GARBAGE PILES UP IN PNG CAPITAL DISTRICT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 27) - Three million kina budgeted for garbage collection by the National Capital District Commission was spent by June, leaving only PGK5,000 [US$1,784] for the remaining half of the year, Governor Powes Parkop told reporters on Saturday.

Mr. Parkop, when assuring city residents that garbage collection would resume today, said spending in some areas had also exceeded annual allocations.

In another area, he said the appropriation of PGK50,000 [US$17,847] was overspent by PGK900,000 [US$321,245] and that has resulted in Parkop telling the management to explain how the money was spent.

He, however, said he directed the management to find the funds for the basic services like garbage collection and the contractors would resume today.

The Governor said the annual budget for the Commission is PGK135 million and the services provided should be obvious with the national government responsible for schools and health services in the city.

Parkop also apologized for the delay on the collection and disposal of domestic, commercial, school, village, settlement and medical waste. "The circumstances leading to the suspension or non collection and disposal of waste in the city is being investigated and I will advise city residents soon. However, it has nothing to do with my direction to freeze the commission’s accounts," Parkop said.

The Governor also warned of disciplinary action against anyone involved in the blowup of the budget allocations. He told reporters that his freezing of the accounts was only for those amounts exceeding PGK10,000 in light of the financial circumstances and had nothing to do with stopping the collection of the garbage.

Parkop said he cannot make any statement on the extent of the whole budget and the commission’s financial position.

He said he had yet to get the management to reply and explain on what had happened.

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