CAPTION: Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and FRCA CEO Mr Jitoko Tikolevu at the opening of new FRCA offices in the Western Division.
1. FRCA OFFICIALS TO TAKE SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE– The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority officials based in the Sigatoka and Rakiraki offices will spend a good 80 percent of their time taking their services to the people.
2. MAXIMUM ADVOCACY ON CHILD PROTECTION– The underlying vision for the Child Services Unit in the Department of Social Welfare is to increase awareness and advocacy on child protection in Fiji.
3. HARDWORK PAYS OFF FOR SAVUSAVU GROUP– The saying, there is no substitute for hard work” has proven true for Manavure Women’s Group in Savusavu.
1. FRCA OFFICIALS TO TAKE SERVICES TO THE PEOPLE
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority officials based in the Sigatoka and Rakiraki offices will spend a good 80 percent of their time taking their services to the people.
FRCA Chief Executive Officer Jitkoto Tikolevu said “For us the challenge is the services. Rather than them coming to us, we really need to go to the community. We will be here but most of the days we will be out in the fields. That is the message from Suva.”
“And maybe one officer will be in the office to man the office, by and large we will be out in the field to continue to educate tax payers as well as telling them about the changes, because there have been many changes over the years brought about by government policies and tax changes. Four days a week we will be out in the field.”
An elated Mr Tikolevu made these comments at the opening of the FRCA Customer Services Centres in Rakiraki and Sigatoka.
“For us its huge, it strengthens our visibility. This is an initiative from government, from the Prime Minister himself who gave us a directive to open offices in Sigatoka and Rakiraki.”
“This is much in line with government’s vision whereby we come to the communities and bring our services closer to the communities. I was really surprised with the feedback from Rakiraki, our team there are already stating the very positive feedback from the community in Rakiraki. They used to drive all the way to Lautoka to do their tax affairs now we’re taking these services right to their door step. And we are very appreciative of government’s initiative,” he added.
Mr Tikolevu said work has already begun for his staff who are registering citizens for their Tax Identification Numbers (TIN).
“And similarly here (Sigatoka), for us, our team for the last week have been conducting TIN registrations, some people that came were not in our system yet and the team has been focusing on TIN registration. This included shops and farmers and fishermen who have now all been registered into the system. Similarly here we are continuing to spread the gospel of meeting your obligations to be registered and pay tax like everybody else. So by large it is a very big day for us today.”
(Please find attached photographs from this event)
2. MAXIMUM ADVOCACY ON CHILD PROTECTION
The underlying vision for the Child Services Unit in the Department of Social Welfare is to increase awareness and advocacy on child protection in Fiji.
The Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni said that children living in Residential Homes need good care and upbringing to ensure that they are reintegrated with their families and communities.
She made this comment following her visit to the Lomani Au Home in Savusavu last week. This Residential Home was opened last year and looks after underprivileged (orphans and children from broken families) in the northern division.
“Currently there are 124 children in the Residential Homes, all these children are under state care. Under the Care and Protection Program, the Ministry provides assistance to ensure that the education, health needs of the children is well looked after. There is care plan for each of these children to ensure that they are reintegrated back with their families and communities,” she said.
She said the ministry would also provide capacity building training for the child protection officers to work closely with the Home managers to ensure that children are protected and cared for all the time.
“There is regular monitoring of all the Homes to ensure that they adhere to Standard Operating Procedures. This year, the Child Services Unit will work towards maximum advocacy on the protection of the children. Given the increase in the number of cases received on child abuse and neglect, I am hoping that every opportunity we get, we intent to increase the level of awareness on the Ministry’s role in Child Protection.
“In fact, we would like the public to be better informed of the legislative role of the Ministry, particularly in line with the Child Welfare Decree and mandatory reporting of all child welfare cases,” Dr Luveni said.
(Please find attached photographs from this event)
3. HARDWORK PAYS OFF FOR SAVUSAVU GROUP
The saying, there is no substitute for hard work” has proven true for Manavure Women’s Group in Savusavu.
When travelling down the Nadi village it is hard to miss the glimpse of women dressed in bula, glowing with friendly northern smile and selling honey and home made products by the roadside in Savusavu.
The success story of this group was revealed during a recent visit to the village by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni.
The Manavure Women’s Group is only one of the emerging active groups in the Cakaudrove province and what started in 2010 has now become a source of living and motivation for this group. In 2010, the group approached women’s Ministry for assistance to start their honey project.
The president of the group Mrs Sainimere Raikadorka said that with a funding of $5000 from the Ministry, her group started honey and horticulture projects in 2010, and in 3 years this project has generated profits for her group.
“When we started we only had 4 bee hives which has now grown to 24 and from our first harvest we have earned more than $800 from selling honey to nearby hotels and tourists. With the availability of land in the village we started with horticulture and are able to earn $2000 from sales. Currently we have 100 pot plants and flowers to be sold to the tourists and hotels. Prices range from $5 to $60. We get orders from the hotels and this time we are expecting to make over $2000,” Mrs Raikadorka said.
She thanked the Ministry for providing the funding and monitoring the two projects to ensure its sustainability.
“The projects have become a major source of living for the women and it helps them to support their livelihood and also contribute towards the education of their children. The group also sells homemade soap, noni, coconut and Kura, tailoring and virgin coconut oil,” she said.
The Minister Dr Luveni was impressed with the achievements of the women’s group and applauded the women for their hard work.
“These projects are examples of government’s commitment to improve the lives of women through developing their skills and resources. The advantage of economically assisting the women is that the money they make from income generating are invested directly into improving the family lives. Empowering the role of women in food security and poverty alleviation is one of the underlying goals of the Roadmap,” she reiterated.