splendid job of keeping me safe – I’m back in Sydney with nary a scratch on my body – your cheerful company along the road was appreciated. I hold the three of you in high esteem: To John, our driver, who drove us safely around sheer drops, navigated landslides and never complained about the very talkative side kick that rode in his cabin (even when she wouldn’t let him drive too fast on the straight roads). Your patience makes you eligible for sainthood: To the Community Health Workers, Terrance and Eric and all the other staff and family of the Health Centre who made me so welcome and facilitated, with good humour, all my requests. To Paul Kaita, Joseph Kaita and Brian Tobias for taking the time to talk with me and last but not least to all the patients suffering from TB who let me intrude into their lives – even at a time of sickness and pain. You all humble me.

Thank you all for making the trip possible. I will report back on the conference and any headway I make with any other projects. Goilala and its people have found a very special place in my heart. I will return (OMG I’m sounding like General Douglas Macarthur. LOL)

Tolukuma – Port Moresby Road Gets Funded.

Prime Minister commends Petromin for robust exploration activity The Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare is pleased that Petromin is emerging as a leader in developing its mineral tenements through green field exploration. In an address to the Petromin Board of Directors, the Prime Minister said he was extremely pleased to learn that the Petromin Board and Management have allocated around K6 million this year for exploration of the company’s mineral tenements within the vicinity of the Tolukuma Gold Mine and regional tenements. “ For a newly established company, Petromin has done extremely well and can be seen as a leader in developing its tenements through increased green field exploration than most of the junior mining companies who have been in the business for a much longer period.” He said Petromin’s determined approach in upgrading the total resource potential of Tolukuma Gold Mine through an extensive exploration program is proving successful for the company. “This program is paying off as the total resource has been upgraded by an independent Australian based company to about 700,000 ounces. This has the potential to extend the mine life to about five years. “ The Prime Minister encouraged the Petromin Board and Management to continue with its extensive exploration program as results have proved this strategy the correct one. “I want to encourage you to continue in the exploration program and I am hoping that one day you will also invest in the petroleum activities through expanding your exploration program in this sector.”

The Prime Minister addressed the Petromin Board in Wewak, Windjammer hotel, Thursday (Feb 24)

Press Release: Tolukuma – Port Moresby Road

The National Executive Council has approved the Tolukuma Mine Access Road project which will link the remote Goilala area with Port Moresby.Acting Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu said Cabinet recently endorsed this priority impact project under the revised Memorandum of Agreement and released an initial K10 million to honour a State commitment made in 2008.The new road will connect to the existing Tapini Road that starts from the Aropokina junction of the Hiritano Highway to the Tolokuma Gold Mine, a distance of approximately 142.4 kilometres.“The funds will come out of the Rural Roads Program allocation in the 2010 budget.

“This mine access road will greatly enhance the flow on benefits to both the mine and local communities. Currently, access to the mine site is via light aircraft. It will also improve the mine’s financial performance by reducing the current high aviation costs of transporting fuel and consumables and also open up this remote area to services not currently accessible to the people,” he said.

The funding support from the Government is crucial for the project which will open up the economic potential of the Goilala District and the surrounding areas of Central Province.

NEC has also endorsed the establishment of the Project Implementation Committee, including the engagement of a qualified technical project manager to oversee the implementation of the project and the relevant reporting relationship with the National Project Implementation Committee (NPIC).

Approved for release!
Acting Prime Minister & Minister for Lands, Physical Planning and Mining

Mona Presents Gift to Bomana Inmates

MORE than 100 inmates from Goilala district, Central, serving time at the Bomana prison yesterday received an early Christmas present from their MP Daniel Mona.

Mona committed K500,000 to the inmates to help them “rehabilitate” and prepare for life after prison.
Mona said: “I appeal to you (inmates) to change your attitude and become better people.”
Mona told the inmates that for far too long people from Goilala were viewed as trouble makers and that perspective needed to be changed.
“I am investing a lot in education because I want the negative name tag on Goilalas to change. In the future I want to see Goilala pilots, lawyers and journalists,” he said.

Mona said the money would come from his District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP) for next year and would be deposited into the Correctional Services bank account between April and May.

Goilala inmates’ representative, Clement Peto said they needed a second chance in life and urged Mona to provide incentives for them.
“If the needs of Goilala youths are addressed then law and order problems will become a thing of the past,” Peto said.
The inmates from Goilala asked Mona to finance them to record an album and help them enrol in schools to undertake studies.
Another Goilala inmate representative, Michael Aika told Mona he was the first parliamentarian from the province to visit Bomana jail.

The prisoners asked the public to forgive them for the wrongs they had done and promised they were willing and ready to do positive things in their lives.
Bomana jail commander Chief Supt Michael Mondia thanked Mona for visiting the prisoners.
“Christmas is a time for change, a time for reflection, and your presence here has given hope to the prisoners.”

Source: The National, Wednesday 19th December, 2012

PNG is being trapped in ”Ponzi politics” Governed by a “dysfunctional blob.” – WikiLeaks!

Leaked emails detail the depth of sleaze in the government in Port Moresby

When Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was unceremoniously removed from office last August, the private US intelligence company Stratfor was desperate for inside information to pass to its clients, especially international companies with interests in PNG’s burgeoning resources sector.

Stratfor had one well connected operative who could provide insight on PNG politics, a Brisbane based consultant closely engaged in business in Port Moresby. “Source CN65” was quickly tasked and his subsequent reports, released by WikiLeaks, provide a direct insight into the chaotic and often corrupt PNG political scene.

CN65 didn’t mince words about PNG’s new Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill. In an email to his Stratfor “source handler,” CN65 suggested the new prime minister had a keen sense of personal financial interest.

“Quite corrupt. I know him. … O’Neill is not any more pro-Western than anyone else up there. As long as he makes money for himself (he has significant business investments in mobile phones, among other things), he couldn’t really care less.”

Asked what the new Prime Minister would want from Australia, CN65 gave a succinct reply: “He’ll be interested in just one thing – money. He will be wanting increased aid from Australia, and untied aid, i.e. direct budgetary support as opposed to aid tied to particular projects and administered by Australia.”

PNG is Australia’s largest recipient of foreign aid and with more than A$480 million allocated in 2011-12.

Stratfor’s Source CN65 was revealed by WikiLeaks last week to be the former Australian Senator, Bill O’Chee. A Queensland National Party Senator from 1990 to 1999, O’Chee was the first ethnic-Chinese Australian to serve in the Australian Parliament and was also the youngest person to serve as a senator. He remains active in the Liberal National Party in Queensland.

Last week WikiLeaks began the release of more than 5 million leaked Stratfor emails, which it said show ”how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients.”

According to its website, Stratfor, ”uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources”.

Now a partner in the Brisbane based Himalaya Consulting, O’Chee has a Stratfor “A” rating for “source reliability.” Drawing on a wide range of personal political and business contacts in Port Moresby, his reporting was regarded as “unique insight” into the labyrinth of PNG politics.

After spending a day and a half with “my PNG chums, who were down for the Oxford [University] dinner at the Sydney Opera House,” O’Chee was able to provide Stratfor with an inside account of the collapse of the Somare administration, specifically the personal falling out between acting prime minister Sam Abal and foreign minister Don Poyle, both Enga, a region in the PNG Highlands, that “ripped apart the government” while Sir Michael was slowly recovering from heart surgery in a Singapore hospital.

“Everyone in the government got fed up with this, and it led to huge dissatisfaction. On top of that, Abal moved to shift Peter O’Neil from the Treasury portfolio. That was the [catalyst] for action.”

Significantly O’Chee also referred to “a group of about four or five from the political class, led by one of our business associates (won’t say who) helped put the numbers together for a change of government.” However in subsequent reports, O’Chee directly identified Prime Minister O’Neil’s most important backer as former Defense Minister and PNG National Rugby League chief, Highlands businessman Ben Sabumei.

“Uncle Ben is advising O’Neill. … It is wrong though that business put O’Neill in place: it was Uncle Ben and his Highlands circle,” O’Chee wrote.

Referring to the maneuvering that preceded Somare’s downfall, O’Chee simply observed “corruption will win the day.”

O’Chee also had contacts with the Somare camp, leading him to comment that a return to power by Sir Michael would take PNG back to “a cesspit of corruption, incompetence and mediocrity. Need I regale you with the details of my meeting last year with Somare’s housing minister who was stoned on betel nut?”

Reporting on PNG’s international relationships, O’Chee expressed the view that domestic political turmoil was unlikely to have much effect. Asked about PNG’s growing ties with China, he observed that “the links between PNG and China won’t be changed by who is in power, as China already has a substantial foot in the resources sector – Ramu NiCo and Marengo Mining, for example, as well as sniffing around PNG LNG.”

“The main factor limiting China’s ability to reach into the country is the inability of the PNG politicians to be efficient in receiving aid offers. For example, most of a US$200m loan facility remains undrawn because they can’t work out how to utilize it. The thing about Melanesia is that politicians are not pro-active, and certainly not policy active. They are instead led by people from outside. The factors that determine future direction are: first and foremost, how Australia throws aid around; and what other countries put on offer.”

More broadly O’Chee concluded: “The real challenge for PNG is that it is too corrupt to develop efficiently. … The standard of the political class is clearly lower than it was 15 years ago. The old guys got corrupt and lazy, and outdated. The newer guys have been obsessed with personal wealth, and lack the respect for the offices they hold, which the previous generation had. This, at least, was the view presented to me privately … by one of most senior diplomats.”

Leaked US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks last year described PNG is being trapped in ”Ponzi politics” and quoted Australian diplomats as referring to the PNG government as a “dysfunctional blob.”

In a November 2008 briefing, the US embassy in Port Moresby noted that resource revenues and Australian aid have served ”more to enrich the political elite than to provide social services or infrastructure. There are no large-scale local businessmen, but numerous politicians are relatively well off.”

O’Chee’s confidential reporting most recently informed Stratfor’s analysis of the unsuccessful pro-Somare PNG military mutiny in January, with the intelligence company describing prime minister O’Neill as “staunchly pro-business” and highlighting strategic investments by ExxonMobil, Santos and Oil Search in PNG’s growing LNG production and export sector.

Contacted about his work with Stratfor, O’Chee declined to comment on what he described as “private business.” He said he had no ties to any government and his business activities ”didn’t require advertising.” He said he had no contractual relationship with Stratfor and was not on the company’s payroll, but declined to respond when asked about whether he received any payment for his reporting or analysis.

Written by Philip Dorling,Tuesday, 06 March 2012
(Philip Dorling is a contributing writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (Melbourne). He is a former Australian diplomat.)