A good number of National Provident Funds (NPF) members in Malaita have expressed concern over the decision to allow only Honiara-based members to withdraw part of their contribution.
Last week many NPF members in Malaita Province inquired at the NPF branch in Auki following the announcement made by the prime minister and NPF in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The majority of those who inquired were teachers.
After inquiring, the teachers turned back disappointed when they were told that they are not entitled because they are not in the emergency zone.
One of the disappointed teachers Gabriel Tiega said the whole country is under a state of emergency and not only workers in Honiara.
Tiega said teachers in the provinces do not have gardens just like teachers in urban areas and as such the government and NPF should be fair to all their members.
“The government sent people back home without realizing we the people back home are the ones who will be feeding those returning from Honiara.
“NPF told us that we are not in the emergency zone, I want to let NPF know that with the population pressure coming back from the city depends on us back at the rural communities for everything, we are facing a much bigger disaster of food shortage in the coming days,” he said.
He claimed currently his home is hosting four families who have returned from the city because of the state of emergency declared by the government.
“So it is unfair to deny teachers from their NPF contribution in this situation,” he said.
Another teacher Dudley Maomari said the NPF contribution is their money and they should have all the right especially in times like this.
Maomari said to say they are not in the emergency zone is pure ignorance.
He said the whole country is under the state of emergency and NPF members should be treated equally.
Meanwhile, NPF last week clarified that all teachers are not qualified to withdraw the contribution because they are still receiving their full salaries.
By WILSON SAENI