Condoms held back

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THERE are 800 cartons of condoms sitting in a warehouse at the Defence Force’s Murray Barracks which the National AIDS Council Secretariat wants to distribute before the start of the general election.
But it has been told to pay K120,000 in storage fees before the condoms can be released, according to secretariat regional manager Valentine Tangoh.
The condoms were kept at the warehouse with other medical supplies and only released when the storage fees are paid.
“The storage fee for a month is K10,000,” he said.
“The total so far, we have been advised, is K120,000.
“We have had some negotiations (on payments) with Murray Barracks and agreed to move the condoms to our office in Gordon and start distributing.
“We have the general election coming up and we need to distribute condoms straight away.”
He said they started facing problems when the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade withdrew its funding to the secretariat.
“We are prepared to pay this because we see the significance of distributing condoms immediately,” Tangoh said.
“We will try and distribute them all over Papua New Guinea.
“We have talked to some logistics companies that are willing to provide assistance.”
He said the secretariat had been operating without a director for the past three months and they needed a council to appoint the director.
“We do not have a director and we are not able to access funding from the bank because there needs to be signatories,” Tangoh said.
“The director approves this kind of money.”
He said Cabinet was dealing with the matter.

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