PM assures payment

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By HELEN TARAWA and JEFFREY ELAPA
MEMBERS of the disciplined forces on duty during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits will receive their allowances shortly.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill gave the assurance yesterday, saying the process had started after the list of all officers involved in the Apec operation, and the hours they worked, were received yesterday morning.
“The authorities have talked to the Finance and Treasury people to process the allowances (from) tomorrow (today) at the rate the police department had set for them,” he said.
“There is no doubt they’ll be paid.”
O’Neill advised the protesting officers to allow time for the processing of their money to take place as it was not possible to complete it in one day.
He also told The National that the storming of parliament and damaging of properties yesterday by a group of mostly police and prison officers to demand the payment of their allowances was “unfortunate”.
Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan confirmed last night that K10.8 million would be processed this week and another K10.8 million early next week to pay out the allowances.
Apec Coordination Authority chief executive officer Christopher Hawkins said it could take a week to process such payments at the end of any major event.
“The Apec Leaders’meeting ended two days ago and the security operations are now winding down,” he said.
“The payment of individual allowances has already commenced and individual security force members should check with their banks as payments are made.”
Hawkins said individual officers would be paid according to the days worked.
Finance Minister James Marape and Speaker Job Pomat late yesterday addressed some of the officers at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
Marape said someone should have adequately addressed the officers’ concerns on when they would be paid “for the work they did for the country”.
He and Pomat also assured them that they will be paid.
Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch denied any involvement in yesterday’s incident.

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