Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reviewing of the Dual Salary System in Papua New Guinea

From the National Newspaper [02 July, 2008]

Time to review pay structure, says PM
PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare told Parliament yesterday it was time to review the dual salary system adapted during the colonial era.
Sir Michael said after the review, a single and equal salary structure would be proposed.
This, the Prime Minister said, would hopefully lure back PNG professionals now working abroad.
He said the dual structure was adapted before Independence when PNG did not have specialised and qualified people in the workforce. Expatriates were then recruited on a higher salary package to train Papua New Guineans.
He said Papua New Guineans have excelled and it was time to review the salary system.
“The time has come for PNG to have an equal salary structure. We can afford it.” The single salary structure is across the board for locals and expatriates alike in the both the public and private sectors.
The Prime Minister was responding to queries in Parliament by Western Governor Bob Danaya.

The Dual Salary structure in Papua New Guinea has forced many professional Papua New Guineans to work abroad where conditions are far better. It surely has taken a while for Sir Michael to realise that professional Papua New Guineans cannot be treated as second class citizens in their own country.

There are many other issues in Papua New Guinea that also need urgent attention. Most importantly, Sir Michael must work hard to create more jobs for many unemployed people in Papua New Guinea. When there are many people in employment, crime rate will certainly decrease and the living standard of many ordinary Papua New Guineans will improve. Things can only get better for the country when there is political will and determination by the leaders of the country to work for the collective good of its people.

The current standard of living and economic climate in Papua New Guinea is not conducive to stimulating economic growth and prosperity of the country and certainly many ordinary folks and citizens of the country are struggling to make ends meet for their families. What is really disheartening is that for many years qualified and highly skilled Papua New Guineans were discriminated against by a colonial salary system that is still in existence to this very day and age!

However, what Sir Michael is now proposing is something worth commending even if it is long over due. Lets just hope that his proposal will become law and reality.
[John B Nirenga- 02 July, 2008]