Friday, June 05, 2020

PM Marape thanks MPs for overwhelming support to ICAC

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has thanked all Members of Parliament for their overwhelming support towards the Organic Law on the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).
He said this after Parliament voted 98-0 in favour of ICAC on Wednesday, with one more vote in the August session of Parliament before it becomes law.

Parliament voting for ICAC on Wednesday 

Prime Minister Marape said he had promised the Nation on May 30, 2019, after taking office, that his Government would change laws for the betterment of the country going forward.
He said ICAC had been talked about since 1997 with little to no progress in making it become law.
“Things do not happen overnight without political will,” Prime Minister Marape said.
“The last Peter O’Neill-led Government progressed it to some level, but had no courage to put the finishing touches and carry it into Parliament.
“I thank all leaders and Attorney-Generals of the past, and public servants, of trying to progress ICAC but to no avail until today.
“Today, I thank all MPs including Hon. Dr Allan Marat and Hon. Joseph Lelang on the Opposition, the 15 People’s National Congress MPs, and 81 of us on the Government side who voted in support of the ICAC Bill.
“We have just two more months to go before this Bill is passed as Law.”
Prime Minister Marape stressed that corruption ate away scarce resources meant for development of the country.
“Corruption exists in a sinful world because none of us are perfect,” he said.
“This ICAC institution we are building will be a one-stop shop dealing with all matters pertaining to corruption.
“When operated with our recently-passed Whistle Blowers’ Act, Proceeds of Crime Act, Criminal Code Act and others we have, ICAC will become a beacon of hope in a nation so swamped with real and perceived corruption.
“Once set up, we will fill ICAC with qualified commissioners mostly recruited from overseas, so that we avoid local bias at the leadership level of this institution.”
Prime Minister Marape said the overwhelming support of ICAC should prove to his critics that “I don’t just talk, I can deliver too”.
“The life of our Government is not just about building infrastructure, but also putting in place policies and laws for the good of our country,” he said.
“Keep watching – my Government will be passing game-changing laws for our country such as this.
“ICAC  law will save huge resources squandered and wasted through corruption.” 

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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

PM Marape announces second COVID-19 case in PNG

PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape yesterday announced that the country has recorded its second COVID-19 case.



The Prime Minister said the second case was a 40-year-old female from the East New Britain Province, who developed a cough on March 23 and was admitted to the Nonga Hospital isolation ward three days later and treated for severe respiratory illness.

The patient has been isolated and quarantined.

An additional two persons under investigation from Nonga have tested negative.

The Prime Minister said the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team was now working on contact tracing.

Everyone who has come into contact with the confirmed case will be immediately isolated and tested as well.

A team of medical experts id being deployed to ENB to deal with contact tracing, isolation and treatment.

The Prime Minister also announced that the Controller of the State of Emergency and Police Commissioner, David Manning, had made a decision to lock down the entire East New Britain Province for the next 21 days.

Commercial flights in and out of East New Britain are restricted.

Strict measures are being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the East New Britain Province and the country as well.

The Prime Minister called upon people of PNG to remain calm and further asked for their support and understanding.

He said, “These measures may be seen as an inconvenience to you but they have been put in place to protect you and your family."

The Prime Minister said the Government was diligently working towards ensuring that its citizens were protected.

He also received reports that a Papua New Guinean had contracted the coronavirus in Laos.

He said contact tracing wa also being undertaken for this person as well.

Prime Minister Marape encouraged Papua New Guineans to continue to faithfully observe and practice health messages that had been given out.

“Wash your hands; do not touch your face; cough into your elbow; maintain physical distancing at all times and lastly please stay home,” Prime Minister Marape said.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

PM Marape updates on 14-day COVID-19 Lockdown

1. 14 Day State of Emergency

PM Marape updating last night. 
This is to ensure we have an isolation strategy so that we can
pinpoint if the virus is present in our country after the first breach
of security.

Please click below to watch video


2. The first case

Has been transferred to Australia fit and well on Monday (March 23) morning and will undergo further medical tests. The results will be made known to the
country.

3. First case's impact assessment

We are doing steps retracing for the first case to ensure we have a map of
the impact (if any) so we can know correct statistics and put ins trategies to deal with the COVID-19.

4. State of Emergency   conduct

- Provincial  Governments  through  Provincial Administrators,  will
coordinate  with Provincial  Health Authorities,  Provincial  Police
Commanders  as lead agencies to handle awareness,  and coordination of
prevention  and treatment  at the provincial  level.

- No public travelling from district to district or province top rovince in country.

- All schools remain shut for 14 days, all-day students to stay at home and all boarding schools including universities and colleges are to maintain boarding of students but no classes are to be taught.

- Essential services will be maintained. That includes health services, public utilities, banks, shops, fuel stations, police and defence.

- All employers, including public services, should scale down workers in this period to ensure safe work place from the spread of Coronavirus.

- PNG Defence Force is on standby for call out to assist Police in this SOE period
and beyond.

- All spreading false rumours and organising public gatherings will be charged appropriately.

5. Economic Interventions

I had the pleasure of meeting with Central Bank, as well as all bank CEOs plus the two super funds, with the view that specific economic interventions be made for employees, individuals and business in our
country struggling as a result of this crisis we are in.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 has not killed one person yet in PNG. The only person who tested positive, after three tests, has left our country in a healthy state.

I ask our citizens not to panic.

Government will do everything
possible to stop from coming into PNG, stop  from spreading, and  stop from killing patients.

But in the first instance now, we want to map out our country within the
14 days to see which parts of our country ate attacked by the virus as a
matter of precaution.

Our people are asked to live healthy and clean. 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

PM Marape announces 14-day lockdown

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today announced a 14-day lockdown starting Tuesday, March 24, to arrest spread of the coronavirus.

PM Marape at today's announcement
Please click below to watch video

"Today, based on advice from the COVID-19 National Operation Centre (NOC 19) and National Security Council (NSC) recommendations, the National Executive Council, in an emergency meeting,  decided on the following measures in light of first positive case of COVID-19 in our country," he said.
" This is a national security issue now and not just a health issue, but a cross-cutting issue  including effects on economy, law-and-order and education of our children, amongst other effects.
"So far, we have done trace of the person that came into our country, and he remains to date our only positive person who is in isolation and recovering.
"To clearly demarcate our country from spread and for Government to take stock from this bio(security breach, we are taking the following measures.

" 1. Confirm this first case and its impact to ensure we contain it, including treating, curing and sending the victim back to Australia.

" 2. Take stock of all entries into PNG after 7th of March to ensure all are checked, tested and status of health affirmed. All who have come in or those that have come in contact with those who came into PNG since 7th of March are to report to the hotline below.

 "3. Declare a State-of-Emergency for 14 days starting on Tuesday, 24th March, in which the Commissioner of Police will assume control assisted by a callout placed on military to ensure lawful order, control and response to  SOE control measures.

" 4. Following on our stop of incoming international flights, we are now stopping all domestic flights for the next 14 days starting on Tuesday this week.

" 5. We direct that as of Tuesday, 24th March, 2020, no public transportation of people and no movement from one province to another for a 14-day period. Only approved cargo and medicine and police /military personnel will be moving. It is a 14-day lockdown in our country wherever you are.

" 6. The Provincial Governors and their Provincial Administrators, with Provincial Police Commanders and respective Provincial Health Authorities, will be control points in all provinces.

" 7. All heads of departments and private companies are to embrace safe workplace practice and non-essential staff are asked to stay at home for the next 14 days.

" 8. Education and Higher Education departments are asked to advance first-term holiday as of tomorrow, 23rd March, and the next 14 days are to be school holidays.

" 9. All who have come into the country as from 7th March, 2020, or those who made contact with those who came into the country from that date, please report, call or text the hotline below.

" 10. No border crossing by foot or canoe and police /army presence in border areas will be stepped up.

" 11. Banks, financial institutions and super funds will be mobilised to work with Government on economic packages in this down time.

 "12. The SOE Controller, through the Office of Prime Minister, will be the only official point of releasing statements to public.

" 13. The SOE Controller will issue details on how citizens and our country respond and behave in this time. Breach of these will be punished as offence in times of emergency.

" 14. ICCC will ensure prices of all goods are within lawful range.

 "15. We are setting a multi-sector agency task force to report to the National Security Coordination Centre 24/7.

" 16. All foreign friends of PNG in our country: Your embassies and missions are  available including our Foreign Affairs Department, to assist you in this time of lockdown.

" 17. All these will be reviewed after the 14 days, during which we would have mapped the presence of COVID-19  in our country.

" 18. PNG is a Christian country. We declare that Wednesday , 25th March, 2020, becomes a national day of fasting and prayer. For the next 21 days, prayer and fasting can continue for those who want to do it.

" We have now divided the country into zones to isolate this virus from spreading.

" 1. Mid PNG Zone from Morobe and Madang Provinces into the entire Highlands.

"2. Central Papua ( including NCD, Central and Gulf).

" 3. New Guinea Islands Zone.

"4. Sepik Zone.

" 5. Western Border Zone.

"6. Eastern Papua Zone.

" 7. Bougainville Zone.

"The SOE Controller will delegate the PPCs to police the zones to ensure compliance to these control measures.

" We will get through this phase.

"We ask for cooperation from all citizens, residents and businesses houses.

" Hotline toll free-number is 1800 200 and Bmobile 019, Digicel 71960813.

"God bless PNG." 

Saturday, March 07, 2020

PM Marape welcomes new Fijian High Commissioner

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, this week, welcomed the new Fijian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Mosese Tikoitoga, in Port Moresby (pictured).


During the courtesy call paid to the Prime Minister by H.E. Tikoitoga, PM Marape outlined the warm and friendly diplomatic relations between the two countries, formally established on September 16,  1975.

Their discussions included the success of the two governments’ steadfast contributions to strengthening bilateral relationship in the areas of trade and investment, people-to-people connectivity, agriculture, tourism and sports, amongst others.

PM Marape also extended his deepest condolenced to the family of the former  High Commissioner, who passed away recently.

PM Marape acknowledges Japanese infrastructure aid

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has thanked and acknowledged Japan for the significant major infrastructure developments around Papua New Guinea.

He made these remarks while welcoming Japan’s new resident Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Mr Kuniyuki Nakahara (pictured) , in Port Moresby this week.



Monday, March 02, 2020

PM Marape commended by Solomon Islands and PNG business leaders

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has been commended by the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea business communities for promoting business links between the two countries.
PM Marape took a plane load of mostly business executives on his first Official Visit to the Solomon Islands from last Thursday until Saturday.
PM Marape enjoying a presentation at Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd (GPPOL) outside Honiara on Friday. GPPOL, one of Solomon Islands' biggest export revenue earners, is a subsidiary of PNG's New Britain Palm Oil Ltd.

He was guest speaker at a business luncheon hosted by the Solomon Islands’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Honiara last Friday.
Business links were also forged during the three-day visit.
Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Chairman, Jay Bartlett, commended PM Marape for his initiative in strengthening business links between the two countries.
PM Marape with the top management of Guadcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd outside Honiara on Friday.

“As we take this opportunity for inter-personal networking, I do hope this will culminate in closer focus between our countries,” he said.
“I do believe that it’s time that we must seriously consider the establishment of an annual Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands Business Forum.
“A forum that has alternating hosting cities of Port Moresby and Honiara.
“In fact, this gathering today, is in essence the very notion manifesting itself.
“I believe that it’s not a coincidence that two of our very own Prime Ministers, who have instigated this opportunity, are here today.
“Whilst we seek their blessing, we also stand ready to progress this forum as partners, as friends, and as wantoks.”
New Britain Palm Oil Ltd Country Manager and former PNG Business Council President, Robert Nilkare, said the visit augured well for the future.
New Britain Palm Oil Ltd Country Manager and former PNG Business Council President Robert Nilkare addressing the business luncheon in Honiara.

“This is probably the start of a business relationship where both the Business Council of Solomon Islands, and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea, get together on a regular basis,” he said.
PNG Business Council member and Credit Corporation CEO, Peter Aitsi, said the PNG delegation appreciated the opportunity made available by PM Marape.
“I think, with the commitment shown by the Prime Minister, we now have a platform on which we can have regular dialogue with our business partners, and equally, for Solomon Islands’ business to have interests in Papua New Guinea,” he said.
“The objective for us now is to set up an annual forum, whereby business leaders from both countries, can be able to meet and progress those investment opportunities.”
Investment Promotion Authority Managing-Director, Clarence Hoot, said the Marape Government should be commended for its initiative.
Investment Promotion Authority Managing-Director, Clarence Hoot, using a Bank South Pacific ATM in Honiara. BSP is one of several PNG companies with a strong presence in Solomon Islands.

He said although the economy in Solomon Islands was small, as compared to PNG, “going there and showing that we are willing to invest is a good thing that is commendable”.
“We went with a full team of business, who were very happy with what they’d seen, and discussions are already ongoing,” Hoot said.
“One or two people (from PNG) have already registered their businesses in Honiara, and we look forward to providing the support.”
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