Philippine repatriation will cost millions: PM

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the cost of the three repatriation flights to Philippines is approximately $4.6 million.

The Prime Minister when delivering his nation-wide address said together with the contribution from our three partners the total amount is almost $6.5 million.

“This cost does not include the cost borne by the Philippine Red Cross. It also does not cover the cost of care should any of our students require hospitalization,” he said.

The three partners that stepped in to help with the repatriation flights are Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA), Solomon Forestry Association (SFA) and Solomon Power Ltd.

The three partners will assist the government to meet the cost for hotel accommodation and logistics on the ground and transport in Manila.

Prime Minister Sogavare said SIPA contributed six hundred and four thousand and two hundred and fifty dollars [$604,250].

“This contribution will fully fund the accommodation and food for all the students scheduled for the second flight on 29 September 2020,” he said.

The Prime Minister adds that SFA contributed an equivalent of 1,588,608 Pesos (approximately SBD $267,756) to support the full cost of accommodation and meals for the first group of students scheduled to fly on 27th September 2020.

He said Solomon Power Ltd contributed $1 million dollars to help the government meet the accommodation cost of meals for the third hotel for an extended stay of 35 days until the scheduled departure of 27 October 2020.

“This will also support more than 40 bus hires to support the transfer of students from their accommodations to their designated hotels and to transport the students to the airport during their scheduled departure dates,” he said.

The Prime Minister said this exercise is not cheap.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the exercise costs a lot of money, much of which is unbudgeted which is the reason the government has reached out to our partners to assist us in such unprecedented times.

The Prime Minister also thanked these three partners on behalf of the government and the country for rising to the occasion and lightening the Government’s load.

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