DEAR EDITOR – The lockdown stage after the state of emergency being declared by the governor-general (GG), which started on Wednesday will be going to be the last resort that the government will take in its effort to prevent this deadly virus spreading into the country.
Part of the strategy being focused was to close down every ministry, every service with businesses and go home/province, which I cannot imagine.
Unfortunately, in terms of financial assistance to the public especially the working force, besides providing transport to go home needs to be prioritized in its strategies and based on that I wish to contribute to the war against this coronavirus.
The question of the government capability and capacity in assisting its workforce to send home remains in doubt.
After all, the government with the current situation they have faced cannot afford to help and we cannot just send families home with empty hands, as it’s going to be even worse than the coronavirus.
It was suggested in the social media and a letter to the editor that the only institution that can step in and support the government at this crucial hour is the NPF, which I am wholeheartedly agreed.
The objectives of the NPF remains, however, it is this unfortunate circumstance that some of us feel that the government and the NPF should consider this as the priority needs of the financial members and the people of this nation.
The only problem is how they will access their contribution.
That is where I suggest that the government should intervene with an immediate effect or best still this weekend.
As earlier stated, the public service does not have the capacity to finance its workforce and families home, unless this NPF contribution.
Mind you, this is an abnormal situation that required this kind of approach.
However, under no circumstances that the financial members will allow going home struggling with their family at home without any single coin or dollars.
In other words, if there is any time that the financial members need their contribution, it is now.
Again, the government should negotiate with the NPF management, or if need be the Prime Minister needs to use that power legally conferred to him under this state of emergency declaration and act immediately or it will be too late.
The Prime Minister remains the hope of all the public service workforce now.
There are officers who wish to go home with families but need assistance.
So again, Prime Minister needs to act promptly and with immediate effect to allow our workforce to access their NPF contributions.
If not, at least 50% of your balance should be allowed to draw to help each family home, especially at this point in time.
Long live Solomon Islands!
Duncan T. Ngiumoana