Former Government advisor Alfred Sasako has described as rubbish claims the Government does not have the money to pay teachers.
can be further from the truth. The Government has at its disposal or at least
access to K20 million a year (about SBD63 million a year) which the Danny
Philip Government had secured in bilateral aid with Papua New Guinea since
2011,” Mr Sasako who was responsible for preparing the letter on the matter,
said in a statement in Brisbane.
said the aid arrangement was contained in an MOU signed in Port Moresby on
October 4, 2011.
the letter which I had drafted for then Prime Minister Philip to his PNG
counterpart, we requested two things: the immediate restoration of PNG
scholarship scheme for Solomon Islands students studying in PNG tertiary
institutions and an increase to K20 million a year in PNG’s budgetary
assistance to Solomon Islands.
someone who was responsible for helping in the process, I am proud to say that
the PNG Government accepted both propositions. I am prepared to disclose the
letter and other documents to support my claim,” he said.
Sasako said the fact of the matter remains that the new administration simply
did not know how to go about accessing the money.
about K40 million sitting in Port Moresby, which we have not done anything to
appointment of our new High Commissioner to PNG last year did not help matters
because some Papua New Guineans have issues with the appointee. In diplomacy
every single step matters,” the former politician said.
said it appears from documents he was privy to, the Government wants the K20
million due in 2012 in cash.
believe a request to this end was made to the PNG Government last December but
Port Moresby had declined the request, citing the projects itemised in the
request were outside the spirit and letter of the MOU.
teachers’ lot would fit the bill perfectly because the whole bilateral aid
arrangement was centred around education.
believe Port Moresby would be sympathetic to a request if a project proposal to
improve teachers’ terms and conditions were provided.
“My appeal is to the authorities to be truthful about this so that the looming teachers’ strike can be averted. There is more than enough money to cover the teachers’ demand, unless the government has had something else in mind to spend the money on,” Mr Sasako said.
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