By Mickey Kavera – EM TV, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Defence, Dr Fabian Pok, today presented the 2011 Annual Defence Report to the National Parliament.
The annual report is a snapshot of the operations and administrative activities of the defence organisation for that particular year.
Minister Dr Pok informed Parliament that the 2012 and 2013 annual reports will be ready for presentation in the next parliamentary session.
The PNGDF is mandated by section 202 of the Constitution, to deliver four key tasks: to defend the country, meet international obligations, contribute to nation building and provide civil aid in times of civil disasters, call out and national emergencies.
K167,275,200 was appropriated in 2011 by the government to ensure these tasks were fulfilled.
Although there was an over-expenditure of K10,417,800, mainly due to personal emoluments of new recruits, Mr Pok said it was for the good of the country.
He says national security is a priority for the government and the PNGDF will continue to perform its duty, as mandated by the constitution.
The Papua New Guinea Government has directed that the manpower ceiling of the force be increased to 10,000 over the next five years, through an intense recruitment program.
Other areas will also receive facelifts, to boost the morale of the force. This will require the injection of funds to refurbish rundown facilities of the force.
Mr Pok says, if nurtured well, the PNG Defence Force can be a great institution of pride for the country.