THE Special Secretary to Prime Minister Albert Kabui has clarified the intention to amend the first regulation, which now becomes Regulation 2 after its gazette last week.
Speaking during a radio talk-back show on Tuesday, Kabui said that there are public perceptions amongst certain groups that these new regulations will suppress them in what they do.
Kabui said he wants to make it clear that those regulations are made in accordance with the constitution with the intention to protect the citizens of the country and also to help the government in its efforts to prevent and have the situation under some form of control.
“As we have already stated during our past talkback show, any restriction orders will be made when or if it deemed necessary under the relevant State of Emergency powers,” he said.
“The recent amendment to the existing regulation is necessary to take into account the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be changed to accommodate the changes in the current situation.”
He said, for instance, the new order on power to close business, given the first order was made under the Price Control Unit Act and not under the state of emergency regulation.
“So that pretty much limiting the powers in terms of enforcement,” he said.
Kabui added that is why when shops do not follow the orders made under the Price Control Unit Act; there is difficulty in enforcing the regulation.
“That is why the regulation is amended so as to give the Prime Minister the powers to protect consumers from shops who don’t want to follow orders under the price control unit act,” he said.
Kabui said so far the Prime Minister has made only two regulations and this includes the orders to slowly reopen some of the restricted public places so that they can be able to operate and allow laid-off workers to go back to work to earn income for their families.
He said the second, which is about to be gazetted, is the vessel clearance orders.
He further added that these regulations are there to protect the citizens as well as to support the government to better manage the situation.
By IAN M.KAUKUI