BY JEFFREY ELAPA
PHILIP Kaya Welia was a household name among the rugby league fraternity in the early 1990s to 2000.
He was a member of the Port Moresby Vipers team in the inter-city competition and the Queensland Cup, now called the Intrust Super Cup.
The 178 cm tall and 105kg policeman was a drop out of the formal school system but made his way up to eventually earn the rank of superintendent with the Royal PNG Constabulary after enlisting for police training at the Bomana Police College in 1989.
Welia, from Yanguri village, Erave, Southern Highlands, a father of seven children, was invested with the insignia of the Distinguished Police Service medal (DPS) for services to the constabulary on last Thursday at the Government House.
He was born at the Port Moresby General Hospital on December 28, 1970 and began his primary education at Maroroko Community School in Erave, SHP in 1974.
In 1976 he came back to Port Moresby and did grades three and four at the Eki Vaki Community School and then transferred to Kaugere Community School to continue grade five and six from 1978-79.
However, Welia was unsuccessful in continuing his secondary education in the city so the following year he enrolled at the Hohola Youth Development Centre (HYDC) and was there from 1980-83.
With the desire to pursue his education, Welia enrolled at the College of External Studies (COES) and graduated with a grade seven certificate.
After completing four years of studies at the HYDC, he did not find a job so he continued to do his distance studies at home with the COES, which then changed names to College of Distance Education (Code) and now Flexible Open Distance Education (Fode), and did grades eight, nine and 10 from 1986-88.
After completing his studies, he applied for studies but was unsuccessful so he joined Dupa Security Service Ltd as a guard in 1988. He worked for four months then left and worked part-time with Evercrips Snack Products now Goodman Fielder International Ltd as a packer for six months.
Luck came when in January 1989, Welia was accepted to join the Royal PNG Constabulary and underwent basic police recruit training for six months at the Bomana Police College and graduated as a young probationary constable in July 1989.
He was posted as a probationary constable to the Boroko Police Station as a general duty officer from July 1989 to September 1990. From March 1991 to 1992 he was attached as OIC Cells at Boroko Police Station and then transferred to the NCD sector patrol.. From December 1993 to 2000, he was with the traffic section at the 4-Mile Police Station as traffic investigator, road safety officer and cyclist.
With the determination to rise in the ranks, he applied for the officer cadet training programme and was accepted. He underwent training at Bomana Police Collage again from October 2001 to 2003 and graduated at as a commissioned officer with the rank of inspector.
In 2013, Welia was posted to Madang and became the police station commander at Bogia and was then transferred to Madang as rural commander in charge of 21 rural police stations in Madang.
Obedience is a virtue and norm in the disciplined forces. In December 2011, he was transferred to Morobe as PSC Wau at a lower rank but after a year he was transferred to the Lae metropolitan command as superintendent operations fully responsible for planning and coordinating all police operations in the city.
From 2012 to 13, he was provincial police commander of Enga and in 2014 he was posted to Mt Hagen for a short stint, became unattached then later posted to New Ireland as provincial police commander.
Then in December 2016, in a major reshuffle, he was transferred to NCD as superintendent Administration and was in charge of the overall administrative functions in NCD.
He was transferred to the East New Britain to be the PPC but was unattached and was recall back to NCD to take up the post of director Special Projects at the headquarters but became unattached yet again for some time.
He is currently the deputy divisional commander for border operations at the police headquarters assisting the assistant commissioner Border Command.
Having ‘failed’ in the normal education system, Welia has never given up and has continued to pursue further studies.
He attended a business management course at the Port Moresby Business College in 1999. He also holds a Diploma in Business Management from the Institute of Public Administration (PNGIPA) and a Certificate in Supervision from Divine Word University.
While in Madang he also did a Bachelor in Business Management (Pulbic Policy Management) through the UPNG open campus.
Supt Welia has clocked 27 years as a career policeman and was recognised for his serves to the constabulary last Thursday.
He also received several other awards earlier and they are the Meritorious Community Service (MCS) medal awarded on the Oct 12, 2016 for goodwill service of 27 years in the Police Department, the Queens Diamond Jubilee award in 2017, long Service and Good Conduct award in 2018 and the 30th Independence Anniversary medal in 2018.
Welia thanked those that have made it possible for his success.
Despite dropping out of the formal education system he was to pursue education through some other available avenues in order to succeeded in life.
And that determination has paid off handsomely in the knowledge and skills he has acquired over the years.
He thanked his family for the support and the constabulary for the award in recognition of his services.
BY JEFFREY ELAPA