By ZACHERY PER
RURAL inhabitants in remote districts making up 80 percent of PNG’s population are in dire need for effective flow of basic government services.
Accessibilities are only opened up for people living along the corridors of national highways, on the peripheral boundaries of towns and cities, those along the coast lines where coastal vessels and outboard motors can reach them.
Elected Members of Parliament and their District Development Authorities (DDAs) are mandated by the Government system to manage District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) monies to open up doors and bring much needed services in the provisions of education, health, economic development, communication, law and order, transport access and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) business growth.
Ialibu-Pangia district was once one of the least developed in Southern Highlands before Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was elected as its MP in 2002.
While serving the people of Ialibu-Pangia O’Neill initiated various infrastructural developments projects for the district and has raised the status of Ialibu Pangia’s development index.
Some of the notable achievements to date are; Ialibu/Pangia O’Neill Highway sealing, all feeder roads in Ialibu-Pangia district, Ialibu Administration building, Pangia Administration building, major infrastructural developments for Ialibu and Pangia Secondary Schools, Police Housing developments, establishment of the Western Pacific University and the opening of a new District Court House. The airport in Pangia is also being developed in stages, while an Israeli-run vegetable project is going on in Pangia, as well as funding given for all basic school infrastructural developments for all Primary and Elementary Schools, with health facilities also seeing improvements.
Before becoming Prime Minister, O’Neill has held a number of important Ministerial portfolios under the Governments of then Prime Minister late Bill Skate, Sir Mekere Morauta and Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
The people of Ialibu-Pangia district realized the importance of political stability in a district to see smooth flow of basic goods and services, positive development growth and opening up of accessibilities for remote communities.
Ialibu-Pangia district leaders, both elites and non-elites, including those working outside the districts unanimously decided Prime Minister O’Neill will remain the political head of the district and PNG for as long as he can.
According to a prominent leader from the district and businessman Sam Wange the people of Ialibu Pangia are now connected by roads and enjoying better health and education services with many people now engaging in SME’s and generating income to sustain their families.
Wange said respective Community Leaders, Ward Councillors, Local Level Government Presidents, Church, Women and Youth leaders have realized that stability in the Ialibu-Pangia district is now politically stable after smooth flow of services and developments reached rural communities in all corners of the district.
He said while the Prime Minister was on his campaign trail in Ialibu-Pangia this year, leaders at all levels demonstrated solidarity and unity supported him as they performed Southern Highlands traditional warrior’s dances and shouted war cries.
Wange referred to a notable event at Taguru village in South Wiru Local Level Government where eight Ward Councilors from Auwa-Wiru and Taguru to Undeyapu areas jointly staged one of the largest campaign rally in the district for the PM.
Some of the respected district leaders braced in solidarity with the PM were Billy Veveloga, Jerry Agus, Nathaniel Poya, Daniel Piopo, Wange, Fred Yakili Norombu and Jeremy Leah.
“We will continue to maintain undivided support for O’Neill because we have seen changes in Ialibu-Pangia already as there is stability in political leadership for the district and PNG as a whole.
“I call on the rest of the 88 districts in PNG to do the same because the country needs stability at the district level up to the national government level and that is what we want if we are to see tangible developments and changes in the lives of our people,” Wange said.