13 November 2016
Reflecting on one year of the Sixth Constitutional Government of East Timor
Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste
Dili, February 15th, 2016
Reflecting on one year of the Sixth Constitutional Government
Tuesday the 16th of February marks one year since the inauguration of the Sixth Constitutional Government.
One year ago, at Lahane Palace in the hills overlooking Dili, the new Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, outlined the new Government’s objective to build on the legacy of its predecessor, implement the Strategic Development Plan and move the country forward. At the end of that speech and on many occasions since, the Prime Minister called on all to contribute to the development of the nation, invoking the motto “All for one and one for all”
Twelve months later the results of a Government prioritizing the national interest and working with “rigor and responsibility” are evident.
Since February last year the rehabilitation of over 300 schools has been completed and the rehabilitation of another 218 schools is ongoing. Twelve new preschools have been built and hundreds of existing preschools involved in a rigorous accreditation process. Over 75,000 tables and chairs were distributed to schools throughout the nation and over 2,800 tons of rice were distributed to support the School Feeding Program.
For preschool and the 1st and 2nd Cycles of Basic Education, a new school curriculum, connected to local culture, focused on the development of the whole person and embracing of a child-centered approach to learning, has been implemented. Training courses for the new curriculum have been delivered to 9,000 teachers to set them and their students up for success in a process of life long learning.
The Sixth Constitutional Government launched the Comprehensive Package of Primary Health Care and the Health Program in the Family. Thousands of families across all municipalities have been visited in their homes by health professionals who have assessed the health status of each family member. The National Immunization Campaign for Measles, Rubella and Polio completed in July, reached over 96% of children under the age of 15. Bold measures to curb the use of tobacco were introduced including the recently approved Decree-Law on the Tobacco Control Regime. In addition a social campaign was undertaken and health professionals have been trained to assist smokers who want to quit.
The Declaration of Maubisse was signed pledging to give women equal opportunities, the Amateur Football League established with 21 teams qualifying, and social support provided to vulnerable children and adults, seniors, people with disabilities and families in need. Since February last year over 54,000 people have benefitted from the Bolsa da Mãe program.
In the economic sector the Sixth Constitutional Government has acted on its commitment to create conditions for economic diversification by building necessary infrastructure, establishing an effective legislative framework for business, creating attractive conditions for investment, and nurturing local enterprise in priority sectors.
In the agriculture sector construction of three major irrigation systems began and the second phase of systems in Covalima, Ainaro and Manufahi was completed. 270,000 seedlings for forest planting were distributed for planting in areas totaling 432 hectares across twelve municipalities and 600,000 seedlings were produced in coffee nursery centers. The maintenance and rehabilitation of 216 hectares of coffee plantations was undertaken along with the extension of the total area of coffee plantations by 55 hectares.
The Government was proactive in improving the skills of workers, investing in Human Capital and ensuring good working conditions. Hundreds of men and women participated in the National Internship Program and, using the Human Capacity Development Fund, the Government assigned over 2,500 scholarships in areas such as health, engineering, education, management and public administration. Funding was provided for over 15,000 people to participate in technical training and other specialized skill development programs. Close to 2,000 labor inspection visits were conducted to check working conditions and identify occupational hazards in the workplace.
Demonstrating growth in private sector development, over 8,400 commercial licensing certificates were issued or renewed along with more than 2,800 licenses for micro businesses. The Specialized Investment Agency was reformulated as Timor-Leste’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency, P.I. – TradeInvest Timor-Leste, to more effectively promote opportunities for investment, encourage national entrepreneurship and increase exports. The Economic Coordination Structure was established to boost the growth of the private sector.
The Community Tourism Program was implemented with 27 projects allocated budgets in five municipalities and 3 projects in the Special Zone of Oe-cusse Ambeno. The Tour de Timor and Darwin Dili Yacht Rally were held, the Balibo Fort Hotel and Cultural and Heritage Centre opened, over 1,500 visitors from the cruise ship Pacific Jewel successfully hosted and the profile of Timor-Leste boosted internationally with various promotions including excellent exposure in the Milan Expo. A visa waiver agreement was signed with the European Parliament that will encourage visitors from countries of the European Union and facilitate the entry of Timorese citizens into EU countries.
Right across Timor-Leste 86 Basic Infrastructure Projects were continued in areas including energy, roads and bridges, water and sanitation and public buildings. The Master Plans for Water and Sanitation were finalized for Same, Baucau, Viqueque and Los Palos. The project to rehabilitate and expand the water supply system in the capital city of Manatuto was initiated and is over the halfway mark to completion. Public housing was constructed in three municipalities. Thousands of electricity meters were installed throughout the country to facilitate access to electricity and enable appropriate revenue collection. The construction of the airport in Oe-cusse Ambeno began and the Pante Makassar Power Plant is well advanced. Steps were completed to progress the public private partnership to build the Port of Tibar. Important sections of road have been built or rehabilitated including the route from Dili to Ainaro and the north-eastern road from Dili to Maliana. The National Development Agency scrutinized 58 infrastructure projects with a total value of $395 Million and found savings to the state over $61 Million.
In February 2015, new Prime Minister, Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo, promised changes in public administration to create “a bureaucratic order that is leaner, more professional, more technical and less politicized” and flagged reforms required to set up more efficient and effective systems that would better serve the Timorese people in the future.
Many of these changes and reforms have been initiated over the past twelve months. The Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit has been at work to ensure a better link between planning and budgeting. For the first time ever the Budget process in 2016 required Ministries to set out details on specific programs and activities, presenting a transparent and justifiable link between these and their associated budgets. The Guide to Public Administration Reform has been approved, the Commission for Tax Reform established, the personnel of the Commission for Legislative Reform and Justice Sector have been sworn into their roles and begun valuable work and the “Reform Guide and Economic Promotion of Timor-Leste 2015-2017” has been produced and is now being implemented.
In this first year of the Sixth Constitutional Government the practice of ‘social auditing’ has been facilitated as a way of strengthening inclusivity, transparency and accountability. Already the First National Conference on Social Audit was held and audit activities undertaken in areas of education, health, basic infrastructure and agriculture.
Other significant achievements in this period included the completion of the National Census of Population and Housing in Timor-Leste 2015, with the preliminary results published recording a total population of 1,167,242 and the coordination of events commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence and “500 years of the interaction of two civilizations: Timor-Leste and Portugal and the Affirmation of Timorese Identity”.
The past twelve months has also seen the strengthening of international relationships with Timor-Leste’s ongoing leadership role as President of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, full participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum and the conclusion of an historic agreement with the Holy See. In the case of the CPLP interactions, Ministers from all member countries have attended high-level meetings hosted in Díli. These meetings will continue until Timor-Leste’s term under the rotating Presidency of the CPLP concludes later this year. Each of these areas of international interaction has built mutually beneficial relationships, creating new opportunities for economic and cultural exchange
Timor-Leste played a significant role in shaping the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and under the leadership of Prime Minister Araújo, has stepped up to promote their implementation. The Prime Minister made his first official visit to the Republic of Indonesia in August 2015 later reciprocated by the visit of President Joko Widodo to Timor-Leste in January 2016. The relationship with Indonesia is being consolidated with new agreements for cooperation in Youth and Sports, Archiving, Climatology and Geophysics, Search and Rescue, and Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Resources. In addition Timor-Leste and Indonesia have begun maritime boundary negotiations guided by international law.
The relationship with Timor-Leste’s other close neighbor, Australia, continues to be robust as the Government seeks to resolve differences and progress to a good faith delimitation of maritime boundaries. The Sixth Constitutional Government has responded to the challenges of this issue by establishing the Council for the Permanent Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, resourcing the Maritime Boundary Office, appointing H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão as Chief Negotiator for boundaries with Indonesia and Australia and maintaining a clear and forthright position on its priority to delimit maritime boundaries according to the principles of international law.
The Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “this account, setting out some of the highlights, makes clear that the government has been proactive, working with rigor and focused on results in order to establish the environment needed for our long-term economic development and create better conditions for our citizens. Challenges remain and the Government acknowledges that the very significant progress made in this past year is only a part of what we are determined to achieve by the end of our mandate. As we mark the completion of the first year of the Government we salute all citizens for their commitment to the national interest and their teamwork to develop our homeland. The Government faces the next twelve months with resolve and determination to continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for the people of Timor-Leste.”ENDS
FACTS and FIGURES
One year of the Sixth Constitutional Government
• Built 12 new pre-schools (with 28 classrooms), rehabilitated 303 primary schools (909 classrooms), 4 secondary schools (24 classrooms) and are in the final phase of the process of accreditation for existing pre-schools, with a total of 360 candidates.
• Continued the rehabilitation of 204 primary schools (with 612 classrooms) and 14 secondary schools (78 classrooms).
• Distributed 75,730 units of tables and chairs for 620 primary and secondary schools throughout the country, benefiting 75,730 students.
• Held the training of 897 teachers in pre-school and 8,340 teachers of the first and second cycles of basic education on the new curricula before the start of each school year; 1,771 teachers of the 3rd cycle of basic education on the curricula of the ninth year; 1,585 teachers of general secondary education on the curriculum content of the 12th year; 226 ESTV teachers about the curriculum content of the 10th year.
• Launched the Comprehensive Package of Primary Health Care and Health Program in the Family.
• Conducted 2,270 home visits, where 3,354 families were assisted, benefiting 16,321 family members.
• Completed the National Vaccination Campaign against polio, covering 501,394 children (95.9%), and measles and rubella, which covered 484,850 (96.65%) children and young people aged up to 15 years.
• Assisted to reduce the maternal mortality rate by more than 75% since 1990.
• Created the Amateur Football League in with 21 teams qualifying and approved the National Youth Policy.
• Signed the Declaration of Maubisse in order to give women equal opportunities in terms of education and training, access to the labor market and participation in social and political life.
• Presented a bill on the General Social Security (contribution system).
• Provided social support to 374 minors who were victims of abuse or considered at risk, made payments to 87,670 disabled persons and 7,414 seniors and gave scholarships to 207 children of martyrs. We assisted 54,990 people (48,982 F and 6,008 M) through the “Bolsa da Mãe” program.
• Conducted 1,502 labor inspection visits to promote the improvement of working conditions, prevention of occupational hazards, assist in employment placement, unemployment protection and social security and social protection, covering 18,680 workers.
• Provided 292 places (169 men and 123 women) in the National Internship Program in the areas of: Hospitality, Automotive, Plumbing, Carpentry, Masonry, Electricity, Welding, Information Technology, and Administration and Finance.
• Implemented 16 physical projects (rehabilitation of rural roads, community tourism, bridges and construction of trenches and barriers) in nine municipalities, 46 labor-intensive projects (new rural roads) in eleven municipalities and as a part of ZEESM in Oe-cusse Ambeno, with 5,852 beneficiaries, established the rural employment program and approved funds for 116 proposals, with 922 beneficiaries (653 men and 339 women) in the self-employment program.
• Produced 23.2 tons of corn variety seeds Seal.
• Gave training to 75 farmers in the Municipality of Manatuto and 75 farmers in the district of Liquica on Good Agriculture Practices.
• We completed the second phase of the irrigation Oebaba (Covalima) and Raibere (Ainaro) and Carau-Ulun (Manufahi), we began the construction of the Tono irrigation systems in the Special Administrative Region of Oe-cusse Ambeno (45% progress) of Larisula in the administrative post of Baguia, Municipality of Baucau (28% progress), we have laid the first stone of Bulutu irrigation project in the administrative post of Laleia, Municipality of Manatuto which has already acheived 52.4% progress.
• Distributed 270,000 seedlings of forest to be planted in a total area of 432 hectares in 12 municipalities.
• Produced 600,000 coffee seedlings in coffee nurseries centers, maintained and rehabilitated 216 hectares of coffee and extended the coffee plantations by a total of 55 hectares.
• Distributed 2,817 tons of rice to support the school feeding program (ME) and 1,190 sacks of rice for humanitarian support.
• Issued 573 commercial license certificates in 4 regions (Region I: 136, Region II: 154, Region III: 102, Region IV: 181), 1,942 commercial licensing certificates for new companies through SERVE, renewed 5,886 certificate commercial licensing and issued 2,861 licenses for micro businesses or ENIN.
• Provided financial support for 173 micro-businesses, 188 groups / industrial companies, 24 cooperatives, 4 federations of cooperatives and 222 micro and small enterprises.
• Launched the garbage processing project in Tíbar, which will create about 300 jobs for collecting, handling, sorting and processing waste, and will produce energy for a power plant with 25 MW capacity.
• Implemented the Community Tourism Program by allocating budget to 27 projects in 5 Municipalities (Baucau, Manatuto, Aileu, Liquica and Maliana) and 3 projects in the zone of Oe-cusse Ambeno; We held the Tour de Timor and the Darwin to Díli Yacht rally and promoted Timor-Leste as a tourist destination at the Milan Expo.
• Continued work on 86 Basic Infrastructure Projects in the areas of Energy, Roads and Bridges, Water and Sanitation, Public Buildings, Finance, Education, Security and Defence and Agriculture, with total funding of $ 40M from the Infrastructure Fund. These projects encompassed 12 municipalities and the Special Region of Oe-cusse Ambeno.
• Launched the project to rehabilitate and expand the water supply system in the capital city of Manatuto which will supply drinking water, 24 hours a day to the sucos of Sau, Ailili, Aiteas and Maabat. The work has reached more than 50% of construction.
• Evaluated 58 proposals for infrastructure projects with a total value of $ 395 M, through the National Development Agency (NDA). In the follow-up verification, the total cost of these proposals fell to around $ 330 M representing a saving to the state over than $ 61M.
• Inspected and approved payments for over than 500 projects in 12 municipalities and the Special Region of Oe-cusse Ambeno. These projects include roads and bridges, buildings, irrigation, ports, airports and protection from floods.
• Signed 310 contracts for the rehabilitation of community heritage buildings of the Education Sector in 12 municipalities.
• Built 130 prefabricated houses in the districts of Viqueque, Liquica and Dili, as part of the Government's commitment on the MDG Suco Development Initiative.
• Acquired 100,000 desks for public schools.
• Regulated the electricity rates, distributed 2,000 units of prepaid electricity meters in Oe-cusse Ambeno and installed in 1,922 units. We distributed 16,500 prepaid meters across 10 municipalities. Revenues in 2015 reached the amount of $ 22,581,010 in 12 municipalities and $ 84,500 in Oe-cusse Ambeno.
• Continued with the process of concession of the Port of Tíbar, through the approval of Decree-Law on the Legal Regime of the Public Private Partnership for the Port of Tibar establishing the legal framework specifically applicable to the port of Tibar, granting powers to the government to negotiate and sign the contract with the private partner, to develop the design, financing, implementation, operation and management of the new deep water port.
• Launched the 'cornerstone' of Oe-cusse Ambeno airport whose construction is ongoing.
• Finalized Plans Water and Sanitation Masters for the Same capital, Baucau, Viqueque and Los Palos.
• Finalized the Transportation Master Plan that serves as the basis for planned investments and improvements for the sector.
GOOD GOVERNANCE SECTOR
• Held the First National Conference on Social Audit, in partnership with the Presidency of the Republic, signed a MoU with FONGTIL and held Social Audit activities in the areas of education, health, basic infrastructure and agriculture. The Social Audit Unit has recorded 27 cases so far.
• Through the Human Capital Development Fund, we assigned 2,661 scholarships in the areas of health, management and public administration, engineering, and education, among others, and have funded 15,310 beneficiaries to participate in technical training and specialized training programs.
• Created the Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals that has initiated activities to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the actions necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, approved by the Cabinet and the National Parliament.
• Established the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit to ensure a better link between planning and budgeting and clearly define performance indicators in the implementation of public funds in order to facilitate their monitoring and evaluation.
• Signed the Concordat, the agreement establishing the legal framework for relations between Timor-Leste Democratic Republic and the Holy See and the Catholic Church.
• Passed the Legal Regime of the Toponymy and Building Numbering, and have already implemented the pilot program in the villages of Gricenfor, Colmera and Motael with numbering completed for 1,559 houses and naming completed for 75 streets.
• Established the Council for the Permanent Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries, so that there is finally a delimitation of national maritime borders; a priority that can achieve the full sovereignty of our maritime territory.
• Launched the preliminary results of the National Census of Population and Housing Timor-Leste in 2015, the third census to be held since the Restoration of Independence, which revealed a growing population, and recorded a total population of 1,167,242 people.
• Signed an agreement with the European Parliament for exemption of visas for Timorese citizens traveling up to 90 days in European Union countries. Citizens of European countries enjoy the same arrangement on entering Timor-Leste.
• Issued identity cards to 76,091 people (M: 32,636; F: 43,455) and extended its processing system and issued to the districts of Baucau, Ermera and Lautem.
• Public Administration Reform - We approved the Guide to Public Administration Reform which is based on four key pillars: institutional strengthening, strengthening of civil service reform and training of INAP, and strengthening the monitoring of administrative, financial and patrimonial state through State General inspection.
• Tax Reform - We have set up the Commission for Tax Reform, hired the respective Coordinator and approved the plan for the implementation of that reform, which outlines the objectives, key issues and action lines of the reform. We have also held the first meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Tax Reform where legislative proposals, procedures, regulations and tax policies are analyzed.
• Economic Reform - We created the Economic Coordination Structure which has the mandate to propose and implement concrete measures and actions to implement the Guide Reform and Economic Development of East Timor from 2015 to 2017.
• Law Reform and Justice Sector - established the Commission for Legislative Reform and Justice Sector, whose members have already been sworn in and have begun their work.