by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea will have a new voting system come 2017. The system is one of the benefits under the PNG National Identity Project (NID) launched today by Planning and Monitoring Minister, Charles Abel.
The project is an ID card system that will have personal information and statistics on all citizens.
National Statistician Roko Koloma, said today that the Electoral Commission and Civil Registry will partner with the NID Project to provide reliable services to the people of Papua New Guinea.
After the launching, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The national identity system prevents double-voting, because the citizen’s identity will appear on the screen once the ID card is presented.
It is also a reform in the Electoral Commission, Civil Registry, and National Statistics Office to keep up-to-date with the national census and electoral roll.
The information from the census will be available annually, replacing the 10 year census cycle.
Minister Abel confirmed that K55 million has been allocated for the project in the 2015 budget.
Other benefits of having this National Identity Card are the ability to open bank accounts and have access to small business loans, as well as access to subsidised healthcare and school fees.
People living with a disability and the underprivileged can present the card to receive pensions.
Electoral Commissioner, Andrew Trawen, said this is a very significant project as it will help them to review the electoral roll before the 2017 National Election.
The pilot project will first start in Ialibu Pangia electorate, and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will be the first person to register.
All citizens are encouraged to register, as it is not a sign off 666. If you do not register then you will miss out on its benefits.
Civil Registry offices will also be set up in all districts and provinces of Papua New Guinea.
The reformed system will also make it easier for people to obtain their birth certificates.