“Tuvatu is property of Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System and not a legal tender to be issued or recognized by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu,” Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua said.
“As president of the Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System and professor of indigenous governance and economic systems at the Melanesian-Global Institute of Science, Philosophy, Humanity and Technology, I make this statement to respond to the article in the Daily Post Issue No. 4284 of 27 September 2014 regarding the Tuvatu currency.
“Let me clarify to the Reserve Bank and others who are confused. Tuvatu is not the legal tender of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu as regulated by the Reserve Bank Act and the Financial Institution Act. Tuvatu is the property of the Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System, which values indigenous economy and is regulated by customary law, the Constitution of Vanuatu and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Tuvatu therefore cannot be a legal tender, can never be a legal tender and should never be recognized as a legal tender. It is not an alternative currency to the Vatu currency or a legal substitute.
“Under section 20(1) of the Reserve Bank Act, only currencies issued by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu shall be legal tender. In the case of the Tuvatu currency, the Reserve Bank will not be issuing it. It is issued by the Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System.
“Section 17 of the Reserve Bank Act refers to the “SOLE RIGHT OF ISSUE” of Vatu as the legal tender. This section prohibits anyone who might want to issue a similar currency to Vatu with the intention to mislead people to think that, it is Vatu.
“The Tuvatu currency cannot be mistaken for Vatu because it does not have similar denomination, design, colour and other similarities as described in the Act.
“With reference to the Financial Institution Act, the law clearly defines a financial institution as;
“a body corporate that carries on banking business”.
“This definition excludes any custom institution.
“As head of the indigenous economy valuation institution, I therefore remind the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and its stakeholders that the Vanuatu Government had officially declared “2007 as the Year Blong Custom Economy”, and the Council of Ministers Decision of 2009 recognized the “Declaration of the Vanuatu Custom Economic Independence” which was officially launched at the Melanesian Global Institute of Science, Philosophy, Humanity and Technology in 2009.
“In attendance, 2,500 representatives of tribal kingdoms throughout Vanuatu witnessed the official flag raising ceremony of the Custom Economy, which was raised for the first time to mark the event.
“With these two further official commitments by the Vanuatu Government, it is obvious that the government’s vision on the custom economy is crystal clear.
“Custom economy exists in Vanuatu and sustains 80% of the population. The existence of custom economy simply means the existence of custom economic transactions.
“Mediums of exchange to facilitate custom economic transactions are necessary to link the suppliers and consumers of custom economy. TUVATU therefore is the new medium of exchange in custom economy and the latest development to update and improve its very own economy, which has been officially acknowledged by the Vanuatu Government.
“Finally, I request the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu to update its knowledge base and capacity in understanding the entire context of customary law, the Constitution of Vanuatu and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which regulate the operation of Vanuatu indigenous societies and valuation systems.
“As long as the Reserve Bank does not recognize the existing indigenous mediums of exchange within the Vatu economy, the Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System will continue to operate a parallel system to defend the use of existing mediums of exchange in custom economy, including the newly designed Tuvatu currency to serve the currency needs of 80% Vanuatu population.
“It is that simple to understand!’’
For need of better understanding, Gaogogona Destiny Reserve System is open to dialogue with the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Government and can be contacted at 5437227 or 7716635.