by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Proper planning and research needs to be conducted for policies such as the National Population Policy, 2015 to 2024, to be achieved.
The policy aims to reduce the rate of population growth to a more manageable level, and to improve the quality of life and living standard in PNG.
Even though such policy can set benchmark to PNG’s development, developmental issues need to be identified, before addressing it.
A senior researcher in the National Research Institute, and the former Director, Dr Thomas Webster, has outlined the constraints and issues PNG is currently facing, giving Port Moresby City as an example.
Dr Webster said the way the City has been planned was in an ad-hoc way, which creates problems for the transportation system.
Furthermore, he said the Lands department does not contribute to proper planning of the cities and towns.
For example, with the new suburbs created at eight and nine mile, no nearby schools and hospitals are there for them to bring their kids to.
Many of them bring their kids into the City, which then creates traffic jam in the morning, and afternoons. Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor, further highlights the issues concerning PNG that needs more attention.
She says, PNG must focus on infrastructural development.
However, violence against women and health care for mothers and children are foremost.
Dame Meg said the tremendous opportunity for PNG is the resources that we have, and how best it can be utilized for development.
She also said the issue of population growth is important, particularly on how the population is going to be looked after through the social sectors of health and education.
Meanwhile, strategies from the National Population Policy 2015 to 2024, will look into having a substantial strengthened, reproductive health service delivery by the end of 2024.
The policy expects that by 2024, a 65 per cent transition rate between primary and secondary schools must be achieved. Female participation in the upper secondary education to be levelled at 90 per cent.However, the request still remains for an effective development planning and research at all levels of government, to manage population change and its impacts.