Islands, Normal

Detainees help clean town
DETAINEES from the Lorengau Correctional Service in Manus province are currently being involved in community a base service programme, which contributes to the development of the province. This was revealed by the Provincial CIS Commander, Chief Inspector John Poris in a brief interview with The National at the Harbourside Hotel in Lorengau, who said that this initiative fell under the detainees’ welfare and rehabilitation programmes. The programme was effected with the agreement by the Lorengau town management and the Provincial Works. Insp Poris said several low risk prisoners had been engaged by the Provincial Works under the supervision of CIS officers, to provide manual labour in helping to reseal the provincial roads. “The programme started three weeks ago with the engagement of 12 low risk prisoners,” Insp Poris said.  “I also discussed with the town authorities and they decided to involve the detainees in organising a clean-a-thon around Loregau town, which will be followed by a beautification process to brighten up the town,” he said. Chief Insp Poris said the public must be aware of the purpose of the detainees’ presence around the work site before jumping into all kinds of conclusions. The programme was first of its kind to be implemented in the province, which the higher authorities especially the provincial works and the Lorengau town management with CIS came together with an agreement that, the low risk prisoner to carry out community base services. Meanwhile, the communities within Lorengau town were very supportive and the detainees felt that they were port of the community regardless of what crime they had committed.



Subsidies arrive for schools
MANY schools in East New Britain are facing financial difficulties because parents are not paying school fees but their worries are over with the distribution of school fee subsidies. Last week, the Rabaul district administration started distributing subsidies for Rabaul students attending education institutions in the province. The distribution began with the presentation of a cheque for more than K14,000 to cover a portion of parental school fee subsidies for 75 Rabaul district students currently attending Malabunga Secondary School. Rabaul MP and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat made the presentation at the school. Dr Marat was accompanied by the Rabaul district administrator Wilson Matava and members of Rabaul Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee (JDP&BPC). The JDP&BPC had endorsed K790,000 from the district education improvement programme under the district services improvement programme for the Rabaul district school fees subsidies. Of the allocation, K103,000 would be distributed to elementary schools in the district, K300,000 for primary schools in the district, K287,000 for secondary schools in the province, K33,000 for vocational centres, K37,000 for Open campus and another K37,000 for tertiary and other institutions in the province that enrolled Rabaul district students. Names of students whose parents live in the four LLGs of Rabaul were collected by district education officers and allocation was based on the 2009 school fee upper limits approved by the provincial education board.



Crime on the rise in Manus
SERIOUS crime is on the rise in peaceful Manus province and is cause for concern, the province’s jail commander Chief Insp John Poris said. Insp Poris said the total number of prisoners and remandees at Lorengau CIS jail was 43, and out of these, three were women. “Three-quarters of these are murder cases and the second highest are the sexual offence cases,” Insp Poris said. He said Manus was not as safe as he remembered from previous visits, before his appointment as the CS provincial commander this June. Chief Insp Poris said the law and justice sector needed to embark on awareness campaigns in the communities. He said it was everybody’s responsibility to help maintain law and order. “There is a need to increase the number of police personnel and CS officers,” Insp Poris said. He said there were many jobs in the province that could be done by the remandees but it was the people to prove to the authorities that they could respect the remandees.