The Pro-Active Voice of the Morobe Business Sector

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From the President’s Desk – 27th June 2014


In today’s newspaper, and over the last few weeks there have been many reports that the NEC has approved an increase in the Minimum Wage from K2.29 to K3.20 per hour.

The PNG Chamber of Commerce has not been formally informed of the Government’s decision nor has it been able to confirm this announcement. Thomas Abe the new CEO of the PNGCCI said in a message to me yesterday said – “I fronted up at NEC to get a copy of NEC Decision but no one was in the office- I left a letter there. I called John Kali of DPM, he advised he would send a copy as soon as he received his copy, nothing has been forthcoming since. I was advised it has to be gazetted first before implementation. I have called NEC Secretary several times and was advised that it would be faxed to us. I followed up again and found out their fax is out of order and email does not function. Frustrating but we will follow up again.”

The Employers Federation stated in Circular N0 19th June-Minimum Wage to its members, “The process for the approval of a new Minimum Wage is that the Government, through the National Executive Council, considers the Determination and either accepts or rejects it. If accepted the Determination then goes to the Industrial Registrar’s Office for registration and subsequent gazettal. Only then can the Federation advise and or inform you of the start date of the Determination, its enforcement etc.”

The Federation at this time is checking with sources at Prime Minister’s Office and the Labour Department as well to ascertain the validity of this article. One way or other we will advise our members when the Minimum Wage is gazetted, and what provisions are contained therein.


We request that you advise all staff to be very careful when they forward on any emails that come to them from friends and associates, with certain announcements about corruption and protests. This week we experienced very damaging rumours that circulated the whole country.

The rumours emanated from an article from a popular Blog site that had been copied onto an email and sent to so many recipients that it soon went viral. The trouble is that the information and claims made whilst being quite spectacular were unchecked, mostly untrue and designed to raise panic in certain sectors of the community.

On both Tuesday and Thursday the LCCI office was in virtual lockdown, as all the phones were clogged and the email just ran red hot. The calls and messages were mainly from your employees wanting to check on the validity of the gloom and doom stories that were circulating.

They really wanted to know if it was going to be safe to come to work as they might not be able to get home again. What was the real intention of the bloggers – was it to cause panic so that most businesses would close down? Well this nearly worked. We ask that you advise your employees of the dangers of sending on these types of messages. Why the employees kept contacting the Chamber of Commerce, is because we have gained the reputation of being the quasi experts on circulating factual data about protests and disruptions in the City, and we are happy to keep on circulating this information.

It does however make it difficult when we cannot contact our normal sources because all phones and emails are clogged. We have built up a network of contacts, from a wide range of sources so we can validate the facts and provide as accurate and balanced information to our members, in the realisation that in these circumstances accurate communications are vital.


We are happy to advise that some of the Lae Businesses have come up with the initiative of taking the Private Sectors assistance in the battle against crime a step further, which has resulted in the commencement of the LAE COMMUNITY SECURITY NETWORK. The network has had two well attended meetings so far, and recently commenced a Facebook page, which you are invited to observe and join.

The Network works on the fact that the Private Sector has many resources that can be put to good use to assist the Police in their increasingly difficult battle to fight crime in the City. The LCSN has not kicked any real goals yet but will become of significant benefit to Police as it gets better organised and set-up.

If you want more information about the LCSN please reply to –


Click here for a letter from the Acting Chief Statistician which refers to the “2013 SURVEY OF WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE REPAIR OF MOTOR VEHICLES”, which is a sample survey form that will be distributed by an authorised staff member of the NSO to all businesses in Lae to be completed in the next few weeks. Whilst this form refers to the 2013 survey, it is in fact being used for the 2014 Survey.

There is a form to be completed by all industries, even though this form specifies Wholesale & Retail Trade and repair of Motor Vehicles only. Please ensure that when these officers come to your company, that you have the form completed as requested. The information that you provide will be treated as confidential, but is required by the Government to keep track on business and trends, for reporting and planning needs.

Biometric reportPlease don’t get the National Statistical Survey confused with the Lae District Biometric Registration. The Biometric registration programme was announced in this article in the newspapers this week , and is a project funded by the Lae District to electronically register and record the electronic information for the citizens of Lae.

The National Government has also announced a Biometric Registration system in preparation for the National Elections and the National Census. The Lae programme is run separately to the National system. Unfortunately the LCCI hasn’t received any advice to date to pass onto the member companies in relation to their obligations for the Biometric Registration of their employees– even though this has been promised. As soon as we get this information we will circulate it, with our comments of course.