Budget cuts affect college operation

National

By EHEYUC SESERU
THE Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC) in Lae, Morobe, has made no progress in its operations due to insufficient funding.
Acting principal Vagi Lovo said the cost of running the college was quite high and unsustainable.
“We have operated with a huge financial burden, because of high utility costs, costly spare parts for old machinery and equipment, an ineffective logging operation and frequent power disruptions.”
Lovo said the logging operation was affected by the wet weather experienced in past months.
He said insufficient log supplies and frequent power outages were major obstacles for college’s progress this year.
TFTC is affiliated to PNG University of Technology and receives funding for infrastructure development.
Lovo said the monthly government grant from Unitech was not enough for the college’s operational costs.
“Maintenance of buildings that were normally done by government grants now costs three times higher than the amount of grants. It is also beyond university’s financial capacity because of funds streamlining in Waigani.”
He said the Government’s underfunding to TFTC through Unitech this year has resulted in the college sourcing funding elsewhere to upgrade of some of its vital training facilities, but that did not help much.
Lovo said it was hard work trying to operate with limited funding from commercial operations and grants to see the year through.

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