Get licence to sell newspaper a way forward

Editorial

A SUGGESTION has been made for newspaper companies to apply for licences from NCDC for the sale of newspapers in designated places in the city.
That was raised by National Capital District Police Metropolitan commander Supt Perou N’dranou this week.
The licence is the permission granted by NCDC to an individual or company to participate in a business or trade activity in the city and the licence gives that business activity a legal status.
Licensing the vendor will work for NCDC because it will allow it to gain better monitoring oversight, and it will work for the vendor because it brings them on the right side of the law, thus gaining better protection from harassment and intimidation.
This week, police confiscated more than 400 copies of The National and Post Courier newspapers at Boroko in Port Moresby on the basis that they suspected the newspaper sellers of also selling betel nuts.
Police have been working with NCDC to clean up the city of betel-nut spit and husks.
Both police and NCDC are asking the public to work with them to keep Port Moresby clean.
Governor Powes Parkop should be commended for the drive to rid the city of betel nut stains and the filth that comes with it.
It is unpleasant to see red spittle on footpaths, roads and flower gardens. In fact everywhere.
The red spittle, in fact, has defaced those public infrastructures.
A lot of effort have been put into changing the image of the city, hence NCDC must now make it compulsory for all vendors, especially on the streets, to be licensed.
A trading licence is no different from a driver’s licence, with either one required for a particular activity to be undertaken and the failure to produce one on demand will result in a penalty.
Vendors should be told that having that licence is important.
It is important to regulate all trade to ensure that the citizens are not adversely affected by health hazards and nuisance due to illegal trade.
There must be consistency to ensure that this is not just a one-off thing.
In the past, many policies had been passed but there had been no uniformity in the way they had been policed.
Much of what is happening now is to prepare Port Moresby for the Apec Leaders’ Summit in November.
But it should not just end there. What we do for the city should continue so that when the Apec delegates have long left our shores, we can still enjoy a city that is clean and healthy.
See what has become of the ban on betel nut that kicked in on Oct 1, 2013.
It was imposed by the governor.
Many criticised the move, saying that some people sustained their living selling betel nuts.
And as the law went into effect many realised that the city was cleaner, with officials enforcing the ban in public places. It definitely was a mammoth task for City Hall.
The ban in a way helped correct the wrong way of doing things, the practice of chewing betel nut and spitting in public.
The law is there to prohibit the sale and chewing of betel nut in public places but the enforcement was and continues to be the biggest challenge.
We support the efforts to keep the city clean and had published stories and photographs to reinforce that message.
The National is ready to work with the authorities to ensure compliance and we hope NCDC can initiate it.

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