Monday, December 24, 2012

ADB okays US$41mil navigational aids loan

Source: The National, Friday 21st December, 2012 THE Asian Development Bank has approved a US$41.5 million loan to improve navigational aids in Papua New Guinea. This will allow ships to move safely through the largely unchartered and often unsafe waters. “The maritime and waterways safety project will upgrade the existing navigational aids network, reducing risks such as the blockage of channels, which cause serious injury, loss of life, and environmental damage,” Xianbin Yao, director-general of ADB’s Pacific department, said in a statement. “The project will establish a safe and efficient maritime transport environment for national, regional, and international traffic,” he said. “Remote, rural populations are expected to be the main beneficiaries of the project, which will make maritime safety information more readily available and help develop maritime safety communities of practice. “Maritime transport services will benefit as monitoring and surveillance systems are renovated and search and rescue capacity improved. “More effective beacons or lighthouses are expected to boost local and international shipping and trade.” The National Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for maritime safety, search and rescue operations and maritime environment issues in Papua New Guinea. In 2008, the PNG government, NMSA and ADB, through the government’s rehabilitation of the maritime navigation aids system project, helped improve the shipping service environment by improving navigational aids along mainly international shipping routes. The project established a community engagement programme through which provincial and community lighthouse committees monitored and kept the navigational aids in good condition, boosting community ownership, while providing income generating opportunities and encouraging the participation of women in the project. NMSA general manager Chris Rupen said: “This project will have significant benefits for the 65% of PNG’s people who live in coastal regions.”

Friday, December 7, 2012

150 Filipinos nabbed

Source: The National, Thursday 06th December, 2012 By ABIGAIL APINA A TOTAL of 150 Filipinos were arrested and charged in Kimbe, West New Britain, yesterday for illegally staying in the country. They did not have valid passports and visas. Provincial police commander Samson Siguyaru said they were caught last Saturday on seven foreign fishing vessels belonging to Trans Pacific Fishing Corporation, a company based in Manila; TSP Marine Industries, also based in the Philippines; and Coco Enterprise Ltd, based in Port Moresby. He said the arrests had resulted from the Safe Papua New Guinea Operation carried out by PNG Customs and involved police, labour and employment, navy and quarantine officers. The officers went to Kimbe onboard PNG Navy Boat 02 and searched the vessels. Siguyaru said the team, while in Kimbe for its islands region operation, spotted the seven fishing vessels between Talasea Bulu Point and Bali Vitu Island. Siguyaru said although the vessels had valid licences to fish in PNG waters, the 150 crew members did not have valid passports and visas. Five of the seven vessels were escorted back to Kimbe harbour on Sunday afternoon while two escaped. Police had completed all their files with the necessary charges laid. The provincial police chief was also concerned that while searching the vessels, the officers came across some navy uniforms. “It worries me to know that some current serving military personnel were onboard the vessels. “I think it is only pro­per that the Philippines government, through its embassy, explain to the people of PNG why this is so. “The PNG government should also take this cri­tically and strengthen its intelligence service in the country,” he said. Siguyaru said a special court sitting had been arranged for all 150 crews to appear in the Kimbe District Court.