Menyamya MP, Benjamin Phillip, has responded to a wave of recent criticism aboutthe poor state of his district by pointing out government processes and high costs are major obstacles to service delivery.
Menyamya used to have one ofthe best functioning district administrations in Morobe Province.
Bet overthe years,the rate of service delivery dwindled,the lack of funding, corruption, and political affiliations placed a huge burden onthe progress of this rural district.
A road trip that used to take six hours now takes between eight and twelve during wet wether.
The district administration is weak andthe cost of service delivery is very high.
This is Benjamin Philip second term in office. Overthe past week he has come under pressure from his constituents.
Although funding tothe district has increased significantly this year, Menyamya still lags behind becausethe service delivery cost eats up about seventy percent ofthe total budget allocation.
Currently,the total cost of road maintenance is Twenty Million kina. That’s twicethe district’s funding annual allocation.
A pre-fabricated kit home bought in Lae for Eighty Thousand kina will cost up to Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand kina to transport to Menyamya. That’s about three timesthe purchase price.
Benjamin Philip says he takes full responsibility for the failures inthe districts.
“As a leader, I am takingthe blame whenthe administration is weak,” he said.
He has admitted for Aseki health centre featured on Sunday’s EMTV Tok Piksa program, no funding allocations were made recently because much ofthe districts focus had been on improving roads.
Bet like ther rural districts in Papua New Guineathe politician is also expected to bethe deliverer of services.
He says political rivalry has taken precedence overthe interest ofthe people andthe district administration is struggling to function effectively.
Absenteeism is high,there is wide spread misuse of funds, and given public service protocols,the member of parliament is limited in his ability to penalise those at fault.
The weaknesses inthe provincial headquarters in Lae are also trickling down tothe districts.
Non-performing officers aren’t being penalised andthe district continue to suffer.
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