Kessy Sawang

Minimum wage high on agenda

Minister for Labour & Employment Kessy Sawang says there have been a lot of calls from workers in the country to increase the Minimum Wage which is currently at K3.50 per hour which was set in 2014 when the last minimum wage review was undertaken.

“As you’ve heard our Prime Minister James Marape who had informed our country that the Minimum Wage Review will be one of the key things that we are going to do this year,” Minister Sawang said.

Sawang seeks ILO support

Sawang said the meeting included discussions relating to the collaboration between ILO and the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

“I outline my priorities were to ensure alignment of the Government's labour policies with the Medium Term Development Plan IV,” she said.

“Advanced the review and updating of our labour laws and addresses the severe labour market data gaps that undermines evidence-based policies and to review the minimum wage,” Sawang said.

She said the important topic of discussion was about the protection and opportunities for youth and women groups.

Population growth stats alarming: Sawang

She raised concerns during a press conference press held yesterday in Port Moresby.

Sawang said the report known as National Population Estimate 2021 revealed that PNG’s population currently stands at 11.781 million with a growth rate of 4.9 percent.

She said population growth has increased considerably since the last census was conducted and places even greater pressure on Government to deliver minimum essential health and education services to our people.

Sawang sworn-in

Sawang was officially sworn into office by Governor General Sir Bob Dadae on Monday, July 3.

There to witness the signing was Prime Minister James Marape, Mrs Marape, Madang Governor Ramsey Pariwa, and Minister for International Trade and Investments Richard Maru.

Prime Minister Marape said the appointment is a replacement of the outgoing Madang MP, Bryan Kramer who was dismissed from office by a Leadership Tribunal.

Sawang works on bringing services closer to people

Protocol Officer Cynthia Wangama gave a brief run down of the current programs in implementation stages. Setting up an NID office and banking services are progressing well.

“These are the two main services that our people travel into town to access and by having them in the district, makes it easier and more convenient for the people of Rai Coast. Our member has a vision of bringing the township, in terms of services, into the district so that it minimizes the logistics and dangers associated with travelling into town,” Wangama said.

JDI partnership in the right direction

JDI is assisting the International Trade & Investment Ministry in setting up SEZs in the country. Ms Sawang recently travelled to Thailand with the JDI delegation to visit sites of SEZs to witness personally the development that happened with that strategy.

Sawang referred to the evidence of the JDI’s influence, which had transformed the country and other Asian economies, from just an agriculture country producing raw materials to now a manufacturing and industrialized, exporting processed food to the world.

“PNG is capable”

Sawang said currently we continue to import food that can be grown and processed in the country to feed ourselves; and process and export to other countries specifically to Asian countries.

She commented that the import bill for Papua New Guinea is very high. For example, rice is one commodity alone which on average incurs K700m to K850 million import bill in a year.

Change can happen with God

She told public servants at the dedication service for the Ministry and Department of International Trade and Investment this week.

In emphasizing this, she compared PNG’s situation to that of Guatemala in South America. Guatemala turned around from a poverty-stricken, crime-infested country and failing economy, to a country that closed down all four jails and now has more than enough food to sell to other neighbouring countries as well.

Sawang Dedicates Win To Rai Coast

Sawang is the second female elected into the 11th Parliament, 2022.

She arrived in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon to be welcomed by family members, well-wishers and the media. People First Party Leader, Richard Maru accompanied Sawang.

Maru was happy that one of the two female candidates endorsed by PFP in the 2022 election won the seat.

ATO Village welcome water supply

“If we want to remove slavery in the 21st century one of the things that we must remove is the slavery that we give to girls and women to carry water. As a community leader I believe that girls must be free to do their studies or other things.”

Ms Sawang helped Ato villagers to seek funding to implement the water project. The National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) came to their aid.