NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop disappointed participants of civil society groups, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders when he did not show up at the first public sector seminar in Port Moresby yesterday.
Mr Parkop was scheduled to speak on “ethical and effective governance” at the seminar, organised by the National Research Institute.
He was the guest speaker.
Many participants had turned up yesterday to hear Mr Parkop speak, and to even ask him his views on the many pressing issues affecting the nation.
No official explanation was given on Mr Parkop’s non-attendance, either from his office or the National Capital District Commission.
A civil society representative and woman advocator on human rights, Mathilda Pilacapio, said there were a lot of cases of unfortunate people missing out on basic services which the Government was not addressing.
“Papua New Guineans have to rise up to make a better society for the future of our children,” Ms Pilacapio said.
“We have to come out and speak and keep talking until the leaders listen to the cries of the people.
“Look at the children of ex-PNG Defence Force soldiers; they are suffering because their fathers have not been paid their final entitlements,” she added.
“This adds to the crime situation and the Government must be blamed.”
NRI director Dr Thomas Webster apologised for Mr Parkop not turning up, only indicating that Mr Parkop was in Australia.
“The governor and I were communicating over the email on Monday on his availability, and he agreed to attend but, unfortunately, he decided go overseas without notifying us yesterday,” Dr Webster said.
He said Mr Parkop was seen as the appropriate candidate to speak at the seminar as a result of his recent contributions to the city as governor.
“The NCD government faces enormous challenges to the demands for basic services such as health, education and infrastructure in a modern city, unlike many other districts and provinces.
“As the gateway to the country, poor governance would not only be most obvious to city residents but also to visitors from other provinces and abroad,” Dr Webster said.
“We have seen some major changes happening (in the city) compared to previous years.
“Has the NCD government hit a pot of gold, or is Mr Parkop making funds genuinely work for the city?
“That is why NRI thought there was a story to tell here and, so, he would kick-start the series of seminars on ethical and effective governance to discuss the challenges faced here in the city and in his position as a Member of Parliament,” Dr Webster said.