DEBATE in PNG Parliament heated up yesterday when the Marape Government was questioned on its Coronavirus (Covid-19) funding to provinces and districts, plus the vaccination roll-out programme.
Pomio MP Elias Kapavore and Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu questioned Health and HIV/Aids Minister Jelta Wong on the vaccine roll-out, funding, and strategies to combat the surge in the Covid-19 cases around the country.
Numu said his province was facing a dire situation as the Covid-19 death toll continued to rise.
He queried the funding for the vaccination roll out plans, saying the province had to set aside K1.4 million to support the eight districts in addressing the pandemic.
Wong said he would respond in detail later to Numu.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah asked Wong how the Covid-19 funds had been used.
“Why are all the hospitals throughout the country overcrowded? What have you done with the funds?” Namah said.
Wong explained that the Government last year gave K2 million each to MPs to prepare for the Covid-19. But Namah said it was the same answer given by Prime Minister James Marape.
“I have proven that there was no K2 million for the hospitals. You are misleading Parliament,”
Namah said. Wong said K2 million had been given to each province and district, and it was the duty of MPs to ensure that the money was used for the Covid-19.
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird said only K501 million of the K5.7 billion allocated in the Budget had been made available for the Covid-19 programme.
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