No room for consultation


THE manner in which the National Pandemic Act is enacted is against the constitutional process.
Although the Government has the power to pass laws, it should leave a room for consultation and public discussion and parliament debate.
Other side of the house hasn’t been given a chance to scrutinise the Bill before it became an Act.
The Government using its absolute and ultimate powers is bad for a democratic nation and it’s an act of dictatorship and suppression because the process does not involve all the stakeholders.
In the event of any natural disaster, civil unrest, armed conflict, medical pandemic or epidemic and biosecurity risk, the government has the power to declare a state of emergency (SOE).
Why establish another act playing the same role as SOE?
We cannot use the recent SOE as a pretext to come up with a new legislation.
We need evidence and data.
One thing I am sure the Government should take seriously is to invest more into building PNG’s health capacity.
Covid-19 has brought this to our attention.
PNG’s constitution does not give any guarantee to leaders to enact laws that will indirectly violate basic human rights.

Hanam Bill Sandu