Jayapura, Jubi – Ginson Sauno, the Governor of Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) asked Papua Governor Lukas Enembe to facilitate the visit of Morobe Provincial Government to the mine site of PT. Freeport Indonesia in Timika.
He conveyed this during a dinner that held by Morobe Provincial Government in Lae City on Thursday (09/20/2018) to welcome the governor and the contingent of Papua provincial government.
“Morobe’s capital, Lae City, often hosts some national events on mining. Therefore, we ask the Governor of Papua to facilitate us visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia,” said Governor Sauno.
Morobe is crucial for PNG because it has main ports in the Pacific region, agricultural industry and plantations, as well as cattle and poultry farms, mining and other major industries. So, it provides and distributes most of the daily needs of the national community.
Geographically, Morobe is a province located on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea with a population of around 750,000 people living in 33,705 km² area. As a result of the division of the Southern Highlands Province in 2012, the province becomes the most populous province in PNG which consists of Huon Peninsula, Markham River, Delta and the coastal areas along the Huon Bay.
In responding the request of Governor Saonu, Governor Enembe promised to facilitate a team of Morobe Province to visit the mining site of PT. Freeport Indonesia. “As far as known, we just gained 10 of 51 per cent of Freeport’s shares. So I will help to facilitate the visit of Governor Morobe and his team,” said the governor.
Besides visiting PT. Freeport Indonesia, Governor Saonu also offered Governor Enembe the teaching and learning exchange program. According to him, the main obstacle for two provinces in the collaboration is language. Therefore, Morobe Province will send their English teachers to Papua, and in turn, Papua Province will send the Indonesian language teachers.
Meanwhile, for the student exchange program, Governor Saonu offers a scholarship program for Morobe students who want to continue their higher education in Papua.
Governor Enembe has very welcomed this offer. “We have sent many Papuan students abroad for study. So we will follow up the offer from Governor Saonu soon,” he said.
He also regretted not being able to meet with Governor Saonu last year to sign the Letter of Intent (LoI) because at that time he had to report to the President of Indonesia in Jakarta.
“I also regret not being able to bring my office staff because I was just appointed as a governor for the second period a few days ago,” he added.
Regarding the demand of beef supply in PON (National Sports Event) 2020, Governor Saonu has a positive response. “We are ready to supply meat for PON 2020. We have the largest cattle farm in PNG as well as the chicken farm. This cooperation will benefit the two provinces,” said Governor Saonu.(*)
Reporter: Victor Mambor
Editor: Pipit Maizier
The marketing strategy of Papuan woman traders to survive amid the pandemic
Papua, Jubi – The COVID-19 outbreak has emerged a new dilemma for everybody. On the one hand, they should restrict their activities, but on the other hand, they have to work to get income for their families.
A consumer Delia Mallo said she is very concerned about Papuan women traders at Pharaa traditional market in Sentani, Jayapura Regency during the pandemic.
“It’s so sad to see them should go home early while not many people could come to buy their commodities,” Mallo said when shopping in Pharaa Market on Thursday (25/6/2020).
The restriction during the pandemic made the traders go home earlier than usual, and people’s concern about the coronavirus transmission has increasingly impacted on the traders’ income.
“Since the emergence of COVID-19, I am worried (to stay longer in the market). After buying fish, I immediately go home,” said Mallo.
Because they have to go home early, traders reduce the price of their commodities to prevent substantial loss because of rot.
Tilapia fish, for example, is priced at half of its regular price. The fish harvested from Lake Sentani is usually sold for Rp 80 to 100 thousand per pile, but now sold for only Rp 40 to 50 thousand per pile. Each pile can weigh more than 1 kilogram.
“To be sold, so we just let it go at a low price. The important thing is we can still get money for trading tomorrow,” said Anace Suebu.
Mrs Suebu displayed her fish on a 2 x 3 meters table at the Pharaa Market, and her income has significantly decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic. “I could usually take Rp 1 million a day before the pandemic, but now it’s crushed,” she said.
As a result, she also needs to restrict her purchase. She could no longer be able to buy fish at large quantities. Her income has significantly declined, while she still has to continue spending money for daily needs.
“I told my customers to be patient. I cannot buy fish at large quantities because I don’t have sufficient money,” said the mother of four.
The new dilemma that emerged due to the COVID-19 is not only happening to Suebu but also hundreds or even thousands of Papuan woman traders. Their economy has suffered due to the pandemic.
“I used to bake (sell) twenty pieces of bread, but it’s only 15 now for Rp 15 thousand per piece,” said Karolina Fonataba who usually sells bread in the Pharaa Market.
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fonataba, a woman of Biak Numfor, had moved her business to the former Doyo Baru Market. She did it to cope with the restriction rule applied in Jayapura Regency. Because she lives near the market, she can adjust her trading time. Also, she adds another commodity to sell, namely sago, which she sold for Rp 10 to 20 thousand per piece.
“Relying on the income from selling bread is not enough (for daily needs).”
However, she could not stay longer in the new location and decided to return to the Pharaa Market by selling the same commodities, bread and sago.
“In the former Doyo Baru Market, there were even fewer consumers. It was only 5-10 pieces of bread sold (every day),” told this sixty-five years old woman.
Although she has added the items of her commodities and returned to the Pharaa Market, her income is still far lower than in the usual time. “I could get Rp 150-200 thousand in the past, but now it declines to Rp 50-100 thousand, while a sack of sago usually sold out in three days, but now it takes a week.”
To survive during the pandemic, Fonataba has attempted various ways. “I also deliver (sell) the bread from door to door. The customers can pay whenever they can.”
In the meantime, Mariche also applied a similar strategy of survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. She sells betel nuts at the former Doyo Baru Market. “Although people say the COVID-19 is dangerous, I keep selling. If not, we cannot eat.”
However, Mariche, a woman from Demta, has to deal with her stock purchase to avoid loss. “I used to buy 2-3 sacks, but now it’s reduced. I run out of money, while fewer customers come to buy.”(*)
Reporter: Yance Wenda
Editor: Pipit Maizier
MRP traces the chronology of the dismissal of thousands of employees of PT Kodeko Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – The working group for the indigenous issue of Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP) meet with the representatives of PT Kodeko Papua’s ex-workers in Serui, Yapen Islands Regency, Papua on Monday (24/2/2020). In the meeting, the working group take not on the chronology of the dismissal of 1,435 employees of PT Kodeko Papua in 2004.
The working group chairman Demas Tokoro through MRP public relations says the meeting between the working group and workers’ representative occurred on Monday is the second meeting. “Today is our second meeting, while we had the first on 13 February,” he said.
According to him, in the first meeting, the workers’ representatives talked about the severance allowance should be paid to the workers after the termination in 2004. Meanwhile, the second meeting is focusing on learning the chronology of the dismissal.
Tokoro says that during 14 years, 1,435 ex-workers are still waiting for the company to pay their salary and severance allowance. “They tell about their long efforts in fighting their rights as ex-workers,” says Tokoro.
Meanwhile, an ex-worker Costan Podayar said PT Kodeka Papua was a plywood company founded in 1995 and began its operation since 1997.
“In 2002, the situation changed and it claimed bankruptcy in 2004. The employees have been made redundant without receiving severance allowance. As a consequence, the company’s assets become a warrant to pay severance to its ex-workers,” said Pondayar as cited from MRP public relations.
In 2006, the workers sued the management of PT Kodeko Papua to the Tangerang District Court with a demand that the company must pay the salary and severance allowance of 1,435 ex-workers. “The Court won our lawsuit in 2006,” said Pondayar.
At that time, he says that the Court instruct those who took over the assets of PT Kodeko Papua must pay the rights of ex-workers. But, in reality, PT Sinar Wijaya who continue the operation has not paid the severance allowance to the ex-workers.
“As the ex-workers, we did not know how can PT Sinar Wijaya take over the operation because there was no announcement to us,” says Pondayar.
PT Sinar Wijaya has paid the amount of money to the ex-workers, but the payment was less than the amount that the ex-workers should receive.
“The local government has facilitated the meeting between us and the management of PT Sinar Wijaya at Kampung Awunawai Office. They paid the amount of money for us but did not give us time to read the letter that we should sign. They said it was because there were many employees in queueing to sign,” said Pondayar.
Later on, the ex-workers realised that the amount of money they received is smaller than it should. “The Court’s decision said that I had to receive IDR 32 million, but I only received IDR 15 million,” says Pondayar.
Meanwhile, Demas Tokoro said his working group would implement the mechanism by MRP to bring both representatives of ex-workers PT Kodeko Papua with the local government and the management of PT Sinar Wijaya. The working groups of women and religious issues of MRP will also attend this meeting.
“We will conduct a joint visit consisting of MRP, indigenous, religious and women’s working groups. We hope people will support us,” says Tokoro. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Government introduces Papua’s business potential to 45 investors
Sorong, Jubi – The Indonesian government in association with Yayasan Inisiatif Dagang Hijau (Green Trade Initiative Foundation) took a total of 45 foreign investors to witness firsthand the business potential in the country’s eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua.
The foreign investors met with young businessmen from Papua during a high-level meeting on green investment in Sorong, West Papua, on Thursday.
Also present at the meeting were Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan; Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo; Head of the Investment Coordinating Board, Bahlil Lahadalia, and Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, to support the Papuan businessmen to move forward.
Panjaitan said the concept of green investment or environmentally friendly investment is one of the models of sustainable development in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
The concept of green investment is aimed at encouraging small-scale investment to promote the agricultural and fisheries sectors in the two provinces, he said.
The presence of foreign investors will encourage the export of agricultural and fishery commodities including nutmeg, cacao beans, seaweed, and other key commodities from the two provinces, he said.
The minister further asked the Papua and West Papua provincial governments to work hard and cooperate with all sectors to develop the potential in the province as part of efforts to promote the economy of the locals. (*)
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