Funding Assistance to Bring Students in Philippines Home Transparent: Government

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A Photo of the first Repatriation Flight on Tuesday, 26 May (Photo by NEOC/NDC)

In the true tenets of good governance, transparency and accountability, government has said it has detailed funding assistance from local companies who responded positively to assist government in bringing the students in Philippines home.

In his national address this week, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare acknowledged the funding assistance from Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA), Solomon Power and Solomon Forestry Association (SFA).

While the two companies- SIPA and Solomon Power- are government agencies by virtue of being State Owned Entities (SOEs), private organization SFA’s funding contribution is highly admirable and worthy of a model to other big companies operating in the country.

According to the Prime Minister, SFA contributed close to $267,756 which is equivalent to 1,588,608 pesos while SIPA and Solomon Power, $604,250 and $1 million respectively.

In a fashion rarely upheld by many leaders, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare also detailed the breakdowns of the financial assistance.

According to Sogavare, SFA’s funding of close to $267,756 will meet the full accommodation and meals’ expenses of the students who will arrive on the first flight scheduled for 27 September 2020. SIPA’s $604,250 will meet the full costs of accommodation and meals of students to arrive on the second flight scheduled for 29 September 2020.

While Solomon Power’s $1 million will meet the accommodation and meals of a third hotel that will host our last group of students who are scheduled for the 27 October flight.

Government Communication Unit (GCU) understands that the last flight will be an extended 35 days from the time the students were accommodated so understandably the expense of the longer stay will be costly, thus the allocation of $1 million with due praise and courtesy to Solomon Power’s financial contribution.

Since government has started to step up the measures against COVID 19, the war cry has been ‘yumi tugeda against COVID 19’ and the financial assistance from the companies namely Solomon Power, SIPA and Non- Government Organization SFA is a true reflection of the slogan.

The onus now is on students to behave well and return home safely.

In a nine-pointer notice to the students, the Attorney General John Muria Jnr reiterated the rules for students to follow.

Amongst the stringent rules, students are not allowed outside the premises of the hotels unless it is an emergency but then hotel workers will be notified and supervised the emergency leave.

Students are also not allowed to consume alcohol in the hotels as well.

According to the Attorney General the penalty for students, disobeying rules is that they will be thrown out of the hotels and not allowed to travel back on any of the three scheduled flights.

Government Communication Unit Press Statement