On the 6th day of debate the plenary started with answers by Government/ Prime Minister to the questions and comments of the MPs on last Friday concerning CITL and liberalization of telecommunications, all are in the “dotacao de todo o Governo” .
Prime Minister said that: the legal basis for CITL is in accordance with the decree law N. 41/2011, 21 September 2011. Accordingly, the objective of the CITL is to promote investment in the vital economic sectors and to help speeding up transition from oil revenues economic dependency to non-oil economy. The CITL is an anonymous association that is exclusively public financed institution (art 2), and aims to promote development of industries to underpin economic growth. PM highlighted that to ensure transparency and accountability, the management of the CITL has to declare their assets before and during their tenure, to avoid conflict of interest (art 8). According to art 14-15, Minister of Finance is the most viable and designated entity to represent the government in the Consultative body of the CITL to ensure that the money invested is best utilized in compliance with the objectives of the CITL establishment. PM also underlined that the difference between the normal state- owned enterprises versus CITL, is that the first is more focusing on services provision, while the latter focuses on commerce and industry and yielding economic return for the country.
Regarding liberalization, PM emphasized that this is the opportune time to best preparing telecommunications systems in order to face future challenges and tight competitiveness. In addition, Minister of Infrastructure Pedro Lay, reiterated key activities to be developed under this program including: creation of legal basis, strengthening and achievement of a stronger national regulatory authority that is able to control and put end various problems around telecommunications including radios frequencies that is becoming an increasing concern to national interest.
In sum, the proponents of proposals N. 65 and N. 23 reiterated again their concern in relation with CITL that, it is not opportune time to start up with CITL due to lack of clarity of legal basis and no information on business plan, i.e. who does what, how, and when. Other rationale is that as we are approaching elections, more attentions will be given to consolidate democracy rather than other development activities including CITL, therefore it would be better to give more focus on education, health and agriculture, in the lead up of achieving MDGs by 2015.
Proposal N. 64 (elimination of $3M for liberalization), in favor 23,against 34 and abstain 4, so the proposal was approved.
Proposal N. 65, regarding elimination of $200 M for CITL, in favor 30, against 26 and abstain 5, so the proposal was approved and the budget for CITL was not approved by plenary. In this sense, the proposals N. 23 and No 30, all relating CITL were automatically cancelled.
Lastly, the Dotacao Todo o Governo Budget was voted and approved, in favor 55, against 0 and abstain 4.
Ministry of Justice, Courts and the Office of General Prosecutor
There were 2 proposals: N 108 and N. 88.
Proposal N. 108, by Carmelita and colleagues proposed to add $4 M to $258,000 aiming to ensure continuity of the USAID -ARD project on land titles project throughout the territory.
Proposal N. 88 on the judiciary /investigation police, by Fernanda Borges and colleagues, which proposed reduction of $192,000 out of $6,428,000, justifying that instead of creating new police investigation unit under the MOJ, it would be better to strengthen the PNTL for the same purpose.
Minister of Justice Lucia Lobato welcomed the proposal N. 108 as it is in line with the ministry program. Regarding judiciary police, she said that the members of this unit have undergone a training program and this budget is aimed to ensure the continuity of the training program, both in-house and in Portugal.
PM reinforced Minister’s answer and said that as a new country TL has to well prepare itself in order to better prevent from or to counter possible threats of drugs trafficking, terrorism and human trafficking and other kinds of serious threats to the country’s stability in the future.
The proposal N. 108 was voted and approved by plenary, in favor 34, against 29, and abstain 13.
Proposal N. 88, in favor 18, against 29, abstain 12, so the proposal was no approved.
Then the budget of the MOJ was voted and approved by plenary, in favor 36, against 3, and abstain 20.
In relation with budget for Courts, there was no proposal, and was voted and approved by plenary, in favor, 51, against 0 and abstain 2.
Office of Prosecutor General, 3 proposals: 47, 48, and 49.
Proposal N. 47, by Fernanda Borges propped additional budget of $5,000 to $1,058,000 which is aimed to support training program the justice actors (prosecutors, judges and public defenders).
Proposal N.48, also by Fernanda Borges proposed to add $30,000 to $1,058,000 aiming to support local travels for justice actors when undertaking their jobs in districts.
N.49 also proposed by Fernanda Borges proposed to add $ 999,000 to the original budget of $ 554,000, as a re-budgeting fund for infrastructure in this sector, to ensure continuation of PGR infrastructure projects, such as office of Prosecutors in Dili and residences of prosecutors in Ermera, Bobonaro and Viqueque, that have started last year.
Minister of Justice welcomed the proposals for additional budget, and the plenary proceeded for voting.
Proposal N. 47, in favor 10, against 33, and abstain 6, so the proposal was not approved.
Proposal N. 48, in favor 15, against 28 and abstain 6, the proposal was not approved.
Proposal N. 49, in favor 27, against 16 and abstain 6, the proposal was approved.
Then, the Budget for PGR was voted and approved : in favor 42, against 0 and abstain 7.
Ministry of Health
There were 4 proposals , 27, 28, 100 and 101.
Proposal N. 101, by Virgilio Marcal and colleagues proposed to add $53,100 to $1,715,000 for ICU and Operation units;
Proposal N. 27, also by Virgilio and colleagues proposed to add $2,000,000 to existing $3,479,000for SAMES bearing in mind that so far people have been complaining of lack of medicines in SAMES. It has been also identified that procurement process has been always one of the bottle neck on the medicines supply and stock provision.
Proposal N. 28 also by Virgilio and colleagues, proposed to add $1,862,000 for capital minor for purchase of estimated 19 new brands, strong and very costly ambulances, Toyota land cruisers that are deemed suitable for TL roads conditions.
Proposal N.100, proposed a new budget of $7,794,525 in the capital development, of MoH, which is construction of health posts in sub districts and sucos, in line with the government’s policy that by 2015 every suco will be assisted by one doctor, 2 nurses and 2 midwives.
Minister warmly welcomed the proposals as it will greatly help his ministry to respond to the needs of population in order to better access to health facilities and minimize complaints of population. He addressed various issues that have widely been concerned by the public including: career regime, national hospital conditions, x-ray problems, and newly graduated nurses from the UNTL, as part of the government program to gradually enhance the capacity of medical staff.
After the address from Minister, the plenary voted the proposals:
N. 27, in favor 57, against 0, and abstain 3,
N. 28, in favor 57, against 0, and abstain 3,
N. 100, in favor 55, against 0, abstain 5,
N. 101, in favor 55, against 0 and abstain 5.
Lastly the Budget for the MoH was voted and approved: in favor 58, against 0 and abstain 2.
Ministry of Education
There were 4 proposals, N 119, n.121, m. 120, and n.29.
Proposal N. 119 (or 97) by Vicente Guterres and colleagues proposed to add $4,50,000 to $2,901,000 for supply of schools facilities in the effort of enhancing quality of schools, including books, library, etc.
Proposal N. 121, by Vicente and Fernanda Borges, proposed to create a budget of $500,000 for pre-school improvement with tables, chairs, etc,
Proposal N. 120, by Vicente and Fernanda Borges, proposed to add more money for supply of facilities and equipments for secondary vocational schools, aiming to enhance knowledge and skills of young generation for the future labor market towards future competitiveness.
Proposal N. 29, by Virgilio and colleagues proposed to add $1,138,000 to $2,418,000 for overseas travel for UNTL teachers aiming to enhance quality of UNTL through various activities including capacity building, training, and conferences and cooperation with foreign universities.
Minister Joao Cancio appreciated the proposals as this budget will certainly reinforce the existing budgets to fill in the gaps and resolve some of the problems currently faced by the ministry, including, schools infrastructure, chairs and tables, books etc.
Regarding books, he said that the ME is preparing to print books in order to achieve 1 book for each student shortly. He informed that so far ME has only rehabilitated or constructed 1/3 of existing schools due to lack of budget. He continued that according to SDP, by 2015, TL will achieve 30% of access for pre-school students.
The proposals were voted and approved:
Proposal N. 119, in favor 43, against 0 and abstain 9.
Proposal N. 121, in favor 39, against 0, and abstain 12,;
Proposal N. 120, in favor, 46, against 0, and abstain 6.
Proposal N. 29, in favor 50, against 0, and abstain 3.
Finally, the Budget for Ministry of Education was voted and approved : in favor 46, abstain 1 and against 6.