BY ALEX DADAMU
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed disappointment and frustration following reports that 6 students have failed to show up at the airport in Manila during the arranged repatriation flight, leading to empty seats on the aircraft which arrived back in Honiara Yesterday evening.
Prime Minister Sogavare expressed that the action by the students was extremely inconsiderate and selfish.
“We will investigate if these students knowingly decided not to check-in today, we may exclude them from the government repatriation service and they may be asked to leave the quarantine hotels, and plan for their way to get home.
However, speaking exclusively to Sunday Isles Newspaper, President of the Solomon Islands Philippines Students Association, Aurthur Mola clarified why the students have not been able to board the repatriation flight as expected.
“Two (2) students have an administrative error on the listing, even though they still have outstanding Visa and medical issues, their names appear in the final list printed in the ticket.
“Another three (3), I was not able to collect or complete their visa requirements on time before the date of the repatriation flight because at that time, it was impossible to remove their names from the list as it was already with Solomon Airlines thus, tickets were already printed.
“Meanwhile, a student, just on the night of the flight, reported that he can’t fly as he was faced with some kind of mental disorders due to family issues. I then advise that he must not travel and he must go through psychiatric counseling before he could board the other repatriation flight at a later date,” the Student’s Association President revealed.
Sunday Isles understands that only about 133 people arrive in the country from the repatriation flight from Manila, Philippines yesterday evening. Another repatriation is scheduled for Saturday 12 December which was expected to bring in 120 students from Papua New Guinea (PNG) including 39 students from Manila, Philippines.