M.P. calls for Govt. Representative salary increase
Member of Parliament for Vaimauga Sasa'e, Sulamanaia Tauiliili Tuivasa, has called on the Ministry of Finance to consider raising the salaries of Village Mayors and Women Representatives.
“They play a huge role in the governance of the villages and their responsibilities have increased, hence the need to increase their salaries.
"Especially now with the State of Emergency restrictions they are the ones implementing and enforcing these regulations in the villages,” said Sulamanaia.
He stressed the important role of the Village Council.
“They keep order in the villages and it is their role to assure peace transpires daily and, with them in place, there is no need to seek assistance from the [Ministry of] Police.”
Sulamanaia added that the Chiefs are, after all, pillars of any community and ensure there are no disputes.
“They should be given bonuses while they await an increase of their salaries; otherwise give them incentives to show they are appreciated for their hard work,” he said.
He claimed that the work of the Ministry of Health within villages is made smooth due to the assistance of active community leadership.
“The villages that have active Village Councils are the ones that don’t encounter any issues.”
Efforts made to get comments from the Minister of Women, Community and Social Development Tuitama Dr Leao Tuitama were unsuccessful as of press time.
Sulamanaia also commended the revival of Women’s Committees (Komiti Tumama).
The role of Komiti Tumama was reactivated after the measles outbreak in 2019. At that time, Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said the health sector needed strengthening, and especially with work in the communities.
At the time, a national measles appeal was launched, calling for nearly T$30 million to help with recovery across sectors.
The Ministries of Health and Women, Community and Social Development are driving the efforts to build up Komiti Tumama and their place in public health.
The national appeal recognised that "the strong partnership between Health and the Village Women’s Committees once provided a secure mechanism which ensured that the children’s immunization and general welfare programs are promoted, implemented and closely monitored".
Last year, Ministry of Finance Chief Executive Officer, Leasioiofa’asisina Oscar Malielegaoi said on the Government’s agenda is the $1.3 million made up from $3,600 dispersed to 365 villages to promote the Komiti Tumama of every village in the country.