MADANG’S internal revenue reports for goods and services tax (GST) dropped by more than half – from K12 million to K5 million in 2017. This was because of the slowdown in economic activities and the drop in commodity prices.
These GST figures (Goods and Services Tax) are calculated every two years so the 2017 revenue collection was based on what was collected in 2015. Those figures would have deteriorated massively in 2018, due to the negative impact of broken bridges at Madang’s North Coast of Sumkar and Bogia, disaster relief to Manam IDP’s (Internally Displaced Person) and the civil unrest at Gum bridge in April 2018 that was sparked by a decapitated vocational teacher.
There is hope in 2019 for recovery and an optimistic year for development with the recent launching of the Usino-Yal and Baiyer-Ramu road construction links to improve Madang’s falling economy by rerouting transport and logistics from Lae and highlands into of Madang Sea Ports.
The Madang airport upgrade is sure to bring improvement to road networks and it is an opinion that the PMIZ loan will strategically fit into the scheme to encourage development out of town into the North Coast with business spin off into real-estate, tourism and increased cocoa and copra export from Bogia and Sumkar; increases in revenue in public transportation, agriculture and livestock. The possibilities are enormous but lack dedication which is missing and wasted.
That being said, it is interesting to note that there are too many unemployment factors; prisoners overcrowded at Beon CIS, street selling opportunists and vagrants emerging from settlements, villages and homes in town. It cannot be denied that a huge impact of the decreased internal revenue was the breakdown of law and order in the province in 2015 that largely contributed to the fall in our social-education system and huge numbers of school drop outs since 2012 giving increase to more sophisticated crimes like the armed robbery of K100,000 in broad daylight, right in front of the BSP branch with a clean get-away.
Our leaders need to seriously consider improving Madang schools and teacher’s welfare in regaining confidence in our education system. Malala, Tusbab and Brahman Secondary schools had a history of producing the country’s finest.
Needless to say, improvement of community Police and a complete restructure to the public service department’s human resource. Some residents strongly feel that retrenchment of public officers should be rolled out and early retirement for some to control the high expenditure of the Provincial budget on luxuries which should be focused on improving Education in Madang Province with job readiness programs into the Kurumbukari mine and Basamuk refinery for high school and university graduates. For example back in 2010, RD Fishing Ltd at Vidar, NCR, would directly employ passout students from Talidig vocational and Danip Agricultural school near Alexishafen.
As people of Madang, we have an obligation no matter where you are from. We all should give part of our life to the development of the province. If you study medicine, what are your long term goals for Madang, if you sell beer, how can you contribute responsibly, if you are a miner, what do you give back when you arrive on field break. The application is the same for primary school students and higher school dropouts. The responsibility lies within us all. What can you as an individual give back to the development of Madang Province?
This was the February edition of The Godawan Point. Stick around in March for more updates.