Non Communicable Diseases remains a challenge to the health of the Tongan people and therefore needs a national approach to overcome this problem.

His Majesty King Tupou VI highlighted this when he officially opened the Legislative Assembly 2016 parliamentary session yesterday in Nuku’alofa.

He asserted the MPs that if no national approach is adopted to overcome the increasing incidences of NCD, no good future prevails for our future generation.

King Tupou VI said NCD impacts how our live. He said there is no need to increase the budget allocation towards NCD preventative measures and all. But Tonga should refrain from abusing funds allocation towards awareness campaign on changing people’s lifestyle and behavior yet when it should have been diverted towards improving education in Tonga.

His Majesty also called for young people to live a healthy lifestyle. The other solution is for Government to allow ordinary citizens to have access to the national retirement scheme where they can choose the different types of health plans to follow and to live healthily.

On education, His Majesty King also highlighted the need for Tonga to improve its literacy level.

“In the past, the King said Tonga used to have the highest literacy level in the Pacific but it has now dropped. Tonga needs to improve its literacy level and for its academic merits to be recognized not only regionally but internationally as well,” said his Majesty.

He also urged Cabinet to ensure that education is in compliance with the law and for our people to be given the opportunity to study and graduate and can get employment overseas.

Tupou VI also noted that Tonga in the past had tirelessly developing our education system to be conform with the rest of the Pacific, however it is noted by Tongans residing overseas, only the academic merits of those graduating overseas are recognized when seeking job opportunities overseas and not graduates from the Pacific institutions. Hence, his Majesty said the education system should be improved so the region is not left out on such opportunity.

King Tupou VI was mentioned the need for Tonga to have job opportunities available for its people. There are more than 2000 students graduating from secondary schools every year. On that note, Government needs to work in partnership with relevant stakeholders to further develop our economy and the business sector.

Tonga he suggested should also have other incentives in place to boost the local businesses and growers ’effort in exporting ng local products overseas. King Tupou VI said Tonga cannot compete with other countries on the quality of exported products but Tonga can keep a close contact with some main markets for exporting quality fish and organic food crops and yield good price.

According to his Majesty this would help with the health of our people especially having access to good and fresh local products.

His Majesty also suggested the need for Tonga to strengthen marketing strategies for selling of fish at the local market and exporting our local products such as fish and food crops overseas via big cargo planes that now have enjoyed arriving at Fua’amotu after its recent extension.

He also offered one solution to helping our economy which is also good for the public’s health as well, that is to reduce importing from overseas. This could be done through a close collaboration between Government and its ministries and the business sector.

King Tupou VI also wished the MPs the best and fruitful discussion during its 2016 parliamentary sessions.

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