Border movement stretching resources

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

Heavy movement of people and goods along the PNG-Indonesian border is putting a strain on the workload of public servants manning the Wutung border post, PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority officer Peter Solomon says.
“We have staff shortages and sometimes we run out of materials like staples and paper to manage the traffic here. We can have more than 1000 people crossing the border to Batas Market every Tuesday and Thursday,” he said. “When they return with goods, it is very tiring and frustrating. It is worse when one of the staff is absent from work. But we don’t complain because we are happy to serve the people here.”
Solomon said the good this was that officers from other agencies like Customs and  the National Agriculture Quarantine Inspection Authority help each other out when needed. “We help each other out like checking cargo, stamping documents or generally keeping an eye out to keep people in line while the officer responsible is busy.”
Meanwhile, West Sepik deputy administrator Conrad Tilau claimed that the Government had neglected public servants at the Wutung post. “We always step in to fund the border agency operations using limited funds from our provincial support improvement programme. I am now calling on the national government to provide an additional K1 million for us to look after the border agencies.
Tilau said that they had to provide funds for allowances, fuel and vehicles, especially for officers from the PNG Defence Force and police  patrols.