Govt. counters, reveal its plans
A $400million facelift to the Faleolo International Airport with aero bridges and associated ancillary services is one of the luxurious developments the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P) will carry out if they return to power after the General Elections.
The plan is one of the many developments revealed in the 19-pages Manifesto launched by the H.R.P.P at their Sogi headquarters yesterday.
“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,” the Manifesto reads.
“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 H.R.P.P has done. This is a practical plan premised on the ability to finance it.
“The H.R.P.P 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.”
Caretaker Prime Minister and Leader of H.R.P.P, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, said the Faleolo Airport upgrade is a major project for Samoa.
“Once the terminal and the upgrade is completed, Faleolo will be the number one international airport in the Pacific,” said Tuilaepa. “It will be better than the one in Fiji or Tonga.”
But that is not all.
Tuilaepa is also promising a further review of constituency boundaries.
Speaking about the renovation of Parliament’s Maota Fono being funded by the government of Australia, Tuilaepa said they have received a lot of requests to review the constituencies and the rolls for the election.
“At the moment there are a lot of applications from constituencies saying they have too many people on their rolls, asking if this is not the time to change this,” he said.
“Some people are living in Savai’i and others in Upolu and yet they are in one constituency.
“Others live far away in Uafato but are (in the same roll) as those living near Lufilufi.”
Tuilaepa criticised Members of Parliament who are opposed to reviewing the boundaries of constituencies and cleaning up the electoral rolls.
“Why not?” asked Tuilaepa.
“The Bible says that if you know what to do but don’t do it that is a sin. That is why when the H.R.P.P. knows what should be done, they do it. But all of this depends on having enough people with the expertise to do so with honesty.”
Other plans highlighted in the manifesto includes a new wharf at Vaiusu in the next five years. Tuilaepa recalled that since 1970, the wharf at Matautu has faced problems with the port not being able to accommodate bigger cruise ships. The H.R.P.P will fix that, he said.
The Prime Minister reminded that the H.R.P.P has been in power for eight consecutive General Elections. That is 34 years of government.
Looking ahead, most of the promises in the manifesto are the continuation or enhancement of ongoing projects by the government.
Some of these works were highlighted in a video where developments in the past five years ranging from road constructions to new buildings, and achievements like the U.N.S.I.D.S and historical All Blacks game were shown.
It also showed signing of projects with donor countries, works done during the tsunami 2009 and cyclone Evan that hit the country.
Tuilaepa reminded the crowd of more than 200 supporters of the political party that if you want to understand the future, we must learn from the past. In pointing to the video, Tuilaepa said words are nothing. Actions and proof speak louder, he said. “That is the picture of the next parliamentary term. It will be the continuation of works.” Another priority is employment creation. Under the manifesto, it explained how a key pillar at the macro level is the need to create employment opportunities for young people coming out of school and the unemployed in the community.
It stated an increase in the number of unemployment is the biggest threat to socio and economic stability. Such employment can be achieved with continuing to review the Regional Seasonal Employment scheme with Australia and New Zealand on how to extend and expand the facility to allow more Samoans to participate.
Another way is to review the current policy frameworks and incentives schemes as well as reviewing the apprenticeship scheme and vocational programmes to equipped youths with necessary skills to start their own businesses and improve their chance in finding employment.
Next on the list is education and health.
Tuilaepa draw the relationship between being educated and being healthy.
From his explanation, such developments go together where education is needed to assist families and their developments.
On the other hand health is also crucial.
“If you are well educated and yet you have many diseases it won’t be long until you die,” said Tuilaepa. “But if you are healthy and uneducated you wont be no different from those people with good build that just roam the streets but are no use.
“That is the importance of the link between education and health. Our children should be well educated and there should be teachers in much need fields like science because it is important in the development of Samoa.
“In health we have good hospitals but we need specialised doctors…at the moment we only have general practitioners and no specialists.”
Tuilaepa pointed out this is the reason why millions are spent on patients being sent overseas to get treatment because Samoa does not have specialised doctors.
Moving on to farmers, Tuilaepa emphasised that Samoa has never gone through a famine since the H.R.P.P. came into power. This is due to the government placing emphasis on programmes about food security.
In the water sector, Tuilaepa said the next parliamentary term the political party aims to ensure that treated water is supplied to each household 24 hours of 7 days of the week.
In terms of electricity, he added Samoa is moving towards renewable energy using local resources to avoid buying expensive diesels.
These energy can be generated by the sun, water and wind.
Other priorities of H.R.P.P. include tourism, justice sector, youth development, community development, climate change and public administration.
In funding the manifesto the party is large depending on regular budget and funds from development partners as well as concessionary loans where needed to supplement domestic revenue and external grants.