By Gary Hatigeva
MEMBER of Parliament for East Honiara and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Douglas Ete has called for the review of the Rural Constituency Development Funds (RCDF) and suggested for it to be distant from Members of Parliament.
This was in response to statements made regarding the use of the RCDF, being highlighted as one of the main reasons why it has forced a recorded high in the number of voters moving away from constituencies to re-register in others.
Speaking before the passage of a motion of special adjournment on the floor of parliament on Monday, the East Honiara MP stressed that RCDF continues to be deemed one of the reasons why people are moving from their constituencies to others.
This according to earlier concerns from disgruntled electorates is in the manner of looking for members who will listen to their needs, as far as usage of the funds is concern.
This issue is something many also highlighted to be one of the main concerns, which electorates believed is being used only on those close to the MPs and not all.
He then suggested that with this issue raised on the funds, there must be policies surrounding RCDF in the new house so it can be distant from members of parliament.
“This is because complaints that arise are directed towards members based on the RCDF and this is something that is talked about in Hotels, Bars, and on the streets.
“There needs to be a thorough review in the matter of RCDF and I therefore ask any new government to review the policy on it.
“I’m saying this because it has affected votes and elections and many citizens in the country are pointing fingers at MPs who have direct hands on the RCDF, saying they have been using it to win votes,” the outspoken East Honiara MP said.
This issue has been making headlines in the local media as people felt the manner in which these funds are being handled and directed, are a big problem for constituents, who suggested that there is unfairness in the disbursement of the RCDF as a lot from outside the constituency are getting the bigger share or in most cases, all.
Thus, denying the actual people of the constituency the opportunities to benefit from it (RCDF) and other development programs, and the people are of the locked views that because of their direct linkage to this fund, MPs are continuously being blamed, which Ete thought is arguable and something should be done about.