Seasonal work registration for Savai'i canceled, Cabinet considers going online

Cabinet has moved to postpone the process of the registrations for Samoan citizens who are hoping to be a part of the Seasonal worker's schemes this year. 

Initially, the registration programmes were scheduled to be held this week, two days in Upolu and two days in Savai'i. 

The registrations for Upolu opened up this week on Monday, however, it was canceled, following a commotion and scenes of havoc at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa hall at Sogi. 

The registration in Savai'i was scheduled to commence on Thursday and Friday of this week. 

However, on Tuesday evening, the caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi announced that Cabinet had a special meeting to discuss other ways to carry out the registration programme to avoid what happened on Monday from happening again. 

"Cabinet had a special meeting this evening, where we invited those in charge of the programme [R.S.E.] and from the Ministry [of Commerce Industry and Labour] to discuss other ways we can do so we can carry out the registrations for those who wish to travel overseas for work," Tuilaepa said during a special programme with 2AP and TV1 on Tuesday evening. 

Tuilaepa said that "poor planning" was a factor that led to the incident that happened on Monday. 

"The truth is, they should [M.C.I.L.] have used another venue to host the registrations for Upolu.

"The government has other facilities that they should've used, which also has space for car parks to avoid traffic."

"But it's only natural that sometimes we would only know if something is wrong when it happens."

Tuilaepa also said that the Government will pay for the damages that were caused to the C.C.C.S. Hall at Sogi. 

"We discovered that there were a lot of loopholes after what happened on Monday and we need to look at it again carefully and review some of the ways to avoid what happened on Monday before we open up the registration again. 

"We don't blame [the] people for wanting to get this opportunity to go overseas. 

"We understand that they all want to get the opportunity as they have witnessed how other families have benefited from the R.S.E. [seasonal employment] schemes. 

"So we have discussed this, will do things differently from now on."

Tuilaepa said they have asked the Ministry to bring in a list of those who want to go overseas so Cabinet can assess and see who would be eligible to go.  

"For example, we understand that some of those who want to be a part of R.S.E. work scheme already have jobs here in Samoa, so they should not be given the opportunity to go overseas. 

"From now on, we will focus only on those who are unemployed as they really need this opportunity. 

"We also found out that there couples who have traveled overseas under the R.S.E. scheme leaving their ten children behind. So we will also assess that and make sure that that is not going to happen again." 

Tuilaepa then apologised to the public saying they are prioritising the safety of our people.

"We do apologise for the inconvenience and we will look at possible ways to avoid all the troubles. 

"Sometimes things can get out of control and can be very complicated. But we are working on that and we will find the best way to deal with it as there are areas that need to be fixed." 

The caretaker Minister for M.C.I.L., Lautafi Fio Purcell told the Savali news on Tuesday morning that they are also looking at the possibility of having online registrations for those who are interested.

“Yes this could be another option, to offer registrations online to avoid the repetition of what happened yesterday morning,” Lautafi told the Savali newspaper. 

“We are looking at this option, but if we decide to offer registrations online, applicants will still need to submit the hard copies of their supporting documents and have face-to-face interviews. 

“Another option is to take the registrations out to the districts to save gathering large crowds of people and to make sure the registration process is thoroughly carried out.”

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