Economy Archive November 2020

Theresa Sirilo showed High Commissioner Strahan her cocoa farm and how cocoa pods are harvested.

Australian Support Helps Solomon’s Cocoa Shine

Solomon Islands cocoa company, Cathliro Commodity Development Limited hosted a visit by the Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan last week on 26 November.
For Julian Maetoloa, Director and owner of Empire Barber, Facebook is the main platform to communicate with his customers. “Empire uses Facebook for marketing and advertising the products and services we provide. Shutting it down will have a huge impact on our business,” said Maetoloa.

Young Entrepreneurs Call on Cabinet to Reconsider Facebook Ban

The Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands (YECSI) calls on Cabinet to reconsider its stance on the proposed temporary ban on Facebook and highlight the need for Cabinet to conduct robust dialogue with stakeholders before making a decision to that effect.
“I have a poor background in my education before I got into the cocoa export business, but then I found Facebook, it was easy and a cheap way for me to promote my business both in country and oversea."

“Think Before You Act!” How Facebook Ban Will Affect Small Business

A young local woman who is doing cocoa export to countries around the World, including other Pacific Islands, says the government’s decision to ban Facebook in the country will affect her business.
He said in the words of Malcolm X, ‘the media is the most powerful entity on earth’.

PM Says Media Irresponsible

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on the media to be responsible in how they disseminate information.
Solomon Islands experience sea level rise at an average of 8mm per year, well above global projections. The rise is a threat to communities living close to the coastline.

Walk the Talk on Climate Change: Kenilorea

The government is being urged to redouble its efforts on climate change issues.
It is a prerequisite that incoming travelers complete the Public Health Declaration Form and return to the Solomon Islands Government Health Authorities 5 clear days before travelling. Anyone who fail to comply and respond truthfully will be penalized with a $10,000 fine or 5-years imprisonment or both.

Government Confirms December Repatriation Flight

The Government Covid-19 Oversight Committee has confirmed the next repatriation flight on December 6 for our nationals overseas.
Approvals for milling, furniture, crops and vegetable farming is expected to be completed this week.

ESP UPDATE: Gov’t Continues with ESP Support

The Government’s Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) Committee continues to progress the implementation of the ESP support this week.
The persons have undergone the required number of tests, all tested negative and have completed a period of fifty-one (51) days in quarantine.

60 Complete Mandatory Quarantine in SIG Facilities

A total of sixty (60) persons have graduated from different SIG Quarantine Stations after completing their mandatory quarantined periods last week.
The Late Dr John Balavu with the Prime Minister of PNG James Marape during his visit to Honiara.

Solomon Islands Government Conveys Condolence to PNG on the Passing of its High Commissioner

The Solomon Islands government has conveyed its condolence to the government and people of Papua New Guinea on the passing away of PNG’s Acting High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, H.E. Dr John Balavu.
"We urge the Ministry responsible that when a well-reasoned holiday is to be gazetted, an advance notice period of at least one month be given.”

Lack of Consultation & Short Notice for Public Holiday Irks Businesses

Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on behalf of its members has expressed disappointment over the lack of consultation and the short notice given in regards to the public holiday on Wednesday 18 November, 2020.
Charles Wesley Daveta from Lale village, Ranongga Island, in the Western Province, sits in front of his cocoa shed.

Economic Stimulus Confusion

The roll out of the much-anticipated economic stimulus package has caused confusion, particularly for those in the rural areas.
“I’m very happy for this announcement and I’d like to thank Note Printing Australia for a marvelous job. We look forward for continuous collaboration with NPA,” says CBSI Governor Dr. Luke Forau.

Solomon Islands $5 Note Earns Global Recognition

The Solomon Islands’ polymer $5 won international acclaim overnight when the banknote’s SUSI Flip™ feature was named Best New Currency Feature or Product by the International Association of Currency Affairs (IACA).
All persons travelling or intending to travel to Solomon Islands are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with travel requirements.

Government Approves Repatriation Flights for Citizens in Kiribati, Fiji, and Philippines

The Chair of COVID -19 Oversight Committee, Mr James Remobatu has issued a Repatriation Advisory Notice No.14 to all Solomon Islands citizens and non-nationals residing overseas on the next Government Repatriation Plan and wish to announce two government approved repatriation flights scheduled for 19 and 24 November 2020.
“We view social media as a key vehicle with which to maintain our tourism profile in the current COVID-19 environment which has seen our international visitation grind to a complete halt,” Tuamoto said.

Tourism Solomons Calls on Government to Reconsider Proposed Facebook Ban

Tourism Solomons has called on the Solomon Islands Government to urgently reconsider a proposed ban of Facebook.
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Dr Lachlan Strahan, congratulated the graduating cohort, saying “skills are so important, that’s how people build a new life, how they build a job, a career and how they build things for their family.”

APTC Celebrates Historic Virtual Graduation in Solomon Islands

The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in Solomon Islands welcomed its newest cohort of 51 graduates today in a virtual graduation ceremony.
Members of the business community have shared their concerns with SICCI yesterday while others opposed the decision to temporarily ban Facebook.

Businesses Concern Over Proposed Facebook Ban

Struggling businesses have expressed concerns over Government’s proposal to temporarily ban the world’s biggest social networking site ‘Facebook’ in Solomon Islands.
The repatriation flight by Garuda Airways will be the first of its kind from the Asia region since the country closed its international borders.

Garuda Airways to Repatriate Indonesians from Solomon Islands

A charter flight by the Indonesian government is expected to arrive in Honiara today.
"I would like to thank the health ministry and the disaster management office for taking the lead and initiating the work to make this possible," Walter said.

Choiseul Now Has A Quarantine Site

Choiseul Province now has a quarantine site, which comes as a huge relief to people in the area.
In most crossings the circular culverts that hold up the bridges have collapsed, making them dangerous for vehicles and pedestrians alike.

Bridges and Crossings in North Malaita in Desperate Need of Repair

People of the northern region of Malaita province have called on responsible authorities to fix and upgrade several bridges and crossings that have been damaged by heavy rain and flooding over the past few months.
All flights into Solomon Islands are Government managed repatriation charter flights. Passengers wishing to travel will need to contact their nearest Solomon Islands Government embassy or mission for details.

Solomon Airlines to Operate Repatriation Flights for Citizens Stranded in Kiribati and Fiji

Subject to regulatory approval, Solomon Airlines will operate a series of further repatriation flights later this month, to bring more stranded Solomon Islands citizens home from Kiribati and Fiji and to enable foreign nationals to depart Solomon Islands to Australia and other onward international destinations.
USA Public Affairs Supports MASI

USA Public Affairs Supports MASI

The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) has been awarded a funding of more than $SBD 70,000 towards MASI's project to foster media contacts and collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report says the pandemic could further increase the level of nonperforming loans (NPLs) and losses for the banking sector due to travel restrictions and business disruptions.

Financial Sector Remains Vulnerable: CBSI

The Solomon Islands financial sector remained vulnerable to the impact of pre and post COVID-19.
The Ministry says that work on establishing COVID-19 testing capabilities in the provinces is also ongoing with Kilu’ufi hospital a top priority at the moment.

Health Ministry Explains NZ Funding Support

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) confirms that the 3 million NZD (approximately $15 million SBD) COVID-19 funding support from the New Zealand government was deposited into the Ministry’s account in August and utilization of the funds have already commenced.
Guadalcanal was the site of fierce fighting between Japanese and Allied forces, and is still littered with shells and bombs left behind - a lack of funding has impeded removal efforts to date.

Bomb Demolition Exercise, Police Warns Public to Keep Out

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team will conduct a live demolition of bombs at Hells Point, in the Alligator Creek East of Honiara tomorrow, Friday 12th November 2020.
This is the first site visit made by the HMSC – the aim is to get firsthand information on the standards and safety protocols being established at quarantine sites.

Parliament Health and Services Committee Visits Refurbished Multipurpose Hall

Members of the health and medical services committee (HMSC) of Parliament visited the newly refurbished multipurpose hall, the latest addition to declared quarantine sites in the country.
Wale says the status of the NZD3 million (SBD15m) funding support provided by the New Zealand government for Kilu’ufi hospital is not clear.

Wale Calls on Government to Explain $15m NZ Funding

Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the government to explain the status of the NZD3 million (SBD15m) funding support provided by the New Zealand government.
The Permanent Secretary clarified that imprests made to several senior public officers was for the payment of those youths engaged to conduct this price monitoring exercise.

PS Finance Explains Youth Engagement Under ESP

Youths engaged under the economic stimulus package (ESP) are being paid $150 daily allowances.
"I urge my colleague police officers to be role models for our people and do the right thing – do not drink and drive," Superintendent Satu said.

Police Officer Arrested and Charged with Drink Driving

Traffic officers of the Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) have arrested a police officer for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol in Honiara on 7 November 2020.
Indonesian Vessel Unlawfully Enter Solomon Waters

Indonesian Vessel Unlawfully Enter Solomon Waters

Members of the public living in coastal communities in the Western, Choiseul, Isabel, Malaita and Renbel Provinces have been advised to look out for an Indonesian registered vessel the Metro Teratari that has entered Solomon Islands territorial waters through the western border with Papua New Guinea without the approval of the authorities.
“The many negative energies we endured this year is just beyond what we can handle. Please forgive us for our many weaknesses. For us, we love you all and are looking forward to working together with you to move our country forward. Let us continue to fight together with the right spirit."

“We Apologize for the Many Misunderstanding,” Students from Philippines Set to Leave Quarantine

After spending 41 days in the Quarantine Stations, a group of returning student from the Philippines sent out an appreciation note thanking all frontline agencies and individuals involved in the operations.
“Furthermore, spreading of rumours during state of emergency is an offense under the current Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 3) Regulation 2020 with a fine of 10,000 SBD and/or 5 years imprisonment,” the statement reads.

Rumours of Covid-19 Patients and Isolation Ward Guards Sharing Toilets is False: MHMS

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) National Health Emergency Operation Centre (NHEOC) would like to assure the public that rumours of National Referral Hospital’s (NRH) isolation ward security guards sharing toilets with covid-19 patients is outright false.
Eric points out the area where his house once stood.

Young Father Starts Over After Family Home Demolished

“I was helpless, I just stood there and watched as my home was demolished,” said Eric Saru, a 30-year-old father of four.
Dr Zelalem Taffesse of UNICEF with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Ms Pauline McNeil and her staff during the handover.

Reaching Out to Children in Remote Communities

UNICEF Pacific is pleased to hand over two new boats, as well as office equipment, today to the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), Ms Pauline McNeil, to be used by Social Welfare Offices in Choiseul, Makira and Ulawa Provinces.
She says that as a person living with a disability, she always prefers to talk about what she does and who she is - and not focus on her disability.

Talk About the Person Not the Disability

Melvin Vouga is 27 years old and comes from Marau on the eastern end of Guadalcanal. Melvin was only 4 years old when she was in a serious vehicle accident, she was gravely injured which resulted in a permanent disability.
Customers in New Zealand holding Solomon Islands cocoa products.

Solomon Cocoa Products Launched in New Zealand

Solomon Islands cocoa company, Cathliro, achieved international success last month, launching a range of cocoa products in New Zealand. Cathliro was supported in this venture by the Australian Government initiative, Strongim Bisnis.
The sprawling informal settlements along the outskirts of Honiara continues to grow, with recent studies suggesting that those living in informal settlements will soon outnumber those on formal registered land.

No Special Favours on Land Matters: McNeil

The population in Honiara is growing at an alarming rate.
Commissioner Mangau explained that, “Like any other law enforcement agency, the RSIPF is focusing on its operational capability response by seriously considering the establishment of a Drone Support Unit.”

Drones to Boost RSIPF Operational Capability

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force’s (RSIPF) operational capability will be boosted following handover of six drones by the Australian Government through the Solomon Islands Police Development Program (SIPDP). The handover occurred during a brief ceremony at RSIPF Headquarters in Honiara yesterday.
Despite being low risk, they have also tested for Covid-19 and all have turned negative results before their release.

Frontliners Rejoins Families After Serving Quarantine

The first deployment of frontliners who served at the quarantine centers and the Isolation Units at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) are now rejoining their families after being considered low risks.
All key indicators suggest an incredibly challenging situation through to the end of the financial year.

Government Will Repatriate Final and Graduating Students Only

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the government can only repatriate final year and graduating students from various regional tertiary institutions - everyone else will remain.
This tragic death of a young footballer is a cruel reminder of the dangers that lurks in our waters and oceans.

Crocodile that Ended the Life of Young Footballer Caught and Killed

The crocodile that tragically cut short the life of young 13-year-old footballer, Kisina Kuliusu Damutalau, was caught and killed by villagers in Havulei in Isabel Province over the weekend.
The nurses started their sit in protest on Friday and called it off yesterday.

Nurses Return to Work Today

The sit in protest by nurses working within the emergency zones of Honiara and Guadalcanal has been cancelled with nurses set to resume work today.