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COMMISSIONER MANNING COMMENDED

The Police Commissioner David Manning has been commended for his directive to Puma Energy and the Bank of Papua New Guinea to ensure fuel continues to be supplied throughout the country.

Due to Foreign Currency shortage at the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Puma energy cannot source more fuel outside of the country, which resulted in airliners, PNG Air and Air Niugini to ration fuel and reduced flights which affected the travelling public.

This prompted the Commissioner of Police, David Manning to issue the direction under the Commissioner’s function as the Controller under the National Pandemic Act that is still in force as the PNG economy continues the long recovery from this period.

“In consultation with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Internal Security, I have issued this direction to BPNG and their compliance is mandated by law, while Puma must now do the right thing and end rationing,” Manning said.

 “As Police Commissioner and Controller, I have a responsibility, on behalf of the government and our people, to intervene so as to prevent harm being pushed upon our people because two major organizations are unable to resolve their differences.”

Mr Manning said it is imperative that BPNG and Puma put in place processes so that the current fuel rationing situation cannot happen again.

“This is not the first time our people have been held to ransom over on this foreign exchange matter between BPNG and Puma, but it has to be the last time,” Manning warned.

After this directive, Puma Energy was able to supply enough fuel throughout the country as usual and the Airliners resumed normal operations as of yesterday.

Therefore, the Chairman of the National Security Advisory Council and Chief Secretary to Government, Ivan Pomaleu has thanked the Police Commissioner, David Manning, for his directive.

“The story on fuel supplies is such that not only will flights be affected but other important services such as ambulance, electricity, and security services will be affected. Major economic activities will also be affected. That is why this intervention is necessary as the country goes through the long weekend,” Pomaleu said.

The Chief Secretary also confirmed that the National Security Council met yesterday and made some resolutions. The resolutions are being finalized by the government team and will be announced shortly.

“The Government continues to acknowledge and manage the independence of the Bank of Papua New Guinea. At the same time, it seeks to ensure that the interests of its citizens, businesses and services are, as much as possible, sustained in an environment where Puma is the sole supplier of certain categories of fuel,” Pomaleu said.

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