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

PANGU MAN RETAINS GOILALA SEAT – NGE2017

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After the 28th exclusion, William Samb is the member for Goilala Open.

Box 11 – Mathew Poia was the decider for the race between Samb and Alex Hoem Robert.

Despite Robert collecting a good 1,105, Samb climbed 89 votes higher to 6,576.

The absolute majority was 5,664.

Samb was declared the legitimate member at 4:30pm this afternoon by RO Theodore Maia at the counting venue, Gordon Police gymnasium.

Runner up Robert was 4,752.

This will be Samb’s first full 5-year term.

He won the by-election after the passing of Daniel Mona in 2014.

He was member-elect for 18 months.

Samb was escorted to the venue this afternoon by his wife and two children.

Addressing the counting officials, security and media personnel on ground, Samb thanked everyone for the support and cooperation and the trust in him.

He asked for the cooperation of all other 29 candidates to bring service into the district.
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Samb hopes to continue the projects he undertook while in office.

Source: Samb Retains Goilala Seat

PANGU WANTS BULOLO MODEL FOR GOILALA – SAM BASIL

THE Pangu Pati, led by Bulolo MP Samuel H. Basil​, expects to deliver a clear and practical model of delivery to the Goilala district if it gains leadership from the current by-election.

Intending candidate William Samb​ who was endorsed by the party, had emphasised that his policy which involves rehabilitating of vital infrastructures in the district will be more practical where needed resource or assets will be made available to drive socio-economic developments to the people.

Mr Samb said with the party’s workable delivery mechanism, he will certainly use it to ensure that all the people of Goilala receive the decent and vital services they are longing for.

He pointed out that roads that needed rehabilitation will be complemented with secured resources for use in areas of basic service areas like health and education or transport.

Mr Samb said the mechanism similarly used to deliver in the Bulolo district will be used to craft his delivery method as the method has worked for Bulolo district under Pangu Pati leader Mr Basil.

BY Shirley Belden – Post Courier.

PNG POLITICS BIG PLAYERS TURN THEIR FOCUS TO GOILALA BI-ELECTION

With the issue of Writs just 48 hours out from now, the Political fever has reached it climax for Goilalas.

Big players have by now closed in on whom they will nominate and after doing so, have gone about setting out the “game plan” for their candidate.

Amongst a host of them National Alliance is rumored to have picked up one of the candidates that finished up 5th in the 2012 National Elections.

Their plans according to a birdie would be to bring the Grand Chief up to the blue mountains of Goilala.

while People’s Progress Party has also picked up the candidate that came in as a rookie under the PPP banner in the 2012 National Elections.

As usual rumors has it that PPP will fly their candidate in using a chopper. But rumors will always be rumors.

Pangu Party has also shown its hand by endorsing a candidate who is a new comer to the political scene compared to Jimmy Gulolo and Alex Robert Hoem who are now second time candidates amongst others.

Location for nominations is split up with unconfirmed reports indicating Woitape LLG candidates will nominate in Port Moresby why the Tapini LLG and Guari LLG candidates are expected to converge into Tapini to have their nominations done there.

The primary cause of such a split in location of nomination is unknown but hopefully this uncertainty will be settled by an announcement/clarification from Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission.

The tempo has just gone up another level and battle lines are been drawn up between candidates and their supporters. Confrontations between a few candidates and their supporters have been reported here and there but no serious arm.

Campaign strategies are been discussed and finalized around this time. Rallies are also been discussed and finalized.

Goilala Open Bi Elections is turning out to be a very interesting one. Alot of parties are now interested in how this elections are run. And alot of people that was never thought off to be politically minded are now seen to be actively involved in Politics.

Interesting days are up ahead but for now lets await the Issue of Writs date.