H.R.P.P reveals its plans

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Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi Prime Minister and leader of the H.R.P.P

Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi Prime Minister and leader of the H.R.P.P

Prime Minister and the leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) has revealed their plans for the next Parliamentary term, if they win the General Elections. The plans were detailed in the 19-page Election Manifesto launched on Monday at Sogi. The Manifesto was delivered by Prime Minister Tuilaepa in a video presentation. This is what he said:

 

INTRODUCTION

The 2016-2021 HRPP Manifesto announces the development agenda the HRPP will implement in the next 5 years should it return to power following the national elections on 4 March 2016.

It is important to note that the HRPP has won all the General Elections since 1982. This means the HRPP has had the depth of experience in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national development priorities to benefit the people of Samoa for a very long time. 

More importantly the HRPP has learned many lessons from that vast experience including the design of appropriate responses to deal with the effects of natural disasters and global economic and financial crises. Going forward, the HRPP will put to use lessons learnt and experience from past years to frame Samoa’s development agenda and implementation of that agenda for the next 5 years.

 

GOAL

The overriding goal of this manifesto is to advance further the social and economic wellbeing of the Samoan people under continuing stability sustained during the leadership of the HRPP. One of the key pillars of that goal is to create employment opportunities for our young people coming out of school as well as those who are not productively employed in the villages.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Speaker of the House, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Speaker of the House, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao.

The goal is therefore people centred and premised on the commitment that there will be stable and sustainable macroeconomic growth going forward to provide the necessary foundation for the HRPP to plan, finance and implement its development agenda.

Successful implementation of the development agenda outlined in this manifesto will lead directly to achieving a higher and sustainable quality of life for our people.  

 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND CHALLENGES OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS

Samoa’s development path and performance over the last 5 years was affected by a number of challenges that imposed significant costs on the economy, businesses and individuals. The key challenges faced were as follows:

 

i. The global financial crisis and the slowdown in the Chinese economy in 2012 adversely affected the ability to secure markets for our exports. The scaling down of the Yazaki operation in Samoa is a direct impact of that phenomenon. These two events also impacted adversely on the tourism sector as fewer tourists travelled to Samoa.

 

ii. Cyclone Evan that struck in December 2012 caused significant damage and incurred substantial losses to key economic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, agriculture, tourist facilities and personal properties to the value of $470.0 million tala. As a result GDP growth fell to less than 1% in 2011/12 followed by negative 2% in 2012/13. However growth rebounded in 2013/14 to register 1.2% as a result of the cyclone recovery works.

 

Notwithstanding these challenges, the HRPP persevered by adopting appropriate policies and strategies as well as implementing development projects to ensure a stable development pathway was maintained.  A number of positive outcomes were achieved for the benefit of the people. There were also key events that occurred in the past that deserve special mention. These are:

i. Samoa’s Graduation to Middle Income Country – In January 2014, Samoa graduated out of the Least Developed Country status to Middle Income Country. This is a clear recognition of Samoa’s progressive development over the past 30 years since the HRPP came into power.

 

ii. UN SIDS Conference – For the first time in the history of the Pacific, Samoa became the first Pacific Island country to host the global conference of Small Island Developing States in September 2014. This event brought close to 4,000 delegates from across the world to our shores giving good business to our tourist operators and the private sector. A key outcome of the conference was the endorsement of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway (SIDS Accelerated Modalities Of Action) for the implementation of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This is a notable marketing icon for Samoa because every time a world leader refers to the SAMOA Pathway, our country is being advertised and promoted automatically worldwide.

 

iii. Commonwealth Youth Games – In September 2015, the Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Samoa attracting over a thousand foreign athletes and supporters. This is the first time these games were ever hosted in the Pacific. The games exposed our local athletes to international level competition which is extremely valuable for their development in their respective sports. Preparations for the SIDS conference and the games benefited a number of local engineering and construction companies as there were a number of civil and building works required.

 

iv. All Blacks – Manusamoa Game – Prior to 2015, the All Blacks never played a game in Samoa. This changed in July 2015 when the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union who is also the Prime Minister pressured New Zealand Rugby to have the world champions play against Manusamoa at the Apia Park. 

The game attracted many NZ based All Blacks supporters to Samoa filling up all the hotels in town for two weeks. 

v. RSE Scheme Extended to Australia – The RSE scheme is one key measure to create job opportunities for our people. In the last five years the scheme was extended to Australia paving the way for our youth to engage in short term employment in Australia in addition to the ongoing seasonal arrangements with New Zealand. Increasing labour mobility opportunities for our people is an important element of our livelihood strategies.

 

vi. Acquisition of PFL – In 2012 the Pacific Forum Line was put up for sale after having continuous financial problems. The Government of Samoa made the decision to purchase the company on the understanding PFL was critical for Samoa’s trade with the outside world and therefore the cost of losing PFL to a private operator would be far too excessive and could stifle Samoa’s trade. While PFL (now fully owned by the Samoan Government) is still in its infancy stage, indications are that it is beginning to operate profitably. PFL’s joint venture with Neptune Shipping Company provides secured placings for our trained local seamen on Neptune ships.

 

vii. Climate Change – 2015 marked a great milestone for international negotiations on dealing with climate change and sea level rise. 

The agreement in France in December 2015 (COP21) commits 195 countries to keep the increase in global average temperature rise well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 

Countries agreed to use the US$100 billion a year figure from 2020 onwards to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. 

Tofilau Laauli and Atoa Louis.

Tofilau Laauli and Atoa Louis.

This demonstrates that developed countries are now more serious about climate change and are committed to contributing to the funding facilities such as the green Climate Fund. 

Samoa stands to gain from these funds but need to prepare sound projects in line with GCF guidelines. At the sector level there were also significant achievements that were realised during the last five years. An account of these achievements is presented below:

i. Macroeconomic performance – Economic performance over the past five years was greatly hampered by the global financial crisis of 2008/09 and cyclone Evan. Following the recovery program in response to the 2009 tsunami, growth started to take hold with real GDP growth reaching 5.6% in 2010/11. Unfortunately, cyclone Evan struck in December 2012 causing significant damage and substantial losses totalling $470.0 million tala. As a result growth fell to less than 1% in 2011/12 followed by negative 2% in 2012/13. However with the cyclone recovery program, growth rebounded in 2013/14 registered 1.2%.

 

ii. Education

a. The Samoa School Fee Grant scheme was extended to cover years 9-11 in 2012.

b. The introduction of Inclusive Education programs saw the Disability Program integrated into the curriculum.

c. Christian education has been introduced into schools.

d. The Oceania University of Medicine (OUM) for overseas students and the National University of Samoa (NUS) School of Medicine continued to provide quality education for medicine. Our first 15 doctors from NUS Medical School are expected to graduate in April 2016.

e. Introduction of an expedited program to produce trained Science teachers to meet the demand to teach Science subjects in our schools.

 

iii. Health

a. The construction of the new Tupua Tamasese Meaole National hospital at Motootua has been completed with state of the art technology and medical equipment to improve health service delivery;

b. District hospitals at Poutasi, Lalomanu, Safotu, Foailalo and Sataua have been refurbished demonstrating the commitment to upgrade health service provided for the rural community;

c. The Health Promotion Foundation has been established to concentrate on promoting programs that will reduce the incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases and other NCDs;

d. There is ongoing support towards strengthening professional health service standards, supported by the launching of clinical guidelines, review of motherhood protocols, Emergency and Obstetric Care guidelines and School Nutrition Food Standards.

 

iv. Agriculture

a. The Stimulus Program for the replanting of cocoa, coconut and coffee, as well as supporting the Talomua program was introduced;

b. The Samoa Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (SACEP) has been introduced aimed at boosting livestock development and fruit and vegetables farming. A number of farmers have already received financial support under this program;

c. The Samoa Agribusiness Project was launched in May 2015 with targeted support to agribusiness ventures. The project provides a cash collateral facility to secure up to 50% of the amount borrowed by eligible agribusiness. Eligible businesses are entitled to receive seed capital up to a maximum of $100,000. The project also supports agribusinesses to build their capacity in a broad range of areas such as market access, quality assurance and packaging;

d. Dedicated support has been directed at promoting Organic Farming due to its significant contribution to the rural community incomes especially the women. There are now 587 certified organic farmers in Samoa and this number is expected to increase substantially during the next five years;

e. The new market at Fugalei was officially opened in 2014 providing much better environment and space for farmers to sell their products as well as more parking spaces for customers;

f. Samoa was presented in June 2015 in Rome the FAO award for achieving the Millennium Development Target of reducing under-nourishment in the country.

 

v. Community Development

a. Conducted capacity building programmes on Village Governance targeting village representatives (Sui o Nuu) and Village Women Representatives (Sui o Tamaitai o Nuu), focusing on the areas of health, education, environment, finance, agriculture, transport and electricity;

b. Community development activities focused on the development of livelihood options such as vegetable gardens, root crops, reviving traditional fine mats/handicrafts and coconut-based products;

c. The Village Fono Act has been reviewed to ensure village by-laws are consistent with the Constitution.

H.R.P.P supporters during their manifesto launch on Monday

H.R.P.P supporters during their manifesto launch on Monday

 

vi. Infrastructure Services

a. Water and Sanitation

• Completion of the Water Treatment plants at Aleisa and Vaitele;

• Completion of boreholes pump stations at Falelauniu;

• Construction of the Falelauniu Phase I water network system;

• Extending of the Neiafu and Falealupo supply network to Falelima and Tufutafoe;

• Completion of new storage and upgrade of transmission line for upper Saleapaga (part of the South East Regional Upgrade);

• Rehabilitation of the Tafitoala Water Treatment Plant intake and transmission line as well as construction of concrete crossing ford;

• Replacement and relocation of pipe network at Lalomanu, Vailoa, Mutiatele, Satitoa and Saleaumua Aleipata.

 

b. Energy

• Wind generated energy at Vailoa was commissioned in 2014;

• Solar panel farms at the Tuanaimato Race course, Faleolo airport, Vaitele, Tanugamanono, Salelologa and Manono Tai have been commissioned providing clean energy.

 

c. Transport

• The construction and widening of Vaitele Street from Malifa to Vailoa including the bridges at Vaimoso and Togafuafua have been completed. Extension to Vaitele is almost complete;

• The Maliolio bridge at Samalae’ulu is now in the planning stage;

• Rehabilitating of the Faleolo International Airport runway as well as upgrading the terminal building commenced in 2015;

• Transfer of management of domestic ports (Mulifanua and Salelologa) from Samoa Ports Authority to Samoa Shipping Corporation to improve the safety of the travelling public  and quality of services between the two islands;

• The Marine Training School at Mulinuu has been commissioned and students now have access to state of the art training facilities and equipment.

 

d. Communication

• The reform of our telecommunications sector has been substantially completed with the divestment of Government involvement in the delivery of telecommunications infrastructure and services to the private sector, namely BlueSky and Digicel with the Office of the Independent Regulator established to ensure these companies comply with the regulatory requirements. The effects of these reforms and divestment have generated immense benefits to the people of Samoa through nationwide coverage and easy access to such services, through active competition;

• The National Broadband Highway Project was completed in 2014;

• The submarine cable financing arrangements have been finalised and will be implemented over the next 2 years;

• The national broadband highway project and the completion of the submarine cable project will position Samoa to create the necessary environment for moving into the knowledge economy where ICT applications can facilitate the delivery of government services to our people and will in particular assist in the delivery of education learning and health services by accessing information and services currently constrained by distance and costs.

 

vii. Senior Citizen Pension Scheme

a. In February 2014, the monthly pension was increased to $135 per month (or $3,240 per annum for a married couple of 65 years upward).

 

viii.Justice

a. Digitization of the Land & Titles Court Records – Launched in January 2015 and aims to firstly preserve the records and secondly improve the accessibility of the public to LTC records;

b. SamLII (Samoa Legal Information Institute) Project – Launched in June 2012 and aimed to have in place a Legal Information Institute  so that there is improved access to Justice by enabling free and improved access to Samoa Legal Information by Court Users, Judges, lawyers, those in the legal profession and the public;

c. Court Recording and Transcribing System – Installed in all twelve (12) Court Rooms in the Court House which means records are made available in a timely manner for the public and are more accurate;

d. Ministry of Justice & Courts Administration Building at Mulinu’u – Completed in 2011 housing the Ministry, Judiciary and Court Rooms under one roof improving staff work environment and accessibility by the public;

e. Reform of Police and Prisons – Implemented separation of functions and roles of the Police and Prisons with police focussing on traditional core business of providing professional services to maintain public order and security whereas prison services are focussing on rehabilitation of prisoners to ensure integration back into communities and to prevent re-offending.

 

HRPP DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES FOR 2016-2021

In formulating its development agenda for the next 5 years, the HRPP draws on its vast experience in driving Samoa’s development in last 30 years. We have listened carefully to the issues faced by our people and village communities through participation in village council meetings and other similar forums. We also draw on the priorities articulated in our Government’s 2012-2016 Strategy for the Development of Samoa and priority development interventions articulated in the respective sector plans. From these sources we derive the priority developments that will generate benefits for the national economy and further enhance the quality of life of the Samoan people. 

We will deliver on the things that matter to the people not only in the immediate future but also the medium to long term. Having been in power for over 30 years, many of these priorities will be a continuation or enhancement of ongoing work by this Government because these are still relevant and appropriate for our nation and people in the medium and longer term. 

Matamua Fred Amoa.

Matamua Fred Amoa.

The priority programs are as follows. 

1. Employment creation.

A key pillar of this manifesto at the macro level is the need to create employment opportunities for our young people coming out of school and the unemployed in the communities. An increase in the number of unemployed is the biggest threat to our socio and economic stability. The experience of other countries around the region suggests that need to design appropriate employment strategies to absorb the increasing number of youth coming out of school. To achieve that we will:

 

i. Continue to review the RSE scheme with our partners Australia and New Zealand on how to extend and expand the facility so that more Samoan youth can participate;

 

ii. Review the current policy frameworks and incentives schemes to determine how best Samoa can attract increased foreign and domestic investments in production, manufacturing and value adding industries to create employment opportunities for our youth;

 

iii. Review of the current apprenticeship scheme and vocational training programmes to provide more opportunities for our youth to be equipped with the necessary skills to start their own businesses and/or improve their chances of finding paid employment.

 

2. Education

Samoa’s most valuable resource is its people. The overarching goal for education development is a well-educated population.  Achieving high educational standards opens up unlimited opportunities for any person. As a responsible government, the HRPP will continue to invest significant resources in early childhood education, primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education as a key priority. The key strategies for education are as follows:

i. Continued support for “early childhood education” through legislating the compulsory age for Pre-School as well as offering better incentives for ECE teachers;

ii. The fee free education scheme will continue for all government and mission schools from Year 1 to Year 10. In line with this strategy, compulsory education will be enforced and the compulsory age will be raised from 14 to 17 years of age; Parents and village communities through the Village Councils of Matais and Women Committees have a key role in enforcing compulsory education;

iii. The government grant to support mission and private schools will continue;

iv. Integration of Special Needs into mainstream education will continue and strengthened;

v. Teacher quality will be enhanced through scholarship opportunities to study at NUS, USP or other universities abroad to elevate their qualifications. The new career and salary framework for teachers will be enforced in line with higher qualifications being achieved. As well, a Teachers Council will be established to provide support and guidance to the teaching profession. The Council will require all teachers to register to ensure every teacher has the appropriate skills and competence to teach;

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Speaker of the House, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and Speaker of the House, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao.
Tofilau Laauli and Atoa Louis.
Tofilau Laauli and Atoa Louis.
H.R.P.P supporters during their manifesto launch on Monday
H.R.P.P supporters during their manifesto launch on Monday
Matamua Fred Amoa.
Matamua Fred Amoa.
Some of the H.R.P.P candidates.
Some of the H.R.P.P candidates.
THE CROWD: H.R.P.P’s Election Manifesto launch at Sogi on Monday
THE CROWD: H.R.P.P’s Election Manifesto launch at Sogi on Monday

vi. Construction of Schools around the country will continue to ensure the school environment is safe and conductive to learning;

vii. Scholarships will continue to be made available for those who graduate from the Foundation year at NUS as well as for post graduate studies;

viii. Vocational Training will be made available through the establishment of community centres attached to Government Colleges around the country to provide easy access to the community.

 

3. Health

A healthy and educated population is a pre-requisite for effective and efficient management and development of Samoa. “A Healthy Samoa” is the overarching goal for health development in Samoa. The activities that will be pursued under the Health sector are:

i. Continue to improve Primary Health Care throughout the country with emphasis on PREVENTION through national immunization programs, screening program for rheumatic fever and NCD control programs. Awareness raising will continue through programs in schools, community involvement, and increased medical outreach programs in rural communities;

ii. Reinforce programs to eliminate the spread of mosquito borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika. This will be done through spraying source areas as well as cooperation between the Health Ministry and the Ministry for Women, Community and Social Development to impose a clean living environment to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds; 

iii. Continue to build capacity of health professionals (doctors, nurses dentists, pharmacists and allied health professionals) by increasing enrolments at the NUS School of Medicine and School of Nursing;

iv. Continue the program to cater for dialysis patients (including the dialysis facility in Savaii to cater for Savaii patients);

v. Implement a program to utilize the improved facilities now available at Motootua hospital to treat patients currently being sent overseas under the overseas medical scheme. This program will be supported by specialists from overseas to work hand in hand with our local medical professionals. Undertaking  most treatments locally with the support of  overseas specialists  will result in substantial savings  that can be reallocated to fund other priorities in the health sector;

vi. Improve the capacity and resources of the Tuasivi hospital as the main referral hospital in Savaii to ensure all necessary medical and health care are available at all times to patients;

vii. Continue a maintenance program to ensure the rural medical facilities are well equipped to service the needs of rural community patients;

viii. Under the Health Promotion Foundation, continue programs and campaigns to promote healthy living through regular exercise and healthy diets.

Some of the H.R.P.P candidates.

Some of the H.R.P.P candidates.

 

4. Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Samoan Economy. The relative share of agriculture in GDP has declined largely due to the extensive damage caused by weather related events and pests/disease infestation.  The challenge is to increase agricultural production to support food security and to meet the demands of the private sector for sustainable supplies to support commercial processing and value adding for the export market and for import substitution. The key priorities for the agricultural sector will be:

i. Multiply and distribute to farmers in a timely manner the planting materials of the selected superior taro varieties identified for the export markets;

ii. Rapidly expand coconut replanting on a national basis in response to a strong export demand for virgin coconut oil and oil based products as well as replacing the current aging stock.  Intercropping practices with cocoa, coffee and other fruit trees to raise yield per acre to be encouraged;

iii. Continue the program to control coconut pest and diseases through the implementation of different control measures, awareness raising programs and farmer trainings;

iv. Continue support to livestock production through periodical introduction of new breeds, the provision of on-site advisory services and enforce the hygienic slaughtering of animals through the use of the mobile abattoirs in both Upolu and Savaii;

v. Multiply the seeds and planting materials of the high yield varieties of fruits and vegetables and have them made available to farmers on demand;

vi. Continue to deploy and maintain fish aggregating devices (FADs) to help our local fishermen;

vii. Review how Samoa can maximise the commercial  benefits of its fisheries resources while ensuring long term management & sustainability of resources remain sound;

viii. Review current investment policy frameworks to encourage and promote greater private sector investment and involvement including in developing clusters of famers to improve efficiency in production, processing, marketing and export of agricultural products;

ix. Maintain close control of our borders to ensure the entry of unwanted biosecurity diseases is eliminated.

 

5. Infrastructure Development 

Infrastructure development is a key driver of economic activity and is also a major provider of employment opportunities in Samoa. It also provides critical support services to many other sectors. In the next five years, the HRPP will focus on the following infrastructural programs:

 

a. Water Sanitation

The key priority outcome being pursued is to have good quality water available to all consumers around Samoa 24hrs seven days a week at an affordable price. 

 

b. Energy

• Continue the rural electrification program to assist vulnerable families get access to electricity;

• Continue to promote the generation of electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, solar and wind in support of lower prices and our commitment to reducing the impact on climate change;

• Continue to critically review the efficiencies of all EPC operations to ensure consumers  receive the minimum cost per unit;

• Explore public-private partnerships in the energy sector to achieve best possible outcomes for Samoa in terms of energy efficiencies, reliability of supply, pricing and customer services.

 

c. Roads and Bridges 

• Complete the construction of Leone bridge; 

• Complete the construction of the Vaisigano bridge;

• Complete the Construction of River Protection Walls on both sides of Vaisigano River from Lelata to Vaisigano Bridge to mitigate against flooding;

• Complete the construction of the Maliolio bridge at Samalae’ulu to improve the transport network and safety for the travelling public  Savaii;

• The West Coast Road from Vaitele to Faleolo airport will be climate proofed;

• The cross island road from Apia to Vaoala will be widened with proper footpaths for the security of school children and pedestrians. Drainage will  be installed to protect the road from erosion;

• Continue the road maintenance program to ensure the road network around the country remains safe and serves the interest of our people;

• Continue the rural access road program in support of agricultural and village development.

THE CROWD: H.R.P.P’s Election Manifesto launch at Sogi on Monday

THE CROWD: H.R.P.P’s Election Manifesto launch at Sogi on Monday

 

d. Ports

• Construction of the Vaiusu Port to provide regional transhipment services and the upgrading of Matautu Wharf;

• Domestic ports will continue to be maintained to provide the best service and safety  to the travelling public;

• Compete the upgrade of the Faleolo Airport runway and associated ancillary services;

• The Faleolo International Airport New Terminal building will be completed providing aero bridges to facilitate embarkation and disembarkation of passengers.

 

e. Communication

• Samoa has reformed/deregulated its telecommunications sector with BlueSky and Digicel now delivering ICT services throughout Samoa;

• We will continue to promote ICT as the platform to move Samoa into the knowledge economy with our ICT infrastructure and applications to facilitate and improve  delivery of government services  such as in the priority areas of education and health; 

• Complete and commission the Tui-Samoa Cable providing cheaper internet connections with the outside world;

• Operationalise the National Broadband Highway to reduce the cost of communications within government and with the outside world;

• Continue to strengthen the capacity of the Office of the Regulator to ensure competition between service providers work for the benefit of the public.

 

6. Tourism

The main goal for tourism development is to promote the icon “Beautiful Samoa” as an attraction for tourists to visit.  Priorities for development are to:

i. Continue to aggressively promote Samoa as a friendly tourist destination through new product development to meet tourist expectations;

ii. Review the joint venture with Virgin Australia, and also examine different options to ensure the objectives of the government in terms of competitive airfares and frequent services between Apia and market destinations are met;

iii. Review other airline connections to Europe, US and Asian markets, to establish a cost effective way of providing connections;

iv. Continue to support the development of hotels through the incentives scheme so that rooms are available to cater for tourists;

v. Continue training in the hospitality area so that capacity is available locally to support the tourist industry.

 

7. Youth development

Our youth is the future of our country. Nurturing and developing them to become good leaders is critical for the effective management of the economy, organisation, church groupings, and even families. In the next five years, the focus will be to:

i. Continue to emphasise the importance of parents spending quality time with their children regularly to entrench in them the cultural values and biblical teachings to form the appropriate foundation of their lives;

ii. Continue to provide targeted training and support programs aimed at developing youth potentials such as formal training both academic and vocational, promoting participation in competitive sports, undertaking own businesses and creation of employment opportunities not only in Apia but in Salelologa township and in their communities as well;

iii. Encourage the Youth of Samoa to participate in national and community consultations on development plans and projects implementations in their respective districts and communities as well as at national level.

 

8. Community Development

Community development will focus on:

i. Strengthening and improving consultations/engagement with the communities on national and sector plans implementation to ensure community understanding and contribution to the formulation and implementation of these plans;

ii. Continuing to improve and strengthen village governance to take responsibility for the general welfare of the village community;

iii. Promoting community development through providing support services to community farming, small business development, youth development, village beautification etc.;

iv. Continuing the work of the Women’s Committees to take leadership in the sanitation and hygienic wellbeing of the village community;

v. Continuation of the Apia City Waterfront Development.

 

9. Climate Change

The impacts of climate change being felt all over the world is a timely reminder that we as a global community must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Last year in Paris, the global community came together and endorsed a framework to fight climate change. For Samoa this opens a window of opportunities to draw on global funds being made available under the Paris Agreement. The actions going forward are:

i. developing and designing  projects and programs in line with the guidelines of the global funds such as the Green Climate Fund to finance  development projects in response to climate change that are relevant and appropriate to the challenges and risks facing Samoa in climate change and sea level rise now and in the coming years;

ii. A priority for HRPP is to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the public sector to effectively design and manage the implementation of climate change related projects in a well-coordinated and integrated ‘whole of government’ approach to reduce wastages and inefficiencies.

 

10. Justice

The overarching goal for Justice developments focuses on building safer communities, with an increased focus on human rights, and a strengthened focus on increasing access to Law and Justice Services.

i. Community Law Centre – To establish the Community Law Centre to enhance Access to Justice for all. Services made available under this Centre will include free legal aid counsels and advisors and certifications;

ii. National Crime Prevention Operating Strategy – To finalise the National Crime Prevention Policy to serve as a guide for all crime prevention activities in Samoa as part of the Community Safety campaign. This policy aims to impact all people and establish a sense of ownership when it comes to taking responsibility for the safety of the community;

iii. Lands and Titles Reform – The Lands and Titles Reform aims to revise the existing legislation, procedures and services of the Lands and Titles Court in order to identify the gaps and lapses in its systems and service delivery as well as its strengths so that human rights are recognised with regards to family and village lands and titles and to address the issue of multiple Matai Titles and the consequential abuses caused;

iv. Mediation Centre – To establish a Mediation Centre to emphasise the importance of soālaupule or mediation which is a very crucial part of the Samoa culture;

v. Continuation of the Digitization to Savaii office – To extend the Digitization of Lands and Titles Court Records Project to Savaii with the recognition that what is good for Upolu is also good for Savaii;

vi. New Building for Savaii – To house under one roof the offices and Court Rooms following the model of the Mulinu’u Building. The aim is to make available in Savaii all services offered at Mulinu’u to ease public access to justice;

vii. Professionalism of Police Services – establishment of the Police Academy training facilities and equipment for new recruits and ongoing professional training for existing police force;

viii. Shift of Prison Services – the relocation of Tafaigata Prison to Tanumalala once financing is secured for the new prison facilities.

 

11. Others

i. Major review since Independence of Electoral Boundaries to ensure equity in Political representation;

ii. Construction of the New Parliament Building funded by AusAID and the Samoan Government.

 

12. Public Administration

The HRPP will in the next 5 years be reviewing the capacity and capability of the public sector to ensure public policies and priority development projects including major initiatives funded from global resources to address climate change and rising sea level risks are implemented in a coordinated and integrated manner consistent with the ’whole of government’ perspective to ensure Samoa and its people receive the full benefits of these projects. 

The Public Administration Sector Plan will also be reviewed to strengthen  the ‘whole of government’ coordination, cooperation and sharing of information across all public sector ministries and agencies as well as to simplify bureaucracy and red tape to improve timeliness and efficiency of service delivery and responses to the needs of our people.

Improve access to public administration services in Savaii by consolidating all government offices and agencies at Salelologa Township consistent with the HRPP belief that what is good for Apia is good for Savaii.

 

FINANCING OF THE HRPP MANIFESTO

Funding of the manifesto will be largely drawn from the regular budget primarily because a significant component of the development agenda are ongoing works and are already factored into the current budget and in future financial years.

Financing will also be drawn from our development partners who have generously contributed to our development over the past several years and have indicated their continuing support in the future. It should be understood that the Observation of Good Governance principles of Accountability and Transparency in all aspects of governing and continuity of responsible fiscal and monetary policies under conditions of continuing political stability are the usual prerequisites for these assistance flows to continue. 

We will also be negotiating for highly concessionary loans where needed to supplement our domestic revenue and external grants.

In Summary therefore, financing will be as follows:

i. Domestic revenue from VAGST, import duty, exercise taxes, corporate and personal income taxes, fees and charges;

ii. External grants from our development partners; and 

iii. Highly concessional loans of less than 1% per annum, long grace periods and long repayment periods.

For illustration financing for the 2015/16 financial year has the following components: 

i. Domestic revenue - $551.9 million

ii. External grant - $137.1 million

iii. Concessional loans - $  84.1 million

Total - $773.1 million

Going forward, it is expected that increased grant funding will be provided through the Climate Change facilities as the global community takes a more serious step to fighting climate change. It is expected that up to US$100 billion a year will be made available to the most vulnerable developing and Small Island States like Samoa to carry out programmes to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As a small island developing country, Samoa stands to receive significant funding support from these global facilities. 

 

CONCLUSION

This manifesto is a planning document only. No one can tell for sure what will happen five years from now or even tomorrow. Only the Almighty God can do that. All we can do is put in place a responsible plan to respond to the priority needs of the People of Samoa and pray to God to guide and help us implement it. That is what the HRPP has done.

This is a practical plan premised on the ability to finance it. The HRPP is not promising to unrealistically raise incomes or the pension pay outs because of Electioneering - DO EVERYTHING WITH NO NEED FOR NEW MONEYS IN THE BOX Strategy; primarily because it will bankrupt the economy. That will be irresponsible. We simply cannot afford to be irresponsible.

Encapsulated in this manifesto, is the spirit to earn our living. We cannot just rely on the generosity of our relatives living overseas and on our development partners who have been supporting our development efforts over the past years.

We all need to take serious responsibility for our development. The government needs to work, the churches need to work, the village communities and individuals all need to work hard to provide for our families. If we all work together, Samoa will be a thriving economy where everyone is happy. And I will ask you again to vote for the H.R.P.P.

 

© Samoa Observer 2016

Developed by Samoa Observer in Apia