THERE is an old cliche that is growing roots into the bureaucratic structures of our government system – “the Waigani language” or “Waigani game”.
Over the years, this cliche has become the bedrock norm of doing business in the head offices of almost all the government departments and other state agencies in Port Moresby.
Anyone coming to Port Moresby to do business with any respective government departments and agencies must play by this rule.
Failure to do so would prove detrimental. My mother served PNG as a primary school teacher for more than 20 years, in one of the remotest and undeveloped schools in the country.
Recently, she went to collect her POSF retirement benefits from the Teaching Service Commission’s office at the Fincorp building.
The commission is supposed to help her in compiling her application and guide her through the procedures.
Instead of helping, some of the staff take advantage of the ignorance of some teachers.
Every POSF retirement benefits application is supposed to take about 10 days to process.
My mother has been in Port Moresby for more than two months and she was told that if she gave them some lunch money, they would speed up the process.
She was told that the normal process would take a year!
My mother refused to pay the bribe and was told to submit some other documents, including a statutory declaration and ID card, to support her application.
After producing them, she was told that some of the wordings in the statutory declaration were incorrect and to submit a new one.
One day, my mother was introduced to a “Waigani freelance consultant” who could speed up the process – for a K1,000 fee.
I later learnt that my uncle went through the same ordeal last year when he tried to get a title to his land from the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.
I urge all the senior bureaucrats and public servant to stop this game.
All of us must do our part to develop this country.
To the public, do your bit to fight this systematic corruption. Stop giving money to these corrupt officers.
If there is one commitment that every Papua New Guinean can mark our 35th year of independence, it is for everyone to denounce “waigani language” in our government system.
Albert Kaupa Tobby