A multi-stakeholder Government delegation has concluded a review of the Immigration Act 12 in Gizo, Western Province recently.
The two-day review process convened from 23-24 November gathered together 56 participants representing Customs, Immigration, Western Provincial Government, Provincial Health Division, Environmental Health, Bio Security, Police, Noro Participants, Gizo Community High School, Gizo Red Cross Branch, National Disaster Management Office, Churches, Social Welfare, the Save the Children, and the civil society.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Deputy Director of Immigration, Mr Chris Akosawa highlighted the importance of reforming and restructuring the Government’s Immigration Services to meet global security challenges of the 21st century.
He emphasized that the reform will allow Immigration, foreign investment and labour laws to become more comprehensive and harmonized to protect the people, economy and society.
Mr Akosawa confirmed that Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration reform is part of the DCGA redirection policy to grow the economy and generate employment.
He further emphasized that the reform is necessary to create a conducive environment for investment and economic development. The Immigration reform will paved the way forward to boost the tourism industry, industrial development and to increase international trade.
Speaking on behalf of the Provincial Government, Provincial Capacity Development Advisor, Ms. Korolyn Zutu said the review is important for Western Province, which host major government infrastructures, international ports of entries and significantly the SI-PNG Western border.
She said the Western Provincial Government is pleased to support the National Government redirection policy and look forward for the inclusion of inputs from the Province in the new Immigration bill to protect its communities against threats of transnational organized crimes and illegal migration.
Ms Zutu added that Western Province is at high risk of being exposed to threats of border crimes, biosecurity risks and diseases and the only way to protect it is through improving the Immigration Act with stronger regulatory frameworks that adheres to regional border protection priorities to protect and manage our national borders.
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants supported the draft bill and the primary objective to reform the Immigration laws to become responsive to national and regional security issues affecting the region.