Papua New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) should start collecting K20 per cubic meter based on log harvest to implement and drive the new corporate restructure,’ National Forest Service Managing Director Mr. Tunou Sabuin said during the handover-takeover of the Forest Minister on January 12th, 2021 in Port Moresby.
MD Sabuin said: “I believe that all the directions that the PNGFA set to move forward are all enshrined and stipulated in
the new Corporate Plan 2020-2030 that was approved by the Salaries and Conditions Monitoring Committee in 2020.”
He said that its implementation will take some time depending on finance to fund the program but the collecting of the K20 per cubic meter should generate about K100 million annually which should be sufficient to drive the recruitment exercise and the establishment of the necessary infrastructure at the district and provincial levels and also fund for PNGFA’s housing subsidy.
“At the moment PNGFA has housing subsidy but not a housing scheme. That’s something to work hard to have in place and to secure funds for.
“PNGFA has about K1.5 million annually to fund housing subsidy but that’s not enough so we need to secure more funds through the collection of K20/cubic meter from log harvest,” Mr. Sabuin said.
Going onto the approval of government policies, he said: “It is waste of time and money if PNGFA does not implement the approved government development agendas that is the National Strategies for Downstream Processing and National Strategies for Reforestation and Afforestation in PNG, Timber Legality Standard and the updated and revised Logging Code of Practice.
“In 2021, we need to work together as a team to start implementing some of the things that we have already delivered. Together with him (Minister for Forests Walter Schnaubelt), as he said, when there is the opportunity for us to use him to drive some of these government development agendas and making sure that people down there in the field benefit most, then we have to do it.
“Start implementing these important documents so as to motivate staff to work hard. Do not allow them to collect dust.
He said that Foresters in the field will be entitled to Foresters allowance that will take care of health, risk allowance and other bad conditions that Foresters experience.
Mr. Sabuin also encouraged all new forestry graduates coming out from Bulolo and Papua New Guinea University of Technology (Unitech) to start their careers in the field rather than going to the PNGFA headquarters, regional offices and provincial offices for job placements.
He added: “PNGFA was allocated K36 million in the 2020 government budget but unfortunately only 50% was given while the other K18 million is still outstanding, resulting in PNGFA using K13 million from the Bulolo Forestry plantation project.
“If there were no Bulolo plantation operations PNGFA will be like other government departments where you get paid (only) 15% or 25% of the pay. We need to get this K18 million back in full because it is an approved budget for 2020 so we can start paying out some outstanding claims,” said Mr. Sabuin.