By EDDIE OSIFELO
THE government has commenced its repatriation plan to ship people out of Honiara to other provinces including the outer islands.
This happened after Governor General Sir David Vunagi declared the Public State of Emergency on Wednesday which will be in effect until Tuesday, March 31 following the threat of coronavirus (covid-19) on the country’s national security.
A state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it would normally not be permitted to undertake.
A government can declare such a state during a natural disaster, medical pandemic/epidemic, civil unrest, or armed conflict.
Under our Constitution, a State of Public Emergency is a declaration made by His Excellency, the Governor-General pursuant to Section 16(2) of the Constitution.
The declaration under the Constitution invokes the Emergency Powers Act [cap 11], which provides that the Governor-General may make regulations as appear to him to be reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists in Solomon Islands.
The Regulations will empower the Prime Minister to make Orders that are necessary for the Government to perform certain actions during the Emergency Period.
The Regulations will be signed and gazette as soon as the necessary legal clearances has been made.
Ministry of Infrastructure Development permanent secretary, Steven Maesiola said the repatriation is in line with the seven days’ notice announced by the Governor General.
Maesiola called on all ship owners to contact him on 7870128 to discuss their schedules and arrangement the government will support them by way of subsidies during this exercise.
“I need information from them to start scheduling ships to their destinations in the provinces.
“All passengers will pay fares except students which the ministry will subsidise their fares,” he said.
Some of the companies that involved in the exercise are: Anolpha Enterprise Ltd, Isabel Development Company, Franjti Shipping Company Limited, Small Malaita Shipping Company Limited, Falema Shipping Company Ltd, Fair Trade Shipping Ltd, Gulatata’e Shipping Enterprise Ltd, Vatud Shipping Company Ltd, Vatate Investment and Development Company Ltd, Rennell & Bellona Shipping Ltd, Ulawa Ugi Development Company Ltd, Haura Shipping Company Ltd and Lauru Shipping Ltd.
Island Sun understand some ships have left to other provinces since Tuesday already.
By EDDIE OSIFELO