Minister For Defence Calls For Increased PNGDF Budget

They have no food, fuel and allowance to perform their duties.

They are mostly supported by the provincial government in which they are stationed in, with very little assistance from their headquarters.

The poor support system provided by the Papua New Guinea Defence Force has miserably failed soldiers at our borders.

They are continuously left without food, fuel and allowance to carry out their duties, depending entirely on provincial authorities.

Western Governor Ati Wobiro raised this concern in parliament today, as similar situations are faced by soldiers at the Weam Border in Western Province.

Defence Minister Dr Fabian Pok said the problem lies in the PNGDF system.

There are two heads in charge; the commander who is in charge of the force and the defence secretary who is in charge of finance. The commander only has to request for funding through the secretary who then determines whether there are funds available to support PNGDF operations.

Dr Pok wants this reviewed to allow the commander to be in charge of both the defence force and finance.

He said border operations are budgeted but he failed to understand why funds are not readily available to support soldiers.

Every year, the government allocates K30million to the PNGDF. Much of this funding is used to upgrade PNGDF facilities throughout the country, which have been depleted for 30 years.

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force is building manpower to reach its target of 5, 000 men by 2017, with recruitments every six months.

This is in line with the governments’ objectives.The minister has called on the government to increase its budget to provide for the increase of soldiers. Link

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