Catholic bishops condemn abuse of state funds in PNG

state funds

The Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands has called on parliamentarians to do away with the allocation of state funds that they can use at their own discretion in their electorates.

The Bishops say these state funds have only attracted greed and corruption and overshadowed the real role of an elected MP.

Allowing MPs to allocate the funds at their own discretion effectively puts them in the role of financial administrators, which is not their mandate, said Bishop Rochus Tatamai, president of the bishops’ conference.

“It does not require any great gift of prophecy for us to say that the nation is headed for disaster as long as the nation’s wealth is seen to be directly administered by Members of Parliament, especially those who are in government and not just in parliament,” said the bishop.

The Church has stopped accepted payments directly from parliamentarians regardless of whether the funds are budgeted or not, according to looppng.com.

They are encouraging Catholic-run schools, parishes and dioceses to follow suit.

And they have urged other churches and NGOs to stop accepting “free political handouts.”

A number of MPs have expressed support for the bishop’s call.

However, others say these funds have greatly improved their remote electorates.

They want the bishops to define what they mean by corruption because the term is too vague.

They suggested that the bishops look at the positive results achieved by communities they served by comparing the situations now with the situation before these state funds were made available to members of parliament.

Source

News category: Asia Pacific.

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