The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Dr. Samson Viulu is calling on the 47 Member of Parliament from the provinces to utilize a majority share of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations for the financial year 2023 in their constituencies instead of in Honiara.
PS Viulu have toured some of the constituencies in the provinces in recent months which gave him the strong conviction that this direction is necessary to promote development in all the 50 constituencies and avoid concentrating all the benefits in Honiara.
While appreciating some of the constituencies that continue to deliver development in their respective constituencies especially in the rural areas to improve rural livelihoods, PS Viulu cited the recent opening of the Gao/Bugotu Constituency Office Complex at Tatamba in Isabel Province in November this year as a fine example.
“Gao/Bugotu constituency is leading by example through the opening of their office complex as it will bring government services much closer to the people of that constituency, instead of traveling to either Buala or Honiara.”
He further called on all the constituencies in the provinces to ensure that project materials purchased through the CDF for their constituencies are delivered to the constituencies and not concentrated in Honiara alone.
“If you are a voter that reside in Honiara but is registered in a constituency in the province and you received assistance under the CDF, then you should construct your house in the province. Just by constructing your house in your village, you are providing employment experience and wages to the people in your constituency. You are also developing your community.
“If you are purchasing buses through the CDF under the income generating projects of the constituency then, some of it must be used in the constituency instead of just in Honiara.
“Given that the CDF are meant for constituencies, it is only proper that the funds are utilized in the constituencies to encourage development and sustain the livelihood of our people in the constituencies,” PS Dr. Viulu emphasized.
PS Viulu upon further reflection also calls on the permanent residents of Honiara who are eligible voters to think seriously before deciding where to register so that they do not deprive people from accessing equal assistance through the CDF programs.
“It is sad to see that during my visits to the provinces there are many constituencies that have not progressed in development despite retaining the same MP for the last ten years or more.
“Ironically some of them sit in urban centres yet the livelihood of their people have not improved despite the many millions of dollars they have received over the years.
“The lack of development progress in some of these constituencies was because majority of the funds and project materials through the CDF are used in Honiara and not in the constituencies in the provinces.
“East Choiseul Constituency have shown us the right way forward in Leadership and on the proper utilization of CDF and everyone should learn from them,” PS Viulu pointed out.
CDF’s are allocations of public development funds provided to Constituencies to support rural development initiatives as per constituency development priorities.
According to the Solomon Islands Constituency Development Fund Act 2013 (s.5) ‘funds may be allocated for development purposes to individuals, group income-generating projects, or community projects’.
MRD vision is all Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihood.