by Eric Haurupma – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Catholic Bishop Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has voiced its concerns to the National Government over outstanding government funds.
They claimed that they have not received the K25 million promised for education and health, as part of the church state partnership program.
The 17 Bishops of the Catholic Church of PNG and Solomon Islands gathered together in Port Moresby for the annual workshop and have expressed concerns to the government to assist with K25 million, as promised by the National Government.
They claimed that because of these unpaid funds many Catholic run agency schools and health facilities in the country have been forced to close.
Archbishop of Bereina Diocese Fr Rokus Tatamai said, “Mainohana Catholic Secondary and Tapini Sacred Heart High Schools in the Central Province may have faced early closure, due to financial shortages.”
The CBC also expressed concerns that given the El Nino phenomenon that resulted with prolonged dry season or drought in many areas of PNG, this financial situation has affected those people serving in schools and health facilities in the rural areas.
“To embrace the government policies like free education and health care and bringing these tangible services into the rural areas, the government should assist with the outstanding K25 million,” the CBC said.
Meanwhile, they appealed to the National Government to make funds available on time to maintain the service delivery of health and education to the people living in the rural areas.