Buin Immigration Office Opened

The Immigration and Citizenship Authority launched a milestone where it opened the Buin Immigration Office yesterday, February 10.

There to witness the opening was Member for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, Minister for Immigration & Border Security Westly Nukundj and Australian High Commissioner, Johnathan Philp.

The opening of South Bougainville’s Buin International Immigration office now recognized as a significant event and since PNG received its independence in 1975, this is the first time in history that an immigration office has been set up in Buin.

The job of ICA’s borders division is to look after the establishment of all the immigration posts throughout Papua New Guinea and overseas and its regional posts are in Momase, Highlands, Vanimo, Daru and now in Buin.

Chief Migration Officer, Stanis Hulahau in his opening remarks said ICA is a new organization in the history of Papua New Guinea bureaucracy, having transitioned as a division from the department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2010.

“The authority has come a long way in the last decade. Considering all its achievements and as the Chief Migration officer, I am proud to say that things are moving forward with the changing trend in our time where the global community is looking at seamlessly travel with improved integrity on travel facilitation across regional and international borders,” said Mr Hulahau.

He said ICA has undertaken a comprehensive review on business processes and has relooked ways to conduct business in a more efficient and effective way to bring core services to the people. With the launch of the Buin office, Mr Hulahau said that this signifies that view about bringing the service to the people rather than have them go to Waigani.

The launch of the office as an international border post is recognized as a major achievement of ICA, ABG, the PNG Government and the Member for South Bougainville.

Australian High Commissioner for PNG, Jonathan Philp said Australia has only one close border with Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. He said it is important that Australia work with PNG on their shared border area and how to understand on making life easier for the traditional habitants who like to travel across the border between the two countries.

“It is incredibly important to have mechanisms to allow traditional habitants to travel across our borders in an orderly, managed and regulatory way to be able to conduct not just traditional visitors but the kind of commercial relationships that keeps the business communities on both sides of the borders prosperous and continue to grow,” Philp said.

Member for South Bougainville and Minister for ICT Timothy Masiu thanked ICA and Minister Nukundj for the launch of a milestone infrastructure for South Bougainville and Buin town.

“As member for South Bougainville I am happy for Buin town to add a critical government service infrastructure for managing international border movements,” Mr Masiu said.

Minister Nukundj said as is the vision of the Marape-Basil led government to ‘Take back PNG’ he was happy to be officiating for the opening of Buin’s international immigration office as a way forward in bringing the service of the national government right to the peoples doorsteps.

Carol Kidu