PNGeans will not lose jobs: Duma

<p>The Minster said this when questioned yesterday by Northern Governor Gary Juffa over the agreement between the State and the Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) company.</p>

<p>Governor Juffa said facts in his possession prove that the company has a track record of mistreating employees, pushing out local business and charging ridiculous tariffs.</p>

<p>Governor Juffa questioned the Minister why a company with a terrible track record was given a terminal operation contract.</p>

<p>He said it is rumoured that the Company will replace 1,000 locals with Filipino workers, underpay staff and charge high tariffs which will rub off on ordinary citizens.</p>

<p>An apparently irritated Duma called on Juffa to be a responsible leader and to present facts and not rumours, of which the Governor interjected, defending his claims.</p>

<p>Duma said no jobs will be lost and the Governor should specify which companies or state entities he is referring to.</p>

<p>Minister Duma said the awarding of the contract was an exhaustive process which took three years and not within a few months.</p>

<p>He said the ICTSI was a credible operator and highlighted that it was currently operating the Melbourne Port in Australia.</p>

<p>Duma said the country recognised that the PNG Ports Corporation was not making the returns it should and ICTSI aims to improve services and revenue from the ports.</p>

<p>He added that the company will not charge high tariffs, as they have agreed through consultation with the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) on the tariffs to pay.</p>