KE FAKASI’ISI’I ‘ETAU MO’UI FAKAFALALA

Posted: 09-Jul-2020 01:51 PM

Editorials

‘I he hiliange ko ia hono fanongonongo fakamamani lahi ‘a e mahaki faka’auha COVID 19, na’a tau ‘ohofi vave leva ke tapuni hotau kau’aa fonua telia na’a hu mai ‘a e vailasi ki hotau fonua. Na’a tau mamata tonu leva ki he holo ‘a e fehu’aki koloa ‘a e ngaahi fonua, pulia e kau folau ‘eve’eva kae longonoa e ngaahi hotele, pea toe ongo foki koe holo ‘ae taa silini mai mei muli.

Ka koe hili hono tapuni hotau kau’aa fonua pea lahilahi ke tau nofo ‘o fakaongoongo pe, mo talia pe koe ha ha me’a ‘e hoko. Ko ‘etau nofo ko e fakaongoongo pe ko ‘afe nai ‘e ma’u ha faito’o ki he mahaki faka’auha, pe ko ‘etau nofo fakaongoongo pe ‘e mateuteu fakaku hotau fonua ke ne matatali mo fakafepaki’i ha to mai ‘a e mahaki faka’auha, pe ko ‘etau nofo ‘o tali pe ko e ha ‘ae me’a te tau fai ke fakasi’isi’i ‘a e ngaahi uesia tamaki faka’ekonomika mo fakasosiale ‘oku fakafe’ao mai ‘e he mahaki faka’auha. Kuo fakaha ‘e he Pule’anga ‘ae patiseti ‘oku fe’unga moe pa’anga ‘e $48.22 miliona kuo vahea ki he Potungaue mo’ui, pe pehe foki kihe pa’anga tokoni mei he ngaahi hoa ngaue fakatu’apule’anga fe’unga mo e pa’anga ‘e $52.54 miliona ki he fakafepaki’i ‘a e COVID 19. ‘Oku to e hanga mai foki mo e ngaahi tokoni kehekehe mei he ngaahi fonua to e malohi ange mo tu’umalie ke tokoni’i kitautolu ke tau malava ke matu’uaki ‘a e ngaahi nunu’a tamaki kehekehe ‘oku tupu mei he COVID 19. Kuo ‘osi fakaha foki ‘e he Kautaha Fakapa’anga ‘a Mamani (International Monetary Fund) hono fakalahi ‘enau pa’anga tokoni ki he Pasifiki ki he ngaahi fakatamaki ko ‘eni ki he pa’anga ‘Amelika US$643 miliona ‘a ia kuo faka’aonga’i ia ‘e ‘Otu Motu Solomone pea mo Ha’amoa.

Ka ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha faito’o vali pala pe ‘eni ia ke vahea ha pa’anga ke fakasi’isi’i ‘aki ha ngaahi to nounou faka’ekonomika ha fa’ahinga sekitoa hotau fonua, pea ‘oku ‘ikai tonu ke ngata pe ‘a e tokanga ia he fokotu’utu’u ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni fo’ou fakasosiale ke ne tauhi ‘a e ngaahi fakahinohino fekau’aki mo e mahaki faka’auha. ‘Oku fiema’u ‘a e fonua fakalukufua ke nga’unu ki ha tu’unga fo’ou fakatatau ki he ngaahi taimi faingata’a ‘oku tau ‘i ai. ‘Oku fiema’u ke tukutuku atu ‘a e ngaahi me’a na’a tau angamaheni mo ia kae lava ke tau liliu ‘etau to’onga mo’ui mo ‘etau anga fai.

Ko e ngaahi hala kuo foua he ngaahi fonua lahi ‘i mamani ‘i he ‘enau fe’ao pea mo e COVID 19 ‘oku malava ketau ako mei ai. Ko e uesia lahi taha ‘i he fakatamaki ko ‘eni ‘oku tofanga ai ‘a e Tonga kotoa kae tautautefito ki he sekitoa ‘o e takimamata, ko e ngaahi famili ‘oku masivesiva ange, ngaahi famili ‘oku fakafalala he toli fua’i’akau ki Nu’usila mo ‘Aositelelia, pea pehe ki he ngaahi famili ‘oku fakafalala ki he taa silini mai mei muli. ‘I he mahina kuo ‘osi ne fakaha ‘i he lipooti ‘a e Kautaha Fakapa’anga ‘a Mamani ‘a e holo ‘i he pa’anga pau hu mai mei he kau folau’eve’eva ki Tonga ni ‘aki ‘a e peseti ‘e 20% ki he 30%, pea holo lahi ‘aupito mo e taa silini mai mei muli ‘aki ‘a e peseti ‘e 40%. ‘Oku ofi foki ‘i he toko 4,000 hotau kakai ‘oku fakakaungatamaki ‘i he polokalama toli fua’i’akau ki Nu’usila mo ‘Aositelelia, ka kuo holo ‘enau ngaahi houa ngaue, holo mo ‘enau vahe pea makehe ange foki ‘a e to e liuliunga mai moe palopalema fakasosiale honau ngaahi famili.

‘Oku mahu’inga ke tau fakatokanga’i ‘a e liliu fakasosiale ‘oku hoko makatu’unga ‘i he ngaahi nunu’a ‘o e COVID 19 pea ke tau anga ki ai. Kuo fokotu’u ‘e he Potungaue Ako ha ngaahi founga fo’ou ke ako’i ‘aki ‘a e fanau ‘o fakafou ‘i he letio, televisone, pea mo e ‘initaneti. Kuo fakahoko mo e ngaahi liliu lahi ki hono fakahoko ‘o e ngaahi ouau lotu mo e ngaahi ma’u’anga kelesi, pea nga’unu ki he ngaue’aki ‘a e letio mo e televisone mo e ‘initaneti. Kuo liliu mo e ngaahi me’a fakasosiale kehekehe hange ko e mali, putu, pea a’u aipe ki he ngaahi feohi’anga faikava.

Kuo ‘omi ‘e he ngaahi potungaue fakapule’anga, ngaahi kautaha pisinisi mo e fakamaketi ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni fo’ou ke tauhi ‘aki ‘a e vamama’o ‘a e kakai, malu, pea mo e haisini foki. ‘Oku pehe tofu pe mo e nga’unu ‘a e fakamaketi ki he ngaahi tekinolosia kehekehe ke ne fakaa’u ‘enau ngaahi sevesi ki he kakai.

Ka ko e ngaahi liliu ko ‘eni ‘oku fiema’u ke fakahokohoko tonu ‘o ‘ikai ke nofo munoa pe ‘o tali ke ‘afe pe taimi ‘e toki fie liliu ai pea toki fakahoko. Kuo pau ki he Pule’anga ia ke ne taki ‘a e liliu pea fokotu’u ‘a e ngaahi tu’utu’uni mo e ngaue ke ne ofe’i ‘a e ‘ekonomika ki ha ngaahi fo’u’anga koloa makehe, ngaahi maketi fo’ou, pea mo ha ma’u’anga pa’anga makehe. ‘Oku totonu foki ke ‘i ai mo ha founga ngaue ‘a e Pule’anga ke malava e kakai ‘o ngoue’i ‘a e ngaahi kelekele ‘ataa ‘a e Pule’anga pe ko e ngaahi ‘api kuo li’aki fuoloa. Ko e naunau palau mo e naunau ngoue ‘oku totonu ke fakalahi ‘e he Pule’anga ‘a hono hu mai he taimi ni. ‘Oku totonu ke feinga’i ‘e he Pule’anga ke fakatau mai ha ngaahi vaka toutai lalahi ma’ae kau toutai ke fakalahi mo fakaivia ‘aki kinautolu kae longomo’ui ‘a e toutai.

Ke tanaki ki ai kuo pau ke fokotu’utu’u ‘e he Pule’anga ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni mo e ngaahi fakahinohino ma’ae kakai ke malava ke nau nga’unu ngofua ki ha akenga fo’ou tupu mei he fakatamaki ‘oku tau tofanga ai. Kuo pau ke mahu’inga malie ki he kakai ‘a e ‘uhinga ‘oku fiema’u ai ke fakasi’isi’i ‘etau fakafalala ki he taa silini mei muli he ko e tu’unga faka’ekonomika lolotonga ‘oku ta’epau. Kuo taau ke fakapaasi ‘e he Fale Alea ha ngaahi lao makehe ma’ae kakai ‘oku kaungatamaki he toli fua’i’aki ke nau kau atu ki he ako tekinikale mo e vokesinolo ke nau ma’u ai ha ngaahi poto’i ngaue makehe, ke nau malava ai ‘o kumi ha ma’u’anga ngaue makehe. ‘Oku to e mahu’inga foki ke liliu mo e ‘ulungaanga ‘a e kakai ke ako ‘a e faka’ehi’ehi pea mo e mo’ui haisini ‘o fakahoko ia ‘i he ngaahi ngaue’anga, ngaahi ‘elia fakapule’anga, ngaahi fe’auhi sipoti, ngaahi feohi’anga, ngaahi hala pule’anga, pea pehe ki he ngaahi me’alele uta pasese ‘o tatau pe ‘i tahi mo ‘uta. Ko e ‘ulungaanga ‘o e kakai kuo taau ke liliu ia ‘o to e mata’a’aa ange ki he malu mo e hao ‘i he nofo, feohi, pea mo e fefononga’aki.

‘I he uhouhonga ‘o e faingata’a ‘oku tau fou ai he ‘aho ni kuo pau ke tau nga’unu ki ha akenga makehe mo fo’ou. ‘Oku totonu ke mahino ki he kakai ‘o e fonua ha visone ‘oku taumama’o atu ki he kaha’u. He ko e ako ‘etau fanau ‘e ‘ikai ke lava ia ‘o foki ki he angamaheni. Ko e ngaahi ngaue’anga ‘e nga’unu ia ki he ngaahi ‘initaneti, mitia he letio pea mo e televisone. Ko e fo’i mo’oni ‘oku faingata’a ke tau tui ki ai ‘oku anga pehe ni ia: he ‘ikai ke faingofua ke foki mai ‘a e takimamata mo e folau ‘eve’eva ki Tonga ni, kae‘oua kuo ma’u ha faito’o pea fakapapau’i kuo malu’i ‘a e kakai kotoa ‘o mamani pea toki ‘ataa leva ‘a e fefolau’aki. He ‘ikai ke tau kei nofo ai pe ‘o fakafalala ki he toli fua’i’akau ko e ‘uhi he ‘ikai to e lava ha toli fua’i’akau ia kae ‘oua kuo fakapapau’i ‘oku malu ‘a e fefolau’aki, ‘i ai mo e teunga malu’i ‘a e kau ngaue, hiki mo e vahenga ‘a e kau ngaue, pea ke ‘iai ha pa’anga malu’i COVID 19 ma’ae kau toli fua’i’akau, pea pehe foki hono fakafaingofua ‘ene ma’u faito’o mei he ngaahi falemahaki mo e ngaahi kiliniki ‘i Nu’usila mo ‘Aositelelia. Pea kuo taau ke tau tukutukuange atu ‘a e fakafalala he taa silini mai mei muli he ‘e ki’i fuofuoloa ‘a hono fakaakeake ia ‘o e ‘ekonomika ‘a mamani pea mo e ngaahi fonua muli. Ko e tu’unga ta’epau ‘oku tau ‘i ai ‘oku ne fao’i atu ‘etau fakakaukau ki ha ngaahi ma’u’anga mo’ui mo e to’onga mo’ui makehe mei he angamaheni, pea ko ia ‘e vave taha ‘ene nga’unu ki he ta’au ‘o e ‘aho ni ‘e lahi ange ‘a hono faingamalie ke ne matatali ‘a e ngaahi ha’aha’a ‘o e fakatamaki COVID 19.      

REDUCE DEPENDENCY AND INCREASE SELF SUFFICIENCY


Since the declaration of the COVID 19 global pandemic, Tonga became vigilant and of course the early reactions to shut the borders in an attempt to avoid the arrival of the virus. We have witnessed major problems due to a plummeting global demand, hotel rooms left deserted, and most importantly the quick decline in remittances.
However, Tonga’s borders remain closed and the waiting strategy is in place. Whether the vaccine can be made available soon or whether the in country capacity to respond to the crisis is up for the challenge, or whether the country has the capacity to cope with all forms of distress caused by this pandemic. The Government has allocated a total of about $48.22 million pa’anga for the Ministry of Health and a total of $52.54 million pa’anga from development partners and donors for the COVID 19 project. Yet more and more development partners, donors, and financial institutions have come to aid the country’s efforts made to prepare, respond, and recover from this crisis. The International Monetary Fund have also announced an increase of its emergency financing capacity for the Pacific to $643 million US dollars, whereby countries like Samoa and the Solomon Islands have taken advantage of. Although, this may seem like a simple equation of stimulus packages to mitigate economic shocks and introducing new social policies and regulations to match the COVID 19 instructions. It will however, require a whole of country approach if Tonga is to change and adapt to a new normal. Forget what we use to know and how we lived our lives. These are changing times for the world and Tonga must learn fast to adapt to these changes.
The various experiences shared by many countries around the world should inform us of where we are and where we need to go. In Tonga the hardest hit of this pandemic are those in the tourism sector, people in the low income households, the seasonal workers, and those households dependent on remittances. In the previous month the IMF reported a fall in Tourism receipt for Tonga of around 20%-30%, and a 40% decrease in remittances. The government has seen the impacts of COVID 19 on more than 4,000 seasonal workers with reduction in seasonal workers income and working hours apart from more alarming social issues accompanied by families being separated for a long period of time.
Social norms and education must learn to adapt to changing circumstances. The Ministry of Education has introduced new online learning platforms. Church services and functions have been reduced significantly to make way for radio, television, and online sermons. Social functions and gatherings have also changed especially with weddings, funerals, and the kava sessions.
In addition, firms and markets have provided new methodologies for doing business with the introduction of social distancing and hygiene rules for customers. A rise in online marketing is evident and the digital and automated services will become the next big thing for Tonga.
However, these changes must be programmatic rather than voluntarily adapting to a new normal. The government must provide policies and initiatives to diversify the economy. More investment should be given towards Agriculture and Fisheries by making public land available for farming and increase imports of farming equipment and machinery. The government should also procure more fishing vessels for local fishermen and increase their fishing capabilities and their catch. The urban landscape will change in which a more urban to rural internal migration will occur.
Moreover, the government will eventually have to set new guidelines to inform people to make a smooth transition to new ways of living. People will have to learn to reduce dependence on remittances because the global economy is uncertain. Specific legislations must be passed whereby seasonal workers can enter vocational training in order to develop alternative job skills. A cultural shift towards social distancing and hygiene must be a priority for people to learn in the workplace, in public places, sporting events, community functions, pedestrian walkways, and public transports. People must learn to change their way of living towards more safe movement, safe lifestyle, and how to travel safely.
While we are trotting through these difficult times it is crucial for people to learn how to adapt to the new normal. A generic understanding amongst people to think beyond COVID 19 is important. Schools may be closed for a long period of time and children’s education is not going to be the same. Workplaces may reduce physical presence and move towards remote working measures. The ugly truth is that we cannot wait and expect tourists to be willingly coming to Tonga in the next two to three years, unless there is global confidence in travelling and that all people and countries are free of the virus. We cannot wait and expect seasonal employment to resume easily in the coming years without strong safety measures, protective working gear, increased wages, COVID 19 insurance, with proper access to health care. We cannot wait for the global economy to recover and our families abroad to get jobs and send money home. The uncertainty that eventuates of the COVID 19 pandemic has set a new path for societies today. The government and the people of Tonga must imagine the unthinkable and whoever will adapt the quickest may have a better chance of surviving this period of the COVID 19 pandemic crisis.

 

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