Govt must consult people on policy changes

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday December 8th, 2015

 THE Government should be generating economic growth, providing education, guaranteeing personal safety, expanding job opportunities, and taking many initiatives which should lead to development. 

It should be pursuing these objectives through public action, cooperating with non-government organizations and the private sector and other institutions in the civil society. 

Make the citizens, contribute to decision making through consultative approach and community awareness process. 

Until all opinions and views of the people are generated, quantified and analyse, will approval, be given and, the policy will be implemented. 

In Papua New Guinea, this policy process was never a factor in the manner our government initiate, designed, formulate and implement our policies. 

Ours is just build on the premise that, being a government is enough to make and implement policies negating the public views and participation. 

It is no surprise that many of our policies intended outcomes were either achieved with very high cost or are never achieved with public funds wasted as a result. 

For example, the current free education policy is struggling to meet its intended outcome. 

Secondly, the public were never consulted on the policy. Critics may say otherwise, but public opinion was never conducted. My finding says it is a political party policy based on the premise that people will agree because this policy will save the families burden from paying school fees. 

Thirdly, the policy lacks substance in its presentation. The question of quality is very much a factor. Additional to this, the question of insufficient classroom and teachers were not considered. 

Policy is vitally important whether one is concerned with its quality, quantity, direction or symbolic value. But our government  often use its own versions of policy outcomes and initiatives to legitimise their hold on power while opposing forces denigrate these same policies in order to justify their tenure. 

The government must seek people views about making any changes they see beneficial to the country and its people through public private partnership and not to resort to numerical strength to bulldoze policies that will in the long run hurt the people whom they claimed to have heart for. 


Emmanuel Damduzel, Via email