The National, Thursday February 13th, 2014
A SMALL and not-so-vocal group, made up of health workers, teachers and concerned locals, marched to the Josephstaal administration to hand over a petition to Madang Governor, Jim Kas.
However, Kas had left for parliament in Port Moresby.
The petition in the form of an ultimatum was then handed to his deputy, Rama Marisan, who was unaware of the issue. The petition demanded that an all-weather road be built within three months.
The provincial government was given 14 days to respond to their demand because the protesters said they felt it was a project it had committed to.
Up to K7.4 million has been spent from the incentive fund on services in Josephstaal.
The once state-owned health service is under the Catholic health agency after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2010. In that arrangement, the government had agreed to subsidise salaries for the workers employed by the church.
According to Catholic health services programme manager Patrick Angrai, K68,000 yearly in the past four years had not been paid.
While the provincial government priorities are yet to be included in a yet-to-be-done five-year provincial plan, Kas gave K300,000 to the Ileg sub health centre on the Rai Coast electorate last weekend.
“If the agency can secure a multi-million kina funding to give a remote district like Josephstaal, why can’t the governor assist us with K100,000,” a leader said.