Prime Minister Hon. Danny Philip on Tuesday has officially opened the Western Provincial Assembly Meeting in the provincial capital, Gizo.He was invited by the Western Provincial Premier Hon. George Lilo and his executive.
Speaking at the Assembly Meeting opening, Prime Minister Philip has hailed Western Province for their improved revenue earnings.
"I am pleased to learn that your initial draft budget has shown that your local revenue collection has improved tremendously, and that your own revenue represents 44% of your total projected revenue. Your ability to collect revenue has improved by 42%, indicating a marked improvement in your revenue mobilization efforts," Prime Minister Philip said.
"My government would encourage anything that will lead to the improvement of living conditions to our rural communities. I therefore encourage your Provincial Assembly not only to approve your plans and budgets, but to put in measures that will monitor the implementation of these plans."
He added that Western Province is a very rich Province that has contributed much to the development of this Nation in terms of its natural and human resources.
Prime Minister Philip also told the Assembly that Western Province has great potential in influencing changes which can be beneficial to the nation.
He encouraged provincial leaders to uphold principles of good governance to ensure that leadership at all levels of the government reflect the highest standard in conduct and quality decisions, affecting the affairs of the people of this country.
"One way of doing this is to strengthen the governance institutions. I have no doubt that Western Province has laid the foundation in that regard," he said.
Western Province as one of the big provinces in the country is host to many important productive sectors such as Agriculture, fisheries and logging and tourism.
Prime Minister Philip said the national government will continue to encourage the development of Agriculture for food security, and fisheries development of inshore fisheries in partnership with local Fisheries.
On forestry Prime Minister Philip acknowledges the contribution made by Western Province in this sector which has provided stability in the GDP, growth in government revenue through export duty and job creation in rural areas.
As a substitute to logging, the Prime Minister Philip says the NCRA government recognizes the potential for Tourism development in the country. It is the government's policy to develop the Tourism Industry.
"I am pleased that Western Province is leading the development of Tourism, for which I applaud those concerned in the Western Province who are making efforts to be partners in this industry,"
The Prime Minister and his delegation returned to Honiara late Tuesday afternoon.