The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) has assured the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) of its support on behalf of businesses during this time of State of Public Emergency (SOPE) as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
This was iterated during a SICCI-RSIPF Executive Group meeting on Wednesday 6 May at the Rove Police Headquarters which was attended by representatives from both SICCI and RSIPF.
The SICCI delegation was led by Vice Chairman, Ricky Fuoo, who chaired the meeting together with Acting Police Commissioner, Mostyn Mangau.
The Executive Group was established under the signed MoU in 2018 which provides a conduit through the setup of the Executive Group comprising of representatives of both parties to explore, discuss and resolve areas of common interest.
“The Chamber, of behalf of our members, acknowledge the good work of the RSIPF during this period of State of Emergency and we are committed to continue this partnership dialogue and collaboration especially in getting vital information from our Police down to the business community,” SICCI Vice Chairman, Mr Fuoo, said.
SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Atenasi Ata also provided a brief update for the Acting Police Commissioner and his senior officials of the work the Chamber has been doing on behalf of business and industry during this time of uncertainties.
Among the SICCI updates, was the facilitation of applications from businesses looking to remain operational during a potential lockdown if or when the country records its first case of COVID-19.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Mostyn Mangau clarified the process is that businesses through SICCI will apply for exemption to the Oversight Committee within the Prime Minister’s Office to operate during a total lockdown period.
The Oversight committee will act as a screening body which will pass on selected businesses for exemption to the Commissioner of the RSIPF who will make the final decision in regards to granting businesses exemption to continue operating during a potential lockdown.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Mangau assured businesses and communities in general that their COVID-19 Operation is to provide support to Government agencies during the SOPE and at the same time continue policing and security duties as bound by law of the country.
The Acting Commissioner also highlighted that of specific focus at the moment is the country’s western border with Papua New Guinea where the RSIPF have beefed up its capability by increasing number of officers for border operation.
The meeting noted that the Acting Commissioner recommends the inclusion of SICCI rep for NDOC’s Safety and Security Sector Committee on behalf of private sector. This aligns with SICCI objective to ensure accurate and up to date information on policing and security matters is relayed to businesses.
SICCI Vice Chair, Mr Fuoo expressed appreciation to the RSIPF for its Operation COVID-19 as well as continuing essential duties like traffic monitoring.