PM: Sorry for pay delay

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PRIME Minister James Marape has apologised to workers in church-run health facilities for the four-month non-payment of their salaries, saying K20 million has now been paid for that purpose.
“I know that K20 million has been given to pay the Church Health Services (CHS) providers. I apologise if it had taken time to come through,” he said.
But CHS chief executive officer Ulch Tapia said while the cheque for K20 million was given to the churches last Friday, they were told to deposit it yesterday.
“We were advised to deposit the cheque today (yesterday) and hope it clears today or by Monday because sometimes the cheque bounces,” he said.
“And this is only for March.
“The funds for three months (May to July) are still outstanding.”
The CHS will get K7.9 million while the Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) gets K12.1 million from the K20mil.
Many health facilities around the country run by churches have either closed down or scaled down services effecting hundreds especially in rural areas around the country who depend on them.
Tapia said they would continue the closure or scaling down of services until the Government settled the full amount owed to them from February to June.
It is understood the total is around K60 million.
The Catholic Archbishop of Madang Anton Bal said the Government should not neglect health workers.


  • Prime Minister, sack your incompetent health minister for letting your government down. Your apologies sends a wrong signal and does not heal the pain these health workers have been going through. When you sack your ministers, other ministers will pull their socks up. You can’t continue to cover up for the failure of your ministers

    • Unreasonable, unrealistic, unfair break up for 20millions. Base on realistics figures, 62% is made of CHS and 32% is CCHS. Why K12.1million to CCHS and 7.9million to CHS? Look at service %, is this fair? Over to you Hon: Priminister James Marape.

  • The prime minister should admit and say that his government is broke. That is the reason for delaying of funds. Public servants pays are delayed, police personels allowances as well as PNGDF and many others. This are signs of government doesn’t have money. Is this how this government is going to look after its workforce? On the other end this government shuts all the investors in the country where they will pay heavy tax. This government is really lost. Past governments were atleast okay, Marape Steven government is the most corrupt government in the history of this nation. Too much talking les pinis.

  • Correct. This government is already lost. All major tax payers are either shut or laying off employees who also pay taxes. Propaganda at the highest level with very very sweet talks without any actions. Talking out of dreams without any understanding of pros and cons. Massive failure in history

  • Sack the health minister; he doesn`t seem to care on this regards. The more you letting him to stay, the more you and your government be criticised. The criticism from the public on social media and main line media can cause your government to be broken like the last government.

  • Saying sorry means you admit to fault on your side. Delay of payment for Church health services is not a recent problem. It was already a major issue under O’Neill government. You can say sorry if they there is a delay of one month. But how is it possible that there is a delay of almost.4-5 months. This is unacceptable. Imagine all the ministers receiving no payment for 3 months?!! There would such an outcry and maybe even boycott of parliament. But health workers don’t earn K12000 a fortnight. Saying sorry and paying K20 is just a a small sign that you have to set your priorities right now. You should be grateful that the Churches provide essential services especially to the rural population of PNG. The government has neglected its own people ever since independence. And it has also neglected those who sacrifice and invest their own resources to produce essential services. So you and your MP should really be grateful for that. This should be the last time that payment for Church health workers was delayed

  • Why is PMJM laughing when he is saying apology to the church run Health care workers.we can not laugh and at the same time saying sorry to someone.This is funny.

    • The only time you will stop laughing is when you kick the bucket. Is it an offence to laugh whilst you are talking?

  • Nothing is happening in the Wards,LLGS,Districts and even the Provincial from this current GOVERNMENT.

    The National Elections is its way. 2021 some CANDIDATES will commence to buy people from their late projects.


  • The country is broke. Can we all make some sacrifices and move forward.
    Reduces salaries for all MPs, GG, senior officers from assistant sectaries ang and higher, judges, magistrates, doctors to salary level of Church Health Workers for 2 years.
    Use the money to fund CHW salaries.
    A lot of the pot-bellies will disappear.
    This is taking back PNG.

  • As per usual the on going endemic of corruption and this is WHY the IMF and World Bank are ready to very soon take total control of Government Income and Expenditure. PNG has a national debit of over K80 billion and is in NO WAY able to pay this debt. Why on earth would international investors want to pour money into PNG, which makes it rather interesting that 4 Chinese businessmen fly in on a private jet to supposedly, ‘do business in PNG’ and do so staying less than 24 hours. Come on PM be honest why did they come and what was the secret deal?

  • Oh why doesn’t PNG have some big resource project that could fund improvements for health education and lives of its citizens? Oh it does. We started exporting over 100 shipments a year for the six since the LNG project started. Each shipment has been worth around K150 million – that a total of K90 BILLION! Where has PNG share of that massive figure gone?
    In 2014 PNG citizens were so happy to hear its PM promise to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund. The law was passed to establish it so how much is in it? NIL!!
    I guess many of the readers can recall the wonderful feeling as we heard Exxon and Waigani describe the glories of the LNG project:

    2009/12/09 LNG Deal signed
    ‘Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said he was confident that the potential to become the world’s 17th LNG exporting nation would bring with it unprecedented opportunities for economic growth and national development…’
    ‘The massive project is tipped to generate 6.6 million tonnes of LNG per annum for about 30 years…’.
    ‘Mr Agiru said, “They asked me to convey their appreciation to the Grand Chief for granting them the Hela province and also promising projects which will change the economic landscape and their livelihood.’

    2012/07/31 LNG drill commences
    2014/04/30 PM O’Neill said, “The Government will ensure that the necessary safeguards, including the setting up of a Sovereign Wealth Fund, are in place so the wealth derived is not squandered.”
    2014/04/30 Company thankful Govt started SWFund The National Exxon Mobil PNG Ltd, operator of the PNG LNG Project, has commended the National Government for putting in place a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) for “stewardship” of the billions of kina that will flow into the country once gas exports starts this year
    2014/04/30 Country losing (K600m in 2012) millions! – The National By Shirley Mauludu
    The country has lost millions of kina annually due to tax exemptions, Customs Commissioner Ray Paul said.

    2014/05/13 First LNG shipment to bring in millions of kina to the country, says ExxonMobil PNG Ltd managing director Peter Graham.
    150616 100th LNG cargo Japan-bound as over 7 million tonnes (worth K15 billion) exported since April 2014 startup – The National
    160726 Missing K37500 billion LNG revenue from 250 shiploads at K150 million each sparks debate Source: The National By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK ‘….before production began, the government estimated PNG LNG would boost its revenue by 2 billion kina ($613 million) a year through 2021, the World Bank said in a December report. Instead, the project’s partners paid only about 495 million kina in taxes, royalties, dividends and other payments in 2016, data from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative show. A complex web of exemptions and allowances effectively mean that little revenue from the project goes to the government and landowners, the World Bank said.
    “It’s an extraordinarily low level,” said Paul Barker, executive director at the Papua New Guinea Institute of National Affairs. “If you are not getting much in the way of revenue, there is something a bit screwed up.”
    A research and advocacy group, Jubilee Australia Debt & Development Research Centre, had an even harsher take, noting in a detailed report last month that by “almost every measure of economic welfare,” Papua New Guinea “would have been better off without the PNG LNG project.”

    Perhaps the best comment was written in 2014/06/10 Letter to National by Wagalu Mamani, Kagua, SHP: ‘I presume the LNG will have very little effect on our people as their normal miserable life will go on if nothing is done to eradicate greed and corruption in SHP. We have a long way to go as a province and a nation. Corruption is rooted and it will be very hard to eradicate it.’

    As you young mums, sick kids and the aged walk away from the closed aid-posts and health facilities. As pupu dies in your arms consider those reports of the last eleven years. Ask your MP, “Will an expanded LNG industry improve our lives? Will it save lives?

    • Thanks very much Arthur for this wonderful enlightening. I live in a rural part of Western Province. Pnyang gas project will be off the ground shortly. Are we going to experience something similar where all the money will disappear once again into an endless black hole? Corruption will surely drown our country and kill it’s people if we don’t do something now to stop it. Can some like minded Papua New Guineans form an alliance and band together to fight this deadly creature? Please we have to do something for our country and our future generations. God will surely be on our side. Mi stap pinis.

  • Thank you PMJM for listening to the cries of the churches and the health sector. We hope that that the government would not repeat this same mistake again.

  • In very time of COVID 19 epadamic the health workers are the front line people and that compromise of 50% church run facilities and such prolonged pay delay is a slap to face. I support Church Health Service CEO for still claiming K40m for clear off 4months workers pay..

    • Andy, stop talking nonsense! PO never got any blessings from the 8million people of this country.

  • It’s not only Health Department. All other Government departments are facing the same. The good PM should simply come out and admit that the government is facing cash flow issues and a supplementary budget should be effected immediately to bring expenditures under control. The PM is a former Finance Minister and should know too well. In spite of these tough times, his leadership is by far the best so far. This PM needs all the support to sail us through the rough seas for now. God bless PNG.

  • The health of the people is paramount funds must be made available on-time without delay to pay front line medical workers so they can do their job well for the wellbeing of people, particularly in remote areas. People’s lives matter! Health Department, do your job.

  • The PM is doing all he can to cover the mess that was done or caused by the previous governments.
    Too much negative criticism is not going to solve anything.
    PMJM is doing all he can to lead the Nation forward.
    Give him a chance.
    We can evaluate his government after 5 years and make constructive criticisms.
    Everything doesn’t happen smoothly overnight, it takes time.

  • Saying sorry is definitely NOT a remedy for this situation. Mr PM why don’t you admit that your government is broke or the system is weak, or responsible government depts or people are incompetent or ineffective. It clearly shows that the government has been careless and has neglected these hard working officers. Please make the systems effective so no one is left out or left to suffer. Wake up government and fix the loopholes in the system.

  • Here we go again….. Another failure, in not given to God has his 10 % share of the National Budget in a timely manner, whether it is through the Church Health Services or Church Education Services
    On the other hand Money that would be coming through the Oil, Gas Mineral Resources Sector has been chased away by the actions of this government. Classic example is the closure of the of Porgera Gold Mine. It will take years to build PNG’s reputation as a good investment destination. By the way, where is the IFM billion Kinas assistance that the Treasury Minister has been boasting about as an interest free loan??

  • Dear PMJM, its look like have autonomy in our region to run our own affairs. We have four region in our beloved country. 1. Momase, 2. Highlands, 3. Southern, and 4 . New Guinea Island. We are just tied of sitting idle and just listen to that haus tambaran in POM city to run our affairs because it doesn’t know how we are living here in remote areas.

  • Thank you PM for your commitment to your people. i would like remind you that the very people you have entrusted to do the job has let you down terribly. i don’t know who they are but somebody is not doing his or her job diligently. please find out and deal with them accordingly.

    four months for CHS workers is a very long time and most of these people are working in the rural areas and we need to appreciate what they are doing to service the rural populous. Do not disturb their rice money. they are honest small people helping their kind.

    i would like the government to compensate them handsomely for disrespecting their contributions to the nation.

    tingting tasol

    over to you PM.

  • Hi all, lets get the idea straight, PM James Marape is the head of the state and under his wing are his deputy,ministers and members of parliament therefore, systematically failure is hidden somewhere in the system.
    It could be within Church health secretaries – Health minister – DPM – PM.
    Over to you.
    bn Exile

  • Repeal the pension Act and get rid of the allowances that the former MPs are receiving without doing any work. This is a total waste of tax payers money. How on earth can some one just sit down doing nothing and get paid in thousands of kina every fortnight. Thats bullshit. some of those on pension are young politician and that pension thing is making them a liability and useless in their life. Get rid of it as we speak today. Don’t talk about what you can get from your country but what you can do for your country. This funds can cater for some of the Church Health Workers Salaries.

  • Tugu Ibugu Alumale Igini your comments on laughing when you are talking,there are certain areas where you can laugh when you are talking,you can not laugh when you attend funeral cervices, you can not laugh when you are presenting your self to the angry crowds, you can not laugh when you are sick and waiting for nurses to serve you. I now know that PMJM, you and your people continuously causing troubles everywhere because of that stupid attitudes of not presenting in a proper and understandable manner. You are very narrow minded person.

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