ETLJB 20 April 2013 - On 7 March, 2013 Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão started a trip throughout the country with the objective of informing the population of the Project to Implement the Policy of Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government. The first district to be visited was Oe-Cusse Ambeno, where the Prime Minister and his delegation remained for three days, i.e., from 7 to 9 April, 2013.
Dissemination of the afore-mentioned Project was led by the Prime Minister himself, who was accompanied by the Secretary of State for Administrative Decentralisation, Tomás Cabral, the Secretary of State for Local Development, Samuel Mendonça, the Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening, Francisco Soares “Borlaku”, the Secretary of State for Support and Promotion of Private Sector, Veneranda Lemos, the PNTL General-Commander, Commissioner Longuinhos Monteiro, the Minister of Tourism, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, and the Secretary of State for Arts and Culture, Maria Isabel Ximenes. The meetings counted on the maximum participation of the different sector of Oe-Cusse Ambeno district.
In his sppech, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão recalled that, from 2002 to 2007, the Government committed itself to building the State. From 2007 to 2012, the Government focused on the reform of several State institutions and on the settlement of social problems that emerged as time passed by. Finally, this year – 2013 – the Government is giving priority to the functioning of the State institutions and the preparations for the implementation of the Policy of Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government so at to establish municipalities in the 13 districts, thereby enforcing Law no. 11/2009 of 7 October.
“The Policy of Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government significantly supports the private sector existing in the rural areas. In addition to this, it promotes the institutions in a strong, legitimate and stable State, by creating opportunities for the democratic participation of the citizens, building an effective, efficient and equitable provision of public services in order to support the socio-economic development of the country”, the Prime Minister stated.
In response to the concern expressed by the local community in Oe-Cusse Ambeno district on the concept of municipality of this project, taking the scarcity of human resources, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão explained that the “concept of municipality does not mean the enlargement of district administration. The process of municipalisation will provide the local government of certain competences assigned by the central Government, notably the following: economic development, territorial planning, environment, social action and housing, education and vocational training, culture and property, youth, sports and free times, health, tourism, civil protection, among others. If we undertake a comparison, municipalisation is equated to the kota madya system in Indonesia, with its DPRD (Local Government with Local Assembly) and to the City Hall in Portugal.”
The Head of Government also added that “in order to implement Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government, all existing sectors in Oe-Cusse Ambeno district, including ministerial lines, intelectuals, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, the veterans and the population in general have to be ready to face the implementation of this Policy. The sons of Oe-Cusse Ambeno should put aside their interests of groups and focus only on the objective of developing Oe-Cusse Ambeno. From now on, they should start identifying the potentials as well as the challenges that need to be discussed and planned, so that they are debated during the technical and structural meeting to take place during the next visit, and so that we can reach a conclusion and make a decision on the implementation of the process of municipalisation at the Oe-Cusse Ambeno district”.
Oe-Cusse Ambeno district is 815 square kilometres, 18 sucos, and a population of approximately 67,700 people. Its main economic activities are subsistence agriculture within family business, livestock, maize, rice, manioc and sweet potato, with a potential of economic development in the areas of tourism and specialised food crops. Source: Government of East Timor 11/04/2013 Reposted by Warren L. Wright
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