Air Niugini offers 30% off on all Domestic Flights

Posted by PNG Today | July 24, 2016 | Posted in ,

PNG Flag carrier, Air Niugini is offering 30 percent discount on all domestic flights. The promotion is for August. The airline says the promotion applies to those who book online and as well as those who use the counter services for booking.

Customers are urged to used the promotion code YUMIPNG

Bank of PNG to reduce unbanked population

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Bank of PNG
It is the duty of the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) to assist financial service providers to provide banking services to the 80 percent unbanked population from the rural areas, says governor Loi Bakani.

BPNG governor Bakani said the central bank aims to roll out financial inclusive programs around the country to reduce the large percentage of unbanked population.

“With the help of these programs, we will reduce the figure from 80 to below 50 percent in the near future because our financial inclusion programs are implemented in the country through banks and financial institutions,” Bakani said during the opening of a two-day financial exposition in Mt Hagen last Friday.

He said the government has put more emphasis on the rural areas, which is a great opportunity people must embrace and work together to reduce the high unbanked population.

The BPNG Governor said the government, through the Bank of Papua New Guinea, will bring services to the rural areas, which is a great opportunity envisaged in the Vision 2050. This is to create a higher wellbeing of our people to become wealthy and happy.

“We have to become wealthy and change our lifestyles and living standards today,” he said.

There are different ways to approach the financial inclusion policy so that the government can realise its vision.

Bakani said: “Firstly, the aim of bringing financial services to your doorstep is because it will assist you to plant potato, cocoa, coffee, raise poultry and piggery. But if there are no financial institutions around, you will continue to invest in risky areas like hiding them in your house where people may steal or destroy it.

“It is our duty to come and assist you to get your money out from these hideouts and give to banks and financial institutions that are licensed by the Bank of Papua New Guinea,” explained the governor.

Press Release

PNG Hunters down East Tigers 38 - 8

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The SP Papua New Guinea Hunters thrashed East Tigers  38 - 8 in round 20 of the Intrust Super Cup match played at the National Football stadium in Port Moresby this afternoon. In the first half, the Hunters ran in five unanswered tries to take the 30-0 lead.  The match was played  in  front of more than 10 000 crowd.

The Hunters opened the score board through center Justin Olam. Ase Boas converted the try to take the lead 6 - 0. In the next play,  the Hunters ran in their second try straight from the restart when Thompson Teteh scored out wide. Teteh wasn't done yet, grabbing his second for the game just 9 minutes later and the Hunters led 18 - 0.

The home side further extended the lead after  halfback Wartovo Puara Jnr threw an inside ball to a forward Brandy Peter, who then gave it to Warren Glare to dive under the posts to score the Hunters’ fourth try.

Reserved hooker  Gahuna Silas scored again from the Hunters. Ase Boas converted 5 from 5 right on half time to take the lead 30 - 0.

In the second half, the Hunters  were first to score through fullback Bland Abavu  but Boas missed the uprights and the Hunters lead 34 -0 .

The Tigers muscled up in defence, determined not to leak any more points.

This allowed them to dominate possession midway through the game.

It took over an hour but the Tigers were finally rewarded with a try in the 62nd minute when Dane Chang crashed over on the wing.

The Tigers found success on the same wing 6 minutes later, this time through Jeremy Hawkings.

The Hunters didn't want to let the home crowd down and finished off in style with a try to Justin Olam, which was his second of the day.

Halfback Wartovo Puara Jnr was announced man of the match.

The Hunters will meet defending Champions Ipswich Jets next Saturday at the National Football stadium.

PNG Hunters v East Tigers preview

Posted by PNG Today | July 23, 2016 | Posted in ,

The only match played outside of regional Queensland this weekend will see two desperate teams meet at Port Moresby’s National Football Stadium. The Hunters suffered a heartbreaking loss to the fast-finishing Dolphins last weekend while the injury-hit Easts Tigers were a fraction off the pace against the Magpies in their Round 19 loss.

 Easts were seemingly cruising towards a finals berth and perhaps even a top three finish a number of weeks ago. But the Intrust Super Cup ladder has changed quite drastically over the past few weeks, with three teams – Ipswich, Souths Logan and Wynnum Manly – now all within two wins of Scott Sipple’s Tigers. But it’s certainly not panic stations for the Tigers, who are one of only two sides to have beaten the Hunters on their home turf in 31 games.

In milestone news, Hunters pair Thompson Teteh and Adex Wera are within one touch down of equalling the Hunters’ most prolific try scorer in Israel Eliab (30).

National Football Stadium on Sunday, July 24 – 3.05pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Easts 2, PNG 1, Drawn 1
Twitter: #PNGvTIGES

Former PNG rep Butterfield returns

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

He has represented Papua New Guinea Kumuls in the tour of France and Prime Minister's XIII, however the former Queensland Residents hooker Tommy Butterfield will be helping to lead his East Tigers side against the PNG Hunters in a crucial Round 20 match in Port Moresby.

Butterfield’s mother is from the Ferguson Island (Milne Bay province of PNG) and his father is an Australian who moved to PNG at a very young age and grew up in the city of Lae.

Butterfield recalls playing rugby league at an early age in the Top Town suburb of Lae city before moving over to Australia.

“I learnt rugby league on the streets in top town PNG,” Butterfield said.

“When I moved to Brisbane I joined Redcliffe Dolphins and played there from Under 7s to Queensland Cup, having a stint with the Broncos 20s in between.

“I toured Europe with PNG in 2007 and with Australia Universities in 2010. I played PNG PMs XIII in 2009. I moved to Easts to be coached by Craig Ingebrigtsen in 2013.”

This is Butterfield’s fourth season with the Tigers side

“Easts has been good. I became a better footballer at Easts. I've got lifelong friends now at Easts,” Butterfield said.

He also has his own challenges with the crafty rake having undergone shoulder surgery prior to the seasons start.

“This year I had a late start due to shoulder surgery, but the shoulder is feeling strong again now and just looking forward to finishing the year strong for Easts,” he said.

“I played for Queensland Residents last year, but didn't get a chance this year due to injury.”

When asked about the PNG Hunters programme, he was full of praise.

“The Hunters have a great program. They have the perfect coach to lead them as well. It's good to see guys in their team starting to get recognised by Australian teams.”

The Hunters went down to the Dolphins last week in a tight affair, but they will be looking forward to get back in the winner’s circle in front of home fans.

Easts lost to South Logan last week so will be aiming to improve their game.

“We just need to stick to our game plan. Hold the ball and win the ruck personally just run more,” Butterfield said.

He added “I just hoping can get lots of Milne Bay people to the game Sunday to come support me and the Tigers. Also a shout out to my family and friends in Alotau, Milne Bay.”

Source:  qrl.com.au

PNG University of Technology to resume classes

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

The Council of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (PNGUOT) unanimously resolved to salvage the 2016 academic year, and established a tentative commencement date of 29 August 2016, pending approval by the Academic Board. The last days of exams would be 9 December 2016.

Considering the gravity, complexity, sensitivity, and multiplicity of circumstances and facts this decision was made after a very robust and extensive deliberation which included consideration of various options, all possible ramifications, and a comprehensive risk and benefit matrix.

The unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances of the case entail consideration of an extensive range of ramifications of which the major ones are:
• restoration of the rule of law and normalcy,
• consideration of Government decreed Commission of Enquiry and Imposition of Curfew,
• institutional safety and security,
• reconciliation and mediation between the disputing groups,
• institutional reputation,
• trauma counselling for students and staff,
• risks of losing TESAS students' scholarship,
• financial considerations,
• police and independent University investigations,
• status of the Student Representative Council (SRC),
• reconstruction of a temporary mess, and
• repairs and maintenance of dormitories.
The capital costs of the damage to the infrastructure is about K40M: K35M for the mess, K2M for DODL Department of Open and Distance Learning, K2M for ATCDI Appropriate Technology and Community Development Institute, and K1M to male halls of residence.

The university will make a special submission to the government, since without additional support it will be unable to finish the academic year within budget. The incremental operational costs for resuming classes until 21 June was around K4M due to increased costs for security and messing costs. With resumption on 29 August, another K8M will be spent, which has not been budgeted for. Any later resumption will entail higher costs.

Given the tight timeline and diverse range and complexity of challenges, Council also discussed in close consultation with management and laid out the following implementation principles and framework.

It is therefore important to restore the sanctity of these universal tenets in the PNGUoT. The University is not only a national institution, but also a world class institution and must subscribe to the universal rules of academia and basic tenets of democracy in a liberalized democracy like Papua New Guinea.

Security is and will continue to be paramount, because it fosters peaceful coexistence amongst people from diverse cultures and background in a learning institution. It also fosters harmony, good order and a conducive learning environment and atmosphere. The Council cannot in practical sense guarantee absolute security for everyone, but it has the fiduciary responsibility to manage security risk and ensure safety and protection of human life and property. It has, in close conjunction with security experts, put together a range of security measures which if activated will assist to restore security and normalcy. These are;
i. Curfew – The Government decreed curfew will be fully utilized to enforce a dusk to dawn curfew at the campus. This includes resource that will be available through funding and mobilization of police and private security guards (where necessary) to support the Uniforce.
ii. Commission of Enquiry – Management will coordinate with the Commission of Enquiry established by the Government.
iii. Police – Discussions and agreements will be entered into between the Metropolitan Superintendent and the Vice Chancellor for the mobilization of police on campus, strategic placements of police, rules of engagement including the power to arrest those carrying weapons or threatening others.

iv. Management will continue work to up skill and provide necessary equipment and resources to Uniforce to carry out its security duties and functions.
v. Management has been authorized by Council to engage an independent security expert to review the entire security arrangement and systems and organization of PNGUoT.
vi. In addition to assisting Police in the criminal investigation, management have also been authorized to undertake an independent investigation into the procurement, smuggling and use of illegal weapons in the campus and other illegal activities. Those culpable of such misdemeanours or crimes, will be subject to disciplinary action as well as criminal prosecution.

Mediation and reconciliation is a critical component of this reparation and rebuilding process. Council notes the extent, magnitude and scope of the incidents at the PNGUoT has gone beyond its sphere of influence and control. It has therefore established a sub-committee to coordinate mediation and reconciliation, which will involve the National Government, the affected parties and the office of the Governors of Southern Highlands, Enga and Morobe respectively. This will include management and removal of the ‘haus krai’ and petition for compensation.

Council has a duty of care to honour and look after the best interest of the majority of students who are law abiding and who value their education. Council acknowledged that students were severely affected by the trauma, displacement, loss of personal property and will continue to have misgivings about their security and safety. This must also be balanced against the fact that students (in particular student leaders) should bear some responsibility for the degeneration of a peaceful boycott into a situation where violence and intimidation prevailed. Council took account of the following considerations in ensuring effective and smooth resumption of class and student administration:

Key Considerations
i. The students demographics is different with varying expectations, some sponsored by Government and others privately sponsored, varying faculty or course dynamics so there is no uniform solution for every student. In any event, management, heads of departments, their faculty members and their staff are requested to deal with student needs, enquiries and expectations on a case-by-case basis.
ii. Council has received first hand advice from the Department of Higher Education that students will automatically forfeit their TESAS (HECAS) SCHOLARSHIPS if classes do not resume this year and there is no guarantee that they will secure similar scholarship next year. This is compounded by the fact that they will compete against first year intakes for 2017.
Student Administration Restructure and Rationalization
i. The 2016 Student Representative Council (SRC) has been disbanded by the Council forthwith, and management have been requested to review the SRC bylaws, constitution and composition.
ii. Management will review the entire student code of conduct and update disciplinary process, systems and range of punishments.
iii. Student dormitory administration has been reorganized and revamped with a new dormitory administrator. He will take carriage of reviewing the personnel, systems and processes including security aspects of student dormitory administration.
iv. Management has been given approval by Council to secure an external contractor to repair all damaged dormitories.
v. Some students have reportedly lost personal properties. These cases will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the management. Students are urged to contact management and file a loss property report.

STUDENTS ARE REQUESTED TO CONTACT THE STUDENT ADMISSION OFFICE ON PHONE; 473 4215 OR 473 4888, EMAIL: john.laskam@pnguot.ac.pg , OR som.kendorop@pnguot.ac.pg FOR ALL STUDENT ENQUIRIES.

Students’ halls of residence will be repaired in August. Students are not allowed to occupy any other room than the one they have been allocated. Regular room inspections will be held by student services and armed security guards. All alcohol and weapons will be impounded without restitution, and any offence will be dealt with through the revised students’ disciplinary system.

Temporary messing facilities have been set up in the Union Hall with limited capacity. Biometric access control will continue to be implemented.

The Council, through the Chancellor, met representatives of the staff in separate meetings through their respective associations namely, the National Academic Staff, the National Staff and the Non-Citizen Staff Association. Representatives at each of the meeting were candid and sincere and expressed concern about security with some mixed emotions, but have agreed in principle through their respective spokesperson to do their best to implement the Councils decision.
The Department of Higher Education was also consulted, through the Secretary of Higher Education, Professor David Kavanamur who is also a member of the Council.
The PNGUoT Management has set up a temporary information centre operating from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm to provide updates to concerned parents and stakeholders. Please call; 473 4283 or 473 4445, 473 4216 Email: jlaskam@admin.unitech.ac.pg / augustine.dominic@pnguot.ac.pg

1. Re-Opening Plan finalized and validated Senior Executive Management (SEM) 25 July
2. Academic Board approves Calendar SEM 27 July
3. Reconciliation, Reconstruction, and Resumption Cost Submission SEM – Chief Secretary
29 July

4. Re-Opening Plan progress report to SEM Project Office (PO) 29 July
5. MoU with Police approved and signed SEM 12 August

6. Operational Arrangements with Lae MetSup and security companies approved and signed
CSO 12 August
7. Risk analysis and Security Plan from CCSA Asia approved and implementation on track
SEM12 August

8. Re-Opening Plan final report to SEM PO 12 August
9. Repairs to dormitories finished PO 12 August
10. MoU with Police SEM 12 August
11. Dormitories ready and arrival of students SEM 24 August
12. Registration Semester 1 SEM 25-26 August
13. Revision of Semester 1 (2 weeks) Head of Departments (HoDs) 27 August – 11 September
14. Resumption of classes SEM 29 August
15. High Level Reconciliation Chancellor – Chief Secretary Before 29th August
16. Examinations Semester 1 start HoDs 12 September
17. PNGUoT students' reconciliation SEM 16 September
18. Semester break HoDs 19-23 September
19. Start of Semester 2 HoDs 26 September 
20. Examinations Semester 2 starts HoDs 2 December, 2016.

Corruption is threat to growth: Should death penalty be imposed for corruption in PNG?

Posted by PNG Today | July 22, 2016 | Posted in

Peter Solo Kinjap

THE critical observation by some of very own intellects, scholars, students, senior state men and former primers on the current level of corruption in the country must receive the same degree of attention from all levels of government, stakeholders, development partners and the society at large. 
Corruption is a double-edged sword that hangs over our head. I wish to raise this grave concern in the following manner.
From the outset, let me establish that it takes generations to change a society from a developing to a developed status. And, by the law of nature in today’s hostile and competitive world, the change is expected to be progressive always with successive generations and not regressive or stagnant. The law is such that the success or failure of the next generation is dependent on the performance of the previous generation.
I have lived and was raised among the rural population for quite a long time and I still live today in my rural village of Tambul-Nebilyer District, Western Highlands Province. I had been traveling to very remote villages in the country. Pureni and Embuli villages in Tari, Southern Highlands Province (now Hela Province) and to the villages in the remotest and rugged mountainous region of the Goilala district in the Central province, Tapini and Waitape villages. Not to mention other villages in the country that I have been visiting. The supporting comment presented here is therefore based mainly on personal encounters from those many visits to the villages and times spent with the people in the rural communities. And living and working in Port Moresby – a growing city with mixed attitudes and cultures is an addition to all my observations. 
It is putting together the two ends of the spectrum, government policies on one end and expected results on the other end, and drawing the conclusion from today’s generation perspective, who by far, form the bulk of the nation’s population.
Regardless of every effort made by successive governments and the workforce over the years, I am afraid I must say we have not built a steady, stable, vibrant and progressive society that should guarantee a prosperous future for every child born today. And this is the nightmare of today’s generation.
Incidentally, I do not think very much was built either for them. They believe they literary scraped through at the early stage of their lives in the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s living off from the left over of the colonial era, so to speak. The seniors today had the best part and replaced little or nothing.
Theirs is a state akin to being nailed in a coffin alive. And I think they are indeed. The following is a brief description of the scenario, which is nothing new to the successive governments and the bureaucracy.
Health Centers and aid posts in the rural areas that provided 80-100% chances of survival for a very sick person 30-40 years ago now provide only 60% or even less. In the worst-case scenario, nothing. Many have been closed; others have been downgraded while a few are surviving on the mercy of some good Samaritans.
Primary, vocational and secondary schools that provided 80-100% chances of successful completion for every child now provide only 60% or even less, whilst the competition leader for entry into tertiary institutions is so slender. 
Vital road infrastructure that provided the impetus for steady economic growth and improved social services in the pre-independence era and at the early stages of the post-colonial era, have been reclaimed by Mother Nature.
There no longer exists a good governance and effective management of the past that ensured every kina spent equaled the amount of work done and achieved the expected results.
Our parents and grandparents were not regular wage earners. But there was always a place and the means to go and sell their copra, cocoa, coffee or garden foods to pay school fees from the earnings. The trees are still there. But we cannot do what they did because the facilities no longer exist. We were privileged to complete our primary and secondary education without having to worry about unpaid or incomplete payment of school fees. The same is not true for many children today; pushing more school aged kids into the streets.
Airfare for a 15-minute flight from the nearest town to a remote outstation has sky rocketed from K27 to K230 in 20 years. Lives are still lost at sea every year for those living in the islands because of such horrendous transport costs.
The gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger day by day. In a sense, there is really no tomorrow for anyone living or born today. Even today has gone past its expected productivity period without achieving much in tangible terms. We are living on borrowed time.
The country just experienced another level of high corruption taking its toll with the most controversial vote of no confidence to change a corrupt prime minister gone unsuccessful. 
Today we are looking forward to next General Elections. Every candidates, current Member of Parliament (MPs) and new candidates alike, to go out in force telling every eligible voter that they had the answers to poverty, poverty in every sense of the word – politically, socially and economically and to kill corruption. The same words our parents were told in the previous generation.
The same words were repeated to today’s generation. Note that dreams, aspirations and expectations vary with generations. The country’s generation today is better educated and more exposed to the demands of modern lifestyle and the socio-economic issues that come with it. They are more sensitive and hostile compared to their parents. 
With our vast resources, we do have a long promising future. But, corruption is threatening that promising future. Corruption is a disease eating our heart out. We do not want it to eat the children of today’s generation alive.
It has turned many potential young people to crime. It is turning many more to violence. Heed these critical observations seriously. Our short-term development policies for the next three to five years must be targeted at the immediate wellbeing of today’s generation and that of their children. 
Many times we hear people claim and it is true that Papua New Guinea is rich with natural resources. Yet it is facing a very difficult future, as corruption is rife, law and order broken down, violent crimes escalating and the government is struggling to maintain authority.
Should this downward trajectory continues, Papua New Guinea could become a “failed state”. 
Living standards and annual per capita income have barely improved since independence. Mining revenues and generous foreign aid were not invested in roads, schools and health services.
Infant and maternal mortality rates are close to those of sub-Saharan African countries than to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Population growth is high and job creation is low.
The rising number of unemployed young people, particularly in urban areas, is demoralizing, feeding crime and civil unrest. The extent of lawlessness scares off investors and tourists, reinforcing a downward spiral. Dependence on borrowed money has enabled Papua New Guinea to live beyond its means. 
Are there any provisions in our constitution that prescribe for embezzlers, fraudsters and thieves of public monies to be sentenced to death? The Chinese law in 1979 on corruption was categorized under the section of offences of encroaching on property. It is now an independent crime category, separated from other property and economic offences. This stipulation reflected a growing recognition among Chinese lawmakers and political leaders of the corruption epidemic. 
The legal definition of corruption is clear – graft and accepting bribes are capital offences under the current law. In recent years, China imposed death sentences on offenders who would have qualified for a suspended death sentence.
For example, a customs inspector chose to abuse his position by accepting millions of Yuan to allow smuggled goods to enter China. The judge reasoned that the officer’s criminal activities had resulted in “countless losses in taxes” had an extremely negative influence on the “organization’s work ethics” and seriously undermined the “integrity of the government”. Despite that the officer voluntarily returned some bribery money and showed remorse, the judge reasoned that the nature of his offence was so grave and its social effects were so negative, the death penalty was the only appropriate punishment in this case to deter and educate the public and to serve justice.
We have so many similar cases in Papua New Guinea. We have had people who held responsible positions and had embezzled millions of kina from the public coffers through dubious means including false claims, misappropriation, bribery, etc.
Yet they were given suspended sentences and set free. Even those who were convicted were not given life sentences. Should not that be a concern?
I am aware that there was a public debate in our country as in many other democratic countries on the death penalty. Many countries, including Australia and Britain, have repealed the death penalty. Papua New Guinea may wish to go down that path. That is a matter for the legislature to consider.
However, I should say at the outset that the constitutional validity of the death penalty for willful theft of millions, fraud and embezzlement be prescribed by death.
Otherwise, we may consider the Islamic justice. The prominent one is hand amputation for theft. So today in Papua New Guinea, corruption is killing our country while theft is injuring it. What do you think? Should death penalty be a measure to wipe out corruption and theft in Papua New Guinea?

Photo: The writer.

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