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Friday, 19 October

01:37

PNG POWER CEO REMINDS PNG THAT WE ARE STILL IN "THE STONE AGE" "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

by ROBERT T MARAPE

PUMA ENERGY which is owned by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and currently supplies diesel to PNG Power conspired with Carolyn Blacklock to sell off the gas powered gensets because they pose a threat to Puma. It's in exchange for writing off Inter Oil K4b tax owed to the PNG government. Some PNG consortiums are interested in buying the gensets to establish gas power stations to supply power to PNG Power at a cheaper rate than that of diesel power. There seems to be conspiracy and conniving between certain top elements in government, Carolyn Blacklock and expatriates in Deloitte, Puma Energy, PNG Power to rob PNG further by selling the gensets that originally cost K50m each or total K100m. Obviously, they will sell to their preferred buyers under shady deals for a private commission

The government has transferred the two GE generators to PPL to utilise local gas for power generation. Under the controversies over APEC spendings etc, PPL, in particular, Carolyn Blacklock and Bruce Colbert have decided that PNG doesnt deserve gas fire power generation and have secretly assigned Delloites to tender these generators to overseas buyers at a huge loss to PNG people.

We have lost huge money in purchasing it and to...

00:24

POM GEN RUNS OUT OF ANTIRETROVIAL DRUGS WHILE APEC FANTASY SPENDING SPREE CONTINUES "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"


From Dr. Glen Mola...

Not always good news! Today we heard at our PMGH staff meeting that we have run out of antiretroviral (ART or HIV drugs) medicines. We have many thousands of HIV positive people on treatment in NCD (and several more thousand around the rest of the country) and they may not have any medicine to take unless new supplies arrive in the very near future. People on ART must take their medicine every single day: they they stop and start again they are very likely to breed resistant HIV. This is not only bad (in fact life-threatening) for the patient, but life-threatening for everybody else in the community who might catch the HIV from them.

We also don't have any Syphilis test kits in the country. Syphilis used to be the commonest cause of stillbirth (babies dying inside their mothers) in our audit stats.- and after we started routine testing of all mothers coming to AN clinics (and treating the positives) we virtually eliminated this scourge from our pregnant mums. But now with no test kits available, the syphilis problem will come back again and many babies will die.

And this week we ran out of Oxytocin, the drug that prevents women from losing too much blood when they deliver their babies. The commonest cause of death when oxytocin is not available is post partum hemorrhage (or excessive bleeding after the birth); so we are probably now going to see a lot more mothers dies even when they come to hospital to have a supervised birth.

And we are very short of surgical sutures - the special thread and needle that surgeons use to sew up their patients during and after operations.

Every day we don't have some essential item that is critical to save medical practice.
And the PNG government does not even pay for any of the Family planning commodities - Pills, Depo, Implants etc. - they are all donated to us by UNFPA and other overseas donor agencies. Eventually this will stop, because PNG has recently been upgraded to a "Middle Income Country" because of our oil and gas extractive industries. And if the government does not step up and buy the FP commodities that we need to assist people to plan their families.....??

Most doctors and nurses still try to keep positive about their work, but in the face of a government that does not support the health system - it is becoming more and more difficult.

And then we wee that there are millions of kina available...

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Thursday, 18 October

22:44

500 cars procured by APEC in free-for-all "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

 

Press Statement by SIR MEKERE MORAUTA

APEC Authority documents show that at least 500 vehicles have been procured by the ONeill Government for APEC, many of them Land Cruisers and Prados similar in luxury to the Bentleys, Maseratis and Mahindras.

The astonishing total indicates that a free-for-all of greed is taking place under the guise of APEC, Sir Mekere Morauta, Member for Moresby North-West said today.

Many of them have been claimed by the Prime Minister, the APEC Minister and top APEC Authority officials, who already have vehicles allocated to them as part of their contracts.

Others have gone to Ministers and their outriggers, public servants and the heads of statutory bodies who are also allocated vehicles as part of their contracts.

Sir Mekere said the APEC Authority documents do not reveal the total cost of vehicle acquisitions. But it must be astronomical, he said.

Nor do the documents indicate whether public competitive tenders were called for all these vehicles, as required by the APEC Act, whether their procurement was scrutinized by the APEC Probity Auditor, as required by the Act, or whether they are to be disposed of after APEC by competitive public tender as required by the Act.

The details are:

Prados and Land Cruisers 208

HiLuxes 88

Forerunners 11

Rav 4s 30

Hyundai Accents 23

Ford Rangers and Everests 12
 

Maseratis 40
 

Mahindras 80
 

Bentleys 3
 

Mazda BT50s 5

TOTAL 500


This vehicle procurement by APEC highlights the greed and self-indulgence of the Prime Minister and the APEC Minister, Sir Mekere said.

It highlights their twisted priorities - spending tens of millions of kina on luxury vehicles at a time when ordinary Papua New Guineans are suffering unprecedented hardship, and the nation is almost bankrupt. What is the total cost of vehicles purchased for APEC? K100 million? Or more?

That money should have been spent on health and education and other essential services, not a giant party for foreigners and PNC cronie...

21:00

Bel Isi PNG: a world first "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

Can family and sexual violence (FSV) be more than the humanitarian concern that we know it to be? The answer is yes. In Papua New Guinea (PNG) FSV has been quantified as a significant cost to business. For example, for one company recently surveyed in Port Moresby the cost was three million kina in one year alone.

One common story is of a person, most often a woman, who experiences family and sexual violence, and is distracted at work, worried about her safety and that of her children. She may miss days at work because of injury or mental stress. She is concerned that disclosing her situation will only create more problems, so she remains silent and is increasingly exhausted from pretending that everything is fine. Her job performance suffers, she is disciplined by her supervisor and this causes even more stress.

Now let us propose a different scenario. The same woman walks into a workplace that is actively committed to providing immediate, practical support to staff. She has access to safety planning, counselling, legal advice and, if required, to a safe haven. She is aware, as are her colleagues, that her company will help her and that there is a safe space to share her situation.

Such is the direction chosen by Bel Isi PNG (Peaceful PNG): to tackle the problem from the angle of the economic impact on the workplace. The initiative has the dual purpose of benefiting both individuals and companies.

Bel Isi PNGs innovation is three-fold. First, it takes a strong partnership approach involving all sectors government, private sector, and community. Second, it increases resources for support through asking companies to pay subscription fees. Finally, it galvanises leadership, both male and female, to prevent violence and improve services. Combined, this model is a world-first public-private partnership to address family and sexual violence.

Bel Isi PNG started with donations a building from Bank of South Pacific to be used as a safe house and an office space from Steamships Trading Co for a case management centre, both in PNGs capital, Port Moresby. The Oil Search Foundation agreed to design, manage and help fund the project, and the Australian Government stepped in with significant financial backing. Since the initiative was launched, G4S a local security firm has donated 24-hour free transport from an unsafe location to a safe one; Nine Mile Farm and Stop and Shop local producers have donated regular food supplies; Brian Bell   a local homeware store is giving furniture and cleaning supplies; and PNG Power all of the power. The operation of Bel Isi services by Femili PNG, a PNG NGO, will assist survivors and support the existing network of s...

Wednesday, 17 October

21:00

Why Indonesia is right to limit NGOs post-disaster "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have shocked people around the world. Images of the earth liquefying, the terrifying screams as people watch a tsunami engulf the shore, and the wreckage left behind have led to a global outpouring of support and responses from aid agencies and NGOs.

Last week, Indonesias disaster coordination agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana, or BNPB) issued guidelines on the involvement of foreign aid workers, stating that they needed to conduct all activities through local partners, and be registered with government agencies.

The announcement has surprised the humanitarian sector at large, and some have called it confusing. World Vision Australias Tim Costello said it was very strange. Amnesty International Indonesia have labelled it a sad example of bureaucracy trumping humanity.

The official announcement is helpfully written in English in an infographic on Twitter.

The same Twitter account has posted images of shelter tents with Chinese characters on them, retweeted World Food Program photos of Australian aid shipments, celebrated Canadian aid supplies arriving, and been thankful for JICA supplies. The World Bank and UN have visited, with the former offering a US $1 bn package. Its not a response that is turning its back on international relief, contrary to some commentators.

Following criticism, the policy on foreign aid workers and volunteers was further...

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