On the 7th day the plenary began the discussions on the Budget of the Ministry of State Administration and Territory Management (MAEOT) for 2012, as follows:
Before the plenary entering the debate PM responded to various inquiries including the blackouts throughout Dili, in particular in the last two days. Regarding blackouts, PM acknowledged the situation and informed problems relating to LC, and the incapacity of the implementing company to comply with the contract as required.
Regarding the construction of the Baucau hospital, PM informed that the new contractor ENSUL is doing its best to execute the project ensuring the quality, despite slow.
OGE for MAEOT.
10 proposals were tabled for debate: 76, 113, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 72, 99, 98.
Proposal N. 76, by Antonino B and Arsenio Bano, concerned that the budget allocated for fuel (from Good and Services) for generators in13 districts, was deemed too much, therefore they proposed to reduce $36,000 from this budget ( $12,000 per district). Proponents justified that the MAEOT has not provided any information during the committee hearing. The proposal aims to save money to be re-allocated to other activities.
Minister Arcangelo Leite explained that the budget of $12,000 per district is broken down into two or three parts, $416.00 for the district generator per month and $97.00 for sub districts per month. Sometimes some of this money is also used for renting of generator upon visit of national high rank people.
Proposal N. 113, also from Antonino and Arsenio Bano ( G&S), proposed to reduce $2 M out of $8 M allocated for STAE elections operational costs, justifying that there is no aggregation or break down of the budget. Proponents queried that part of this budget may be used for security during the elections, which is overlapping or duplicating with that in the security forces budget recently approved.
Minister clarified that he has the list of breakdown and will be provided to MPs shortly. The budget includes presidential elections (two rounds) and parliament elections.
Proposal N. 66, from G&S ($6,766,000), by Arsenio Bano and Antonino Bianco proposed to reduce $44,000 out of $104,000, for professional fees. They said that last year there was a big budget of $2 M for the same item, but no information on what and how it was used. They questioned the performance of the advisers given that the output of decentralization is still not evident. Moreover they said that they much prefer to have more Timorese employed in the program rather than internationals, because it would be cheaper and beneficial for Timorese.
Proposal N. 67, (G&S) by Arsenio Bano and Antonino Bianco , proposed to reduce the allocation for fuel $100,000 from $338,000, taking into account that last year 2011, only $198,000 was enough to provide fuel for vehicles, hence the parameter of increase is unjustifiable. The ministry does not show any fuel clear plan, therefore it does not deserve to get more budget.
Proposal N. 68, by by Arsenio Bano and Antonino Bianco proposed to reduce budget for vehicles maintenance, $143,000 out of $343,000 with the same rationale as above.
For the two proposals 67 and 68, Minister Arcangelo Leite explained that fuel and maintenance are interconnected, in one package. The usage of the budget is based on the template provided by MOF, under which each car will spend $1, 5000 per year. The MAEOT has 172 vehicles, of which majority are allocated for STAE and sanitation department.
Proposal N. 69, by Arsenio Bano and Antonino Bianco proposed to reduce $4M from $4,711,000, bearing in mind that in 2011 only $354,000 was sufficient for the item, therefore such an increase is unjustifiable.
Minister Leite responded that regarding commemorations, his part will discuss with the President this Friday and with the line ministries on the implementation preparations. Only after that everything will be clear.
Proposal N. 70, on operational materials supply, by Antonino and Arsenio Bano, proposed to reduce $329,000 from $529,000, taking into consideration that in 2011 the budget was only $164,000 but able to support this item. There is no sufficient information of how this money is used for.
Minister responded that the budget has been very disaggregated into details for uniforms of national and district staff, uniforms for Mercado supervisors, uniforms for chefe sucos, for sanitation equipment, printer, and toners.
Proposal N. 72, by Antonino and Arsenio Bano proposed to reduce $35,000 from $222,000 for “ other services (outros services diversos. The rationale is that in 2011 the budget was only $187,000 but was enough for this item, therefore it should also be enough.
Minister Leite provided the breakdown of the budget including payment of the cleaning services company, photocopier rent, Christmas presents for sanitation workers, printing and publications.
Proposal N. 99, by Arao Noe, proposed to take out $4 M from the budget $ 6,767,000 to finance the celebrations in 2012 : 10 years of independence, 100 years of D. Boa Ventura revolt, and 500 years of Portuguese landing in Timor Leste (in Lifau, Oecusi).
The two proposals 98 and 99 were substituted by proposal N. 125 by Arao Noe, which added $2 M to the existing budget of $6,767,000 for those national commemorations in 2012.
PM appreciated the proposal n. 125 as it would be very helpful because the events will be intense and expected to be magnificent. PM also responded that the budget for security is separate and not included in this budget.
After the explanations by Minister, the proponents of N. 66, 72, and 113, and 69 proposals canceled their proposals.
Next is the voting for these proposals:
After the break another cluster of proposals came for debate, n. 44, n.106, n.122, n. 126, n. 71.
Proposal N. 44, by Fernanda Borges, proposed to add $250,000 to $33,791,000 for PDD 1, for rehabilitation of Pousada Same, aiming as part of preparations of commemorations.
Proposal N. 106, by Josefa and Osorio proposed to reduce $85,000 from $33,791,000 (PDD1) for rehabilitation of Trade Invest office (next to Bank Mandiri), questioning the re-appropriation of budget $85,000 for the office that has been repaired in 2010.
Proposal N. 122, by Fernanda Borges, capital development, proposed to add $400,000 for construction of Mercado (market) of Same as part of preparations of commemorations.
Proposal N. 123, also capital development for PDD2, by Riak Leman proposed additional budget of $250,000 for water supply project in Same also in preparations for commemorations. The project is located in the site where the hero D Boaventura stayed.
Proposal N. 71, by Arsenio Bano, proposed elimination of $10,000 for professional fees, in Oecusi.
Three proposals N. 123 (capital development) n. 122, and n. 44 had to be reallocated into their respective ministries, Infrastructure (123 for PDD 2, above $150,000) and MTCI (market).
The budget for MAEOT was voted and approved: in favor 38, against 1, and abstain 15.
Ministry of Social Solidarity
Proposal N. 14, by Manuel Tilman on social assistance, proposed additional budget of $12 M to $750,000 for construction and rehab of IDPs houses and payment of some compensation.
Proposal N. 24, by Osorio Florindo, regarding 15 Timorese students in Malaca (Malaysia) who were brought by a lady in early independence, claiming that they are children of veterans, hence it requires government attention.
Proposal N. 124, by Virginia Belo proposed to add $3.1 M to $6.851M for Independence Struggle Archive and finishing of construction of the building. Out of this budget $600,000 are intended for preservation of the Museum.
Minister Domingas Alves explained on the IDPs, that the government has closed the IDPs recovery and reinsertion program, and now moving to consolidate the program with improvement of policies and systems. Otherwise, she believes that it would create bad precedents that will complicate the matter.
PM reinforced Minister’s comments that the government had to adopt this policy due to certain strong reasons. However regarding 15 students in Malaca the government will find ways to help them properly.
PM accepted the proposal from Virginia, despite acknowledging that the contractor ENSUL has been slow in the construction.
Osorio cancelled the proposal n 24 as he heard the commitment of PM.
Proposal N. 14, in favor 17, against 27, abstain 13
Proposal N. 25, in favor 26, against 20, abstain 11;
Proposal N. 127, in favor 53, against 0 , abstain 4;
Proposal N. 124, in favor 50, against 0, abstain 7.
The Budget for MSS was voted and approved: in favor 50, against 1, and abstain 5.
Ministry of Infrastructure
13 proposals were presented including 3 proposals that were shifted from MAEOT budget debate previously.
Minister Pedro Lay responded that the $2,181,000 is intended to pay the fees of Manitoba, and of the Nakroma crue. Regarding professional fees, he said that his ministry has been mostly using donors’ technical assistance than others. Vice Minister Jose Manuel Carrascalao further explained that the ministry has now more than 100 heavy equipments plus those donated from Japan. The machines are mobilized through brigades to facilitate quick response to the emergency needs and also for efficient operation of machines.
Lastly the SE of electricity Januario Pereira, also provided his responses to the growing queries of MPs and population on blackouts and the on new central eletrica.