THE CHURCH DOES NOT INVOLVE ITSELF IN POLITICS – IT SUPPORTS NO PARTY OR CANDIDATE IN IN ELECTIONS – CAHILL.

Morant-Kaita

In regards to comments [refer to insert snip shot from Facebook above] put up by Anthony Morant, alluding to some sort of political affiliation between myself and particular candidates in Goilala elections, and also the same for Fr Casmiro Kito being the assistant priest at Tapini, I wish to make clear the following:

1. The Church does not support any candidate in elections. It makes no public statement in support of any candidate. Church personnel, (clerics, teachers, health workers, and other church workers) are not permitted to openly support or campaign for any candidate. There is strictly no use of church property in support of election campaigns, eg schools or mission stations for election rallies, use of church vehicles and other facility.

2. This does not preclude church personnel from having an association or friendship with particular candidates, which should not be misconstrued as being support for the election of a particular candidate by supporters of other candidates. This is not unusual, especially if this association is pre-existing to the election campaign period. For instance:

 I was an appointed member of the Provincial Executive Council and an appointed Member of the Provincial Assembly 2007-2012 by the then Governor, Alphonse Moroi. Personally I could wish him well and we remained on friendly terms, however, it was made perfectly clear to the Governor that I could not provide any public support for his re-election bid in the 2012 elections as that the Church remains neutral in politics.

 My friendship and association with Daniel Mona and members his family predated his political aspirations. Likewise I could personally wish him well, and remained on friendly terms with him during each of his election bids, however it was made perfectly clear to him that I, or the Church could not provide any public support for his campaign for elected office. I point out also that while we were on friendly terms, before during and after his election as Member for Goilala it is a matter of record that I didn’t’ hold back on publicly criticising him during his time as Member on matters of policy where his performance did not match his many publicly stated promises in working together partnership with the Church to achieve common development goals on certain fronts. In making such criticism of the elected Member, this was not ‘politics’ but public accountability, where the Church has a role to play and is a voice in society as part of its ‘prophetic’ calling.

 I was happy when Daniel Mona was elected in 2012. However, this was not to be wrongly interpreted as I (and/or the Church) having actively campaigned for his election, as was the case by disappointed supporters of opposing candidates. The people had spoken through the ballot box, by the democratic process. As a priest, and an expatriate I was not involved in his election, and during the time of the 2012 Election I was out of country in Australia. The irony here is that as my public criticism of Daniel Mona mounted during his term, in regards to policy and failed promises, I (and the Church) became the object of ire from his supporters.

 Fr Casmiro Kito msc (my assistant at Tapini) has had a long term association with Bruce Mamando through the Emmaeai co-operative. This is a self help development co-operative established by the Pilitu People over the last three years, and it is chaired by Fr Casmiro. This is not unusual as Fr Casmiro is from the Pilitu area, and is one of their few educated elites. It also fits in with his work as a priest in keeping with the Church’s mission, for the ‘integral human development of peoples’. The main income work of the co-operative is the marketing of produce from the area in Port Moresby. For this transport and the road is critical to this development. Bruce Mamando has had a well established business over many years in Goiala with the movement of produce from Goilala ports (mainly on the Fane side) to markets in Port Moresby, and in recent years he has been a provider of transport to people in the Pilitu and Laloipa Valley for their market produce. Through this connection, Bruce is well known to Fr Casmiro and myself, and we are on friendly terms. When Bruce declared his intention to stand for the recent election myself and Fr Casmiro wished him well, but it was also made very clear to him that neither of us could publicly support him in any way. This position was maintained during the election period.

 That Fr Casmiro may have made general comment on FB about the condition of the road during election period, and the consequences this would inevitably have on voting in the Pilitu area for the incumbent Member, this is not to be misconstrued as having been public support for any particular opposing candidate (e.g., Bruce Mamando). If a promise was made by the Member for road maintenance works, and this promise was not kept (threatening the livelihood and well-being of the population affected) then of course he is going to loose votes in that area. Fr Casmiro was no more than stating the obvious.

 I pointed out to the Member in out lasting meeting prior to the election that the situation of the Tapini Hwy and the lack of maintenance to date was critical to his credibility as Member, and that this would have negative impact for him on voting results in the Tapini-Guari LLGs. I thanked him for his support in his brief 18 month term, and wished him well for the coming election. I also pointed out that while his support was appreciated, the church in no way could be seen to supporting him in the coming election, as per the other candidates. Up until this meeting we had been on friendly terms.

 

The Member needs to realise that he has been re-elected by democratic process as the Member of Goilala, meaning for all the People of Goilala, including the ones that didn’t vote for him. If his voting support dropped in certain areas due to the negative impact caused by failed promises during his previous term then I suggest he needs to address that issue and prove people wrong to win back voter support.

Rather than payout on these people (and by association the Catholic Church because of misconstrued information about Fr Brian and Fr Casmiro during the election period) by ignoring them as some kind of post-election retribution. This will only alienate the Member from his people and his main development partner, the Catholic Church. How the Member now acts in this situation will distinguish him as being a good leader.

Fr Brian Cahill msc
Parish Priest
Tapini

WHO IS THE GOVERNMENT OF GOILALA? Father BRIAN CAHILL.

THIS IS BECOMING ABSURD’ – A RESPONSE TO THE CEO, TITUS GIRAU.

This is becoming absurd. Who actually is the Government for Goilala?

Certainly not the Bishop or Fr Brian.

I would have thought that this is the role and function of the Member, who is the political head of Government in the district, and the CEO is supposed to be the Administrator of government policy, the chief public servant leading a team of district public servants.

It is supposed to be their responsibility as Government for the district to ensure service delivery drawing on support from district development partners, not the other way around.   Roads and transport are crucial for service delivery and development. Roads are the responsibility of Government.

If the maintenance of the Tapini road cuts across three or more Government authorities (jurisdictions), then I would have thought it is the responsibility our Goilala District Government officers to go door knocking, and follow-up on matters with their colleagues in these other jurisdictions. Whether it is National Works, Provincial Works, Kairuku-Hiri District Government, Provincial Government, or National Government. This is their job – this is what they are paid to do – and not the work of the Bishop or Fr Brian as Mr Girau suggests.

Of course, this requires a commitment to the job, and competency.

Moreover, it is also the function of the DDA to budget sensibly, prioritise-monitor expenditure, and source funding other than DSIP for development work if need be. I would think that the use of DSIP on the Kairuku stretch of road would be the least worry for illegal use of funds by the current administration.

I would have thought also that maintaining road access to the district headquarters for government operation, the operation of the district high school, and the operation of the district health center would be a priority.

The road to Tapini connects to other road networks from the district center to Guari, Kerau and Woitape. This road network is already in place from the colonial period (largely a legacy of the early missionaries), awaiting revitalisation.

Once the road network is opened up, then development can follow in other parts of Goilala outside of the Tapini area.

You can’t have development without roads, and it is a giant step backwards for development in the district to allow the main road connecting the district centre to the coast, and the hub for road connection to elsewhere in the district, to close.

Where is this being fair to the medium-long term development for Woitape, Tapini and Guari LLGs respectively?

Except to make everyone equally disadvantaged, and equally further behind in achieving meaningful progress for development throughout the district.   As a road engineer, the current Member knows this. Yet it appears to me that there is a climate of ethnicity in district politics which is clouding judgement and obscuring a sensible development vision for the district.

Mr Girau, the bottom line is the road is closing. It is happening under your watch as district CEO, and the current Member’s watch as the political head. As the Government for the district, it is your responsibility to act.

No excuses!

WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?

Fr Brian Cahill msc
Parish Priest – Tapini Chancellor Diocese of Bereina

Distance - Arapokina - Tapini HighWway

MP SAMB IS A FAIR LEADER WHO VALUES & SERVES EVERYONE ON EQUAL TERMS – CEO TIRUS GIRAU

This is a response from the Chief Executive Officer – Mr. Titus Girau on the article[extracts from Letter from Bishop Rochus Tatamai] raised by Father Brian Cahill on Facebook. And shared on this blog.

Thank you for the Link to the Blog Article from Father Brian Cahill [on behalf of Bishop Rochus Tatamai].

In my individual opinion and as CEO of Goilala, I would suggest that Bishop Rochus Tatamai and Fr Brian Cahill need to go talk to Hon Peter Isoaimo, Member for Kairuku the same agenda they are pushing into Hon William Sambs throat regarding the Goilala highway.

The Governor and the Works Minister must be talked to as well.

We cannot politizise the highway. There are equal players in the interest of the highway. While we accept their sentiments we must approach this on an equally levelled playing field. The Member is only one person we are barking at but let’s be fair on him. Let me put on record that the 64 km of the highway remains the jurisdiction of the Kairuku electorate and the balance of the 96 km remains the portion the Goilala DSIP should be used.

Distance - Arapokina - Tapini HighWway
Distance – Arapokina – Tapini HighWway

In 2010 the Hon Sir Dr Puka Temu announced the elevation of the highway to National Highway Status. The Provincial Governments stake must be talked about by concerned road users. We cannot lopsidedly talk about the member for the deteriorating state of the highway.

There must be a equal playing field for all. The former members together with Hon Samb had already used much of the Goilala people’s DSIP money on that stretch of the 64km road to Utalama and may I say that “we have illegally used it in the name of opening road access to districts headquarters and the Education and Health establishments” which everyone are talking about.

I have served leaders for a long while now and I  have seen Hon William Samb as a fair leader who values everyone and serves people equally and that is evident in 18 months for Woitape, Tapini and Guari LLGs respectively.

Let’s give respect to where respect it’s due and learn to discuss as a team for a common good.

Thank you,
Titus Girau,
CEO Goilala

CHURCH – STATE PARTNERSHIP IN GOILALA AT A LOW EB

I called by the Pangu Party HQ at Korobosia this afternoon to drop off a letter from the Bishop.

I was met by minders at the gate who told me that the Member was not inside, while others outside told me that the Member was. I persisted and finally got through to some gentleman on the inside of the gate to give the letter to the Member, and to tell him that it is official correspondence from the Bishop, dated 20/09/17. I left frustrated and wondering what is going on with the Member since his election in August. I am left wondering too whether or not the Member will actually get handed this letter from his minders.

With permission of the Bishop I am now posting excerpts from this letter, as the issues raised by the Bishop are pressing matters of public concern. (Anthony Morant, you might like to post this on the Goilala Development Blog.)

Dear Member,

I have been wanting to meet with you since the confirmation of your election back in August to firstly congratulate you on your election victory and to discuss with you matters of common concern in the delivery of services to Goilala in keeping with Government Policy of Church-State partnership. I have asked my Chancellor, Fr Brian Cahill to arrange such a meeting, however to date his numerous phone calls and text messages have met with no reply. Thus I am writing to you now requesting an urgent meeting at the earliest……. Specific matters I would like to discuss with you are as follows:

(1) TAPINI (MONA) HWY

We have a critical situation facing the delivery of services at Tapini with the immanent closure of the Tapini Hwy. This vital link to the coast has barely held open this year to small 4WD vehicles, such as landcruisers. The condition of the road is truly appalling, and dangerous in places. The Health and Education Services at Tapini have been totally reliant this year on one landcruiser which was bought at the start of this year by the high school, with assistance provided by the parish landcruiser when Fr Brian travels from Port Moresby to Tapini. Vehicles can only carry 600kg of cargo given the road’s present condition, and the damage to the undercarriages of these vehicles each time they travel has seen a large increase in vehicle maintenance costs. Not to forget the human cost of health and well-being to the driver’s and their off-siders.

With this, there has been no assistance provided from the district. All the public servants from the CEO down, are absent from Tapini. Government officers only appear the day before some event is to take place with dignitaries flying in the next day. They are in their vehicles and back down the highway the same day once the dignitaries fly out in the afternoon. They show no apparent interest in the running of the station and the delivery of services. They show no real interest in the condition of the road as it is not a matter of survival for them. They don’t live at Tapini. These officers all lodge down in Port Moresby where they drive around in the district vehicles at the expense of the district. While there is actually nothing in terms of Government enterprise happening on the ground at Tapini in building up the place. The Church is there on its own struggling to keep alive vital services of health and education to the population.

I do not wish to apportion blame on government authorities as to why the highway has been allowed to come to this present state. And I am not interested in hearing about submissions for highway maintenance that will be months away into next year before anything can possibly happen. That will be too late. What is required in the immediate is an emergency response from Government, with the Member and CEO taking the lead to get something happening now to get machines operating on the road to do necessary maintenance works in the worst sections in order to avoid the definite closure of the road. (I point out the Works machinery sent up for maintenance before the election has been sitting idle in a village near Bakioudu since the election in August doing nothing!)

The Tapini Hwy has remained open till now because of the dry season weather. However this window of opportunity will close once weather patterns change as we move towards the wet season, and the likelihood of heavy rains in December. Now is the time for action by sensible people to avoid what is surely a looming catastrophe.

When the road closes Sacred Heart High School will have to send its 340 students home as we will not be able to keep them at the school without a means of supply. Unless there is budget provision by way of a Government Grant for air charter, the 2018 academic year looks bleak if the road is not open as the school will be totally reliant on air charter. Unless such a grant is forthcoming, this puts into doubt whether or not the school will actually operate at all next year. The cost of a twin otter charter is K8,000 for 1.5ton. The school will require a minimum of 12 charters a term. That works out at being K8,000 x 12 x 4 terms = K384,000.

Likewise, closure of the road will impact severely on the operation of the OLSH Health Centre at Tapini, and will see a cut back services.

I will be travelling up to Tapini on the 5th October for the weekend of the Grade 10 Graduation at the high school, scheduled for Saturday 7th October 2017. I will be travelling by road, if it is still open to experience first-hand what our people are suffering. You are welcome to travel with me if you wish for this occasion.

(2) DEVELOPMENT ON CATHOLIC MISSION LAND / ALTERATION TO CATHOLIC MISSION OWN FACILITY / NEGATIVE IMPACT TO THE OPERATION OF SCHOOLS

In this next section of his letter, the Bishop goes on to talk about instances of development that has taken place on Catholic Mission Land in the previous term, and alterations made to Catholic Mission facility without permission having first been obtained from him as Head of the Diocese of Bereina. He also talks about what has been negative impact on our schools through the Member’s engagement of Head Teachers for business not proper to their duty as teachers. These things are pointed out with the intention of providing a better understanding of lawful property ownership, the right conduct of head teachers and policy under which our schools are supposed to operate, and respect for proper channels of communication over the next five years. He finishes this section with the following:

……I am hearing murmurings from your supporters on FACEBOOK since your re-election of an education plan for the district that would see feeder 7&8 top-up schools at Jongai-Woitape-Ononge-Fane-Tapini. This is despite the fact that it has been made abundantly clear to you of the current district education plan whereby schools operate from Grades 1-6 with students feeding into Grade 7 at Sacred Heart High School for G 7-12. This to us is the only viable option given the lack of resources (especially teachers) and infrastructure to provide a quality education for our children. Grade 7 & 8 top-ups at Woitape, Ononge and Omu in the past when the ’97 Education Reform was first introduced proved to be a dismal failure. We will not be repeating past mistakes, and our schools in our main centres will not be topping up for G 7&8. The plan we have in place now incorporates the new structure of 1-6-6 (Elementary-Primary-Secondary), and allows for the sensible, sequential building up of what is a fragile system of education in the district.

My challenge to you, the LLG President for Woitape and others is that if you wish to provide opportunity for students to access 7&8 in the Woitape area, why not go the whole way and provide opportunity for Grade 7-10 with the establishment of a Government run high school on the sight of the defunct Vocational School at Woitape. The land is Government owned. There is facility already there that could be utilised. If you really want this, then take it on. You put in the money and resource required to build this school, and take ownership of it. But please do not come up with ill thought out plans in isolation, that concern the schools of our Agency. Plans that will not work, which will place an extra burden on the Church and strain the limited resources under which we now operate.

I point out that any 5 Year Development Plan for the Goilala District needs to have input from the Diocese of Bereina being the service provider for education and health services in the district if any such plan is to touch reality. If it is just another 5 Year Plan thought out by district officers operating in isolation to development partners in Port Moresby then it is doomed for failure.

The letter concludes by highlighting a number of other pressing matters which the Bishop wishes to discuss with the Member:

 DSIP Funding for teacher and nurse training in 2018.
 G11 intake into Sacred Heart High School – Tapini for 2018.
 Teacher deployment to Goilala ports for the commencement of the 2018 academic year.

And it is signed as follows:

Yours faithfully,

+Rochus J Tatamai msc
Bishop of Bereina

After my experience this afternoon outside the gates of Pangu Party HQ trying to deliver this letter from the Bishop, and the silence-quiet-absence of the Member since his re-election in August I am left wondering what is going on? Please Member, have the courtesy to speak to your main development partner in Goilala.

Fr Brian Cahill msc PP
Catholic Church Tapini

GOVERNMENT MUST BUILD TOLUKUMA ROAD – PC

PCBanner
September 4, 2017
A major investor in the mining industry has just pulled out of the country sending adverse signals about the supposedly conducive economic environment for foreign businesses.

This is right at the door step of the nation’s capital at Tolukuma which is only 100 km north of Port Moresby.

And part of the reason is because of the failure of the Government to honour a commitment to build a road linking the capital to the mine site.

The mine is struggling with high operational costs despite its proximity to Port Moresby because 40 percent of its logistical requirements are delivered by helicopter.
This is the inevitable, and the continued declaration of losses annually would have been cushioned had that critical piece of infrastructure in the road link been accomplished about 10 years ago.

And that is how old this commitment to build the road is since the mine was operational and its operating finances were structured around recouping the high operational costs with the assistance of lower transportation costs.
This has never eventuated to date even.

We cannot continue to treat potential investors with such ad hoc commitments made casually during agreement signing ceremonies to make the government look good.
Where is the honesty, business acumen and commitment which professional and international best practice agreements are built and honoured.

Surely a 100km road link, despite the harsh geographical terrain in the Goilala District, is not that uncommon compared with similar settings elsewhere in the country.

And now with the departure of the company from Tolukuma goes nearly 600 jobs with it.
And for the last couple of months, workers there have not been paid and are at a complete loss as to how to support their families.

Tolukuma’s PNG owners who are State entities have more than a moral and financial obligation to keep the mine operational because of the benefits that are supposed to be derived for the sake of not only the economy but, the welfare of the local people there, who are the least developed in every sense of the word.

For the sake of the country’s international reputation and record, the owners of Tolukuma have to work around the clock now and secure resources that can save the operations, jobs, resource output and recover lost ground in the cutthroat business.
The State should utilise spare capital from its other resource project holdings and help save Tolukuma to maintain its strategic importance in a place where development hardly sees daylight.

source: GOVERNMENT MUST BUILD TOLUKUMA ROAD – PC