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Private sector: ASG is hiring more people than they can pay

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga [SN file photo]
Lolo says it's his duty to create more jobs

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said during last month’s Cabinet meeting that part of his duty, as the territory's leader, is to ensure the government is creating more jobs for the people.

This was Lolo's response to complaints from some in the private sector, whom he said have accused the government of hiring more people than they can pay.

When addressing the cabinet on various issues, Lolo said that despite the many complaints from the private sector and members of the community on how the government is running, he and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga both believe the reason why they were selected to lead the government, is to make sure the government is serving the people.

“The people selected us to serve them and that’s why we’re here — to serve and to make sure our people get what they deserve," Lolo said, adding that the governor is not someone who just sits in a chair and swings from here to there, but instead, the job comes with duties that include creating jobs and "this is what we've been doing since we came in."

In trying to defend the fact that there are a lot of people employed by the government already, Lolo told directors they have to follow the law when it comes to hiring government employees. He said he's aware that some departments are trying to minimize the hiring process by selecting their own people, those they feel are suitable for each vacancy.

He urged all directors to go through the proper hiring process, and let the Department of Human Resources do their job.

“We are not trying to stop you from hiring suitable people for certain vacancies; but we have to follow the law and let us be an example to the people,” Lolo continued.

He said although the Fono is hiring more and more people, he doesn't want to interfere because Fono leaders are doing a good thing — hiring our own people so they can have jobs to care for their families.

He told the cabinet that American Samoa is a democracy, and the three branches include the government, private sector, and the media. He said although the media sometimes doesn't have their facts straight, at least they are part of a democratic nation. Members of the cabinet were laughing when Lolo talked about how the media handles news coverage.

“That’s why we encourage the media to be part of all our cabinet meetings and everything our Administration does, because we want them to report everything we do so the people will understand what's going on.

“That is why we have an open policy to the media — they will report to the people that the Governor, Lt. Governor and all of you directors are doing their jobs,” Lolo said, adding that without the media at work, no one will know what is happening in government, or maybe the government is just doing work without anyone complaining about anything.

He said the media is spreading the news across the territory, and even though sometimes they report things that are untrue, at least there is someone doing the reporting for the government.

Cabinet members laughed at the governor’s comments.

Samoa News was present during the cabinet meeting when Lolo spoke about the role of the media in government. He thanked the media for reporting on a lot of issues that are important to the government and the people.

“We want our people to know and understand that the government is still trying to do everything in its power to develop our economy, build up our infrastructure, and to make sure everyone will benefit from what the government is doing. We also want to educate our people, especially our children, because they are our future,” Lolo said.

Working for both the government and the private sector for over 50 years, Lolo said  his experience from many years of service has given him the knowledge and ideas on how to run the government.

“I learned a lot from my work experience on how to run the government, and the first thing we need to do is educate our young people so they will be well equipped and become good leaders for the country in the future," Lolo said. "So, it's our job as leaders to utilize all the opportunities. We have to give our young people the chance for a better education, to help with the development of our nation in the future.”