Dear Editor,

Allow me to share my disappointment on this paper over the government’s handling of their decision for repatriated seasonal workers to pay their own quarantine cost.

The two people featured in the presentation of the Current Affairs on Thursday evening were the Commissioner of Labor and the Director of Public Health. Don’t get me wrong, I accept the economic rationale which the Commissioner and the Director made a lot of effort to clarify. That was a great piece of talk.

Why did they not admit to their mistake in setting a bad precedent in the beginning where the Vanuatu Government met the cost of quarantining repatriates? I believe, it was not only returning seasonal workers but include a lot of other categories of returning citizens. You are trying to force down some decisions, I bet you know yourselves, to be unfair.

How much money did the Vanuatu Government spent when it was paying quarantine cost? How long did that last?

What was the cost per head?

The Australian Government’s decision to pay for the quarantine cost for Australian repatriates in 2021 does not contribute fairness to the issue. The Seasonal Workers in New Zealand will feel offended that their host Government could not do likewise.

So I say to the Commissioner of Labor and the Director of Public Health, you came short of providing some of these facts. The Acting CEO of the Iririki Island Resort is caught in the cross-fire of this unfair process; however, I think he would not connect the dots. His company benefits from turning the resort into a quarantine center.

My point: to have fairness in the system, and if we pay, fair enough, but make everybody who is quarantine pay from their pocket instead of penalizing a few because of lack of your foresight.

I thank you for your understanding and viva to the Seasonal Working Scheme!

Barry Ilaisa

Port Vila

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