DEPUTY Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga has assured the Malaita provincial government that the National Government will continue to work with them.
Speaking during the Malaita province second appointed day today in Auki, Maelanga said the National Government through the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, and other Government Ministries and agencies, will continue to work with Malaita province and provide what is necessary and important for its development, as demonstrated during the past 37 years.
“Despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Government’s support for our Provincial Governments still remains strong and will continue to remain that way,” he said.
He said despite budget cuts in most of the Government ministries, the funding for Provincial Governments through the Fixed Service Grants and Salary payments still continue as normal.
“We do not want to disrupt the services that the Provincial Governments are mandated to do, hence whatever programs earmarked for our rural communities, should be delivered undisturbed,” he said.
The deputy Prime Minister said the National Government has supported and made commitment to all provinces, through the advancement of its National Projects, and the implementation of programs such as the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF).
Mr Maelanga said the PCDF is designed to help enhance financial management control, public expenditure management and discipline of public funds.
“I would like to urge the current Provincial Government to continue to work with the Ministry in strengthening its compliance mechanisms, financial management discipline and effective implementation of its work programs under the PCDF funding,” he said.
The deputy Prime Minister said the 2020 budget for the PCDF program is $25 million for all nine provinces.
“I hope Malaita Province will utilize this funding for its small infrastructure development programs,” he said.
Mr Maelanga said he is aware that the PCDF assessment for the 2020 PCDF allocation has already been conducted.
He said the report on the assessment has been finalized and the technical committee has already met in Gizo, Western Province to determine the results for 2020.
“I have been informed that Malaita Province has met all minimum conditions and has improved in its performance measures. Let me congratulate your government for a job well done and to meet the minimum qualifications of the PCDF,” the deputy Prime Minister said.
Mr Maelanga also acknowledged the Premier and his executive for implementing a number of financial reforms that has brought confidence in the financial status of the province.
He said these includes the enforcement of the recently passed Financial Management Ordinance (FMO), the setting up of Ward Development Committees, stronger revenue collections, and bringing more recognition to the plight of traditional leaders.
“Let me thank you Premier and your executive members, advisors and your hard working staff for these great achievements,” he said.