PM wants soldiers to be involved in more civic work

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PRIME Minister James Marape, pictured, would like to see the PNG Defence Force soldiers involved in more civic action programmes such as road construction, medical supply delivery to remote health centres and cash crop commodities transportation.
Marape announced his intentions at Indagen after witnessing hardships among rural people in districts and local level governments in enduring places such as Kabwum, Menyamya, Raicoast, Telefomin and Oaksapmin.
Marape said K10 million would be allocated to PNGDF to begin the Lae-Indagen road feasibility studies and construction.
Marape cried openly in front of about 5,000 people including delegates and dignitaries, when told about the deaths of 16 trekkers along the Sarawaget Range over the weekend.
He acknowledged tireless efforts and support of the Lutheran church and other mainline denominations that were always determined to reach out into remote areas to provide social services to people.
He said the PNGDF engineering battalion should be involved in all civic actions and the transport wing should utilise its planes to transport medical drugs to rural health facilities.
In return flights, the soldiers could help local farmers airlift cash crops and commodities to outside markets. Marape announced that he would push for a Bill in parliament to ensure additional funds to allow provincial governments and districts manage their own affairs while the national government concentrated on major programmes and activities.
“In September, I will also announce a new education policy to ensure grades 8-12 will fall under secondary schools and parents will cater for the fees while Government will cater for tertiary institutions,” he said.
Meanwhile Jimi MP and Minister for Community Development, Youth and Religion Wake Goi committed K150,000 and Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu K100,000 to the ELC-Indagen-Orowan Miti Anniversary.

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