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TUESDAY 20TH APRIL 2021

Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (FRC), Hon. Peter Kenilorea (Jnr) third from right, FRC Committee Members & Secretariat and representatives from the Department of External Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs poses for a photo before the deliberations.

The Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) has held an informative session with representatives from the Department of External Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade on the 13th of April 2021 at the Parliament House.

The Foreign Relations Committee, Chaired by Hon. Peter Kenilorea (Jnr) invited key Trade staff from the Ministry to provide an insight into the following areas.

  • The processes involved in the signing and ratification of International Treaties/Regional Treaties/Bilateral treaties; and
  • - Update on the recent ratified trade frameworks that were aimed to facilitate trade flows (PACER Plus, Labour Mobility, IEPA, PRC market duty free & etc) and their progresses

Staff representing the Department of External Trade provide insight into the existing trade frameworks by making presentations on the following existing trade relations:

  • Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus - Signing and Ratification and Implementation
  • Labour Mobility - Recognized Seasonal Employment (RSE) with New Zealand since 2007 and Season Worker Program (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) with Australia in 2012 & 2018 respectively.
  • European Union – Pacific States interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EU-Pacific iEPA) – Accession and Implementation.
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland-Pacific interim Economic Partnership Agreement (UK-Pacific iEPA) – Accession and Implementation.
  • Peoples Republic of China (PRC) Preferential Market Access - Exchange of Notes and Implementation
  • Melanesia Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA) - Signing and Ratification and Implementation

The functions of the FRC as stipulated under Standing Order 71 B (b) to examine, make observations and recommendations on the accession to and signing and ratification of international treaties and conventions.

MONDAY 8TH MARCH 2021

Hon. Charles Sigoto The Parliamentary Health and Medical Services Committee.

The Parliamentary Health and Medical Services Committee (HMSC), Chaired by Hon. Charles Sigoto has held discussions with key staff of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) over the status of two lifesaving equipment at the National Referral Hospital (NRH).

Mammography and Computer Tomography scan.

Mammography is specialized medical imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system to see inside the breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, aids in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

Computer Tomography scan is a medical imaging technique that uses computer-processed combinations of multiple X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce tomographic (cross-sectional) images (virtual "slices") of a body, allowing the user to see inside the body without cutting. The personnel that perform CT scans are called radiographers or radiologic technologists.

The Committee was informed that the mammography has not be functioning sometimes in 2018 and plans to set up a CT scan machine 9 years ago has not took off as planned.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services team who were present at the roundtable stated that currently they are working very hard to link up with an engineer from Australia through virtual mode to fix the Mammogram as it needs a specialized engineer for proper installation.

Simultaneously, the Ministry is also working hard to complete the CT Scan project as there are two components to it that yet to be completed.

  • Construction of a building to house the CT scan which is only 70-80% complete
  • Procurement of associated equipment

The CT scan has been procured and is now in country but the Ministry will have to bid for another 11million dollars this year to purchase associated equipment such as a scan machine, computers, and monitoring equipment that will enable its use.

The CT scan has been procured and is now in country but the Ministry will have to bid for another 11million dollars this year to purchase associated equipment such as a scan machine, computers, and monitoring equipment that will enable its use.

During the discussions, staff of the MHMS assured the Committee that if everything goes to plan, this project should be completed, up and running by the end of this year.

However, the reduction of the Ministry’s budget for 2021 may affect the implementation of this important project, hence, they are uncertain about its completion.

Upon hearing this, the Committee urged the Ministry and government to prioritize these important projects at the highest level.

The Committee also encouraged the Ministry to tap into potential sources such as donors to support the implementation of these two important projects as they are vital to the health of citizens, at the same time, it is the Ministry’s priority to improve the status of the NRH.

The mammogram machine was the only one at the NRH and it was donated by the First Lady’s charity group in 2014. Between 2014 and 2018 a total of 1,000 women did tests for breast cancer using that machine. Data from those tests showed that almost 30% of young women between the age of 30 and 40 tested positive for breast cancer and some are lucky to get treated.

Radiologist, Dr Aaron Oritaemae during the discussions said, breast cancer is the second killer for women in the country.

The round table discussion was held on Thursday 25th February with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary and specialized Medical Practitioners such as Dr. Aaron Oritaemae and Dr. Joseph Bernard NRH’s Radiologists and Dr. Ivan Ghemu, DPP at the Paul Tovua Complex, Parliament House.

WEDNESDAY 14 OCTOBER 2020

The Parliamentary Education and Human Resources Training Committee (EHRTC) successfully concluded its hearing into the repatriation of Solomon Islands students studying at overseas academic institutions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday 12 October 2020.

The Committee had resolved in its deliberative meeting on the 12 of August 2020 to inquire into and report on the government’s Covid -19 pandemic repatriation of Solomon Islands Students studying in various academic institutions overseas and report to Parliament.

Hence, the Committee’s terms of reference (TOR) is particularly to:

  • Examine the government’s COVID-19 repatriation policy for students overseas;

  • Examine the administration of the policy;

  • Determine the capacity of quarantine facilities to accommodate repatriated students;

  • Examine the strategy to continue in-country academic education for repatriated students;

  • Determine the technological capacity to accommodate online study for repatriated students;

  • Examine the post-pandemic strategy to resend students back to overseas academic institutions; and

  • Any other related matters.

All information of the inquiry will not be forestall or preempted at this stage until the completion of the Committee’s report.

Thus, recommendations and evidences gathered during the hearings will be compiled in a report and the Committee will table it to Parliament for considerations when Parliament resumes on Monday 9 November 2020.

Witnesses or stakeholders who have appeared before the Education and Human Resources Training Committee (EHRTC) during the 5 days inquiry include the officials from the Ministry of Education and Human resources Development, National Disaster Operations Committee, COVID-19 Oversight Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a representatives of repatriated students.

THURSDAY 19TH DECEMBER 2019

Newly elected MP for East Makira, Hon. Lily Maefai taking her oath on the floor of Parliament.

The newly elected MP for East Makira constituency, Hon. Lily Maefai took her oath of allegiance in Parliament on Wednesday 18th December 2019, the final day of the second meeting of the 11th Parliament.

The meeting which ended with a debate on the motion of sine die saw Solomon Island’s third woman MP sworn into Parliament in order to participate in the proceedings of the House.

The Honourable Speaker of Parliament Hon. Patteson J. Oti welcomed Hon. Lily Maefai. Her win sets a new record for women’s representation in the 5o member house.

Since Solomon Islands gained independence 41 years ago, Hon. Lily is the fifth woman to be elected to Solomon Islands Parliament. The first women to be elected was Hilda Kari who represented North East Guadalcanal constituency in the 1980s.

The second was in 2012 where Vika Lusibaea won the North Malaita constituency seat in a by- election.

The other two women MPs are Hon. Freda Tuki Soriacomua representing Temotu Vatud constituency and Hon. Lanelle Olandrea Tanangada for Gizo - Kolombagara constituency.

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