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  • 01 of July of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of July 1, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of July 1, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved a draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis  Manuel Leite Magalhães, concerning the organic of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM). This law amends the organic of the PCM, following the new governmental structure and seeks to clarify the tasks of the PCM, considering its specific legal nature as a Government department, chaired by the Prime Minister, assisted by the Minister of the PCM. In order to strengthen the efficiency of the administrative action of the administrative services, the organization of the central services falls under the direction of the Director General of Administration. The experience of the Ministry of Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs in the reform of the legislative procedure and in administrative innovation is reflected in the administrative reorganization of the PCM, with the creation of a Legal Support Office and an Office of Administrative Reform for the preparation and implementation of the Minister's own powers provided for in Article 13 of the Organic Law of the Eight Constitutional Government. The same idea is the base for the autonomy as an Office, of the support service given to the ministerial functions of Government spokesperson and the strengthening of translation services throughout the Government.
    The Government also approved a draft, also presented by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, to amend the Rules of Procedure of the Council of Ministers. The revision of this Rules of Procedure aims to accommodate the reorganization of the powers of the Government members, reflecting the change to the organic of the Eight Constitutional Government. It also reviews the rules on the legislative Government procedure, considering the integration of legislative reform powers, into the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The current Rules of Procedure seek to maintain the decisive importance of the timing of the decision to legislate, which adequately guides the legislative procedure, in this case by the reasons for that decision and through the inclusion in the Government’s legislative, assessed regularly. The new rules maintain the core of the previous regimental discipline, regarding the simplification of the legislative procedure, avoiding duplication of the intervention of interested parties at the time of the issuance of mandatory opinions and the subsequent circulation of diplomas before the scheduling in the Council of Ministers while also reinforcing the mechanisms for articulating the different contributions to the legislative procedure.
    Finally, the Council of Ministers gave full powers to Finance Minister Fernando Hanjan to sign an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a financial contribution of one million US dollars, from the Asia-Pacific Disaster Response Fund, to support the population affected by COVID-19, in particular in food security-related programs. The agreement provides for the financial contribution to be used to buy food from national farmers and to distribute it to the most vulnerable families. The program will be implemented by the United Nations in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. ENDS
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    29 of June of 2020Timor-Leste Welcomes the Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Timor-Leste Welcomes the Chairman’s Statement of the 36th ASEAN Summit
    Timor-Leste, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, congratulates ASEAN and Vietnam as 2020 Chair, on the successful completion of the 36th ASEAN Summit on 26 June 2020.
    We recognise that ASEAN’s coordination and leadership on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly enhanced our region’s resilience during this time, and this underscores the importance of cross-border cooperation as we rebuild in the period ahead.

    Recognition of Positive Momentum Towards ASEAN Accession
    Timor-Leste welcomes ASEAN’s clear recognition of the positive momentum towards our accession to ASEAN, as set out in the Chair’s Statement. We are also grateful for the strong expressions of support from ASEAN member states on accession, which were made at the Summit.
    As confirmed in the Chair's Statement, Timor-Leste looks forward to convening the two remaining Fact-Finding Missions on the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. The completion of these missions in 2020 will allow ASEAN to finalise its comprehensive assessment of technical readiness, and pave the way for accession in the near term.
    The Government of Timor-Leste remains strongly committed to achieving a smooth accession process, and will continue to enhance coordination with ASEAN, to build on the great strides towards technical preparedness. ENDS
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    29 of June of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 29, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 29, 2020

    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the budget ceiling of US$1,492.3 million for the General State Budget (OGE) for the 2020 financial year. The Government set the following as priorities for the OGE 2020: the stabilization of the social sector, focusing on health, education, training, water and sanitation; stabilising the economic sector by promoting private sector investment, job creation, agriculture and food security and macroeconomic policy; and reforms of  public administration, the  economy, the judiciary and the management of public finances. Based on these priorities, of the total value of the OGE 2020, 33.8% will be directed to the social sector (8% for education, 15% for social protection and 11% for health) and 48.5% towards economic development and infrastructure (including measures for economic stabilization under COVID-19).
    Government members also approved the 2020 and 2021 OGE preparation schedule. The draft Law must be approved in the Council of Ministers on August 26, to be submitted to the National Parliament by September 15.
    Regarding the timetable for the OGE 2021, it is expected that the Draft Law will be considered in the Council of Ministers on September 25, so that it may be submitted to the National Parliament by October 15. ENDS
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    24 of June of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 24, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 24, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved a draft Decree-Law on the first amendment to Decree-Law No. 16/2020 of April 30, on employment support measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation appears to have evolved favorably, both in terms of health and epidemiologically, as well as in terms of the economy, which gradually is resuming its normal course, it is considered that it is not justified to extend the temporary support created by Decree-Law No. 16/2020 of April 30, beyond June. Thus, with this amendment, such support applies to employment contracts which have been suspended, or whose normal working periods have been reduced in March, April, May and June 2020, as well as contributions relating to the same months.
    The Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva, presented a draft Decree-Law, approved, with amendments, by the Council of Ministers, on the national registration of ships and vessels. This diploma aims to regulate the registration of ships in Timor-Leste. With this Decree-Law, ships and other national vessels must be registered so that they can fly the Timorese flag, as an indication of their nationality, and sail under the jurisdiction of Timor-Leste. The purpose of the registration of ships and other vessels is also to verify the fulfilment of the technical requirements and safety conditions necessary for their navigability and protection of the marine environment, taking into account their typology.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Resolution, also presented by the Minister of Transport and Communications, which approves the Transport Policy and Program. Interlinked with the objectives defined in the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 and with the Government's Strategic Development Objectives, the main objectives of the Transport Sector are the improvement of capacity, skill and allocation of resources, improvement of legal frameworks in order to meet the needs of a modern transport system, as well as to facilitate and assist an efficient operation, which strengthens security and fosters socio-economic development, and improves operational regulation and management of the transport system.
    The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law, presented by the Acting Minister of the Interior, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, referring to the Disciplinary Regulation of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL). This draft Decree-Law re the current reviews the Disciplinary Regulation of the PNTL, approved in 2004 and which is currently outdated in the face of the needs of the institution and, what are the objectives of development and professionalization of the PNTL. The new regulation aims to provide the PNTL with a structured set of rules that guarantee institutional and professional discipline, towards the true legal objectives of a modern police, created for the defense of citizens and for the discipline of the fundamental relations of life in society.
    The Executive also approved a draft deliberation authorizing the Ambassador of Timor-Leste in Beijing to sign an agreement with the People's Republic of China for the provision of free military assistance to Timor-Leste.
    The Council of Ministers approved the opening of the supply process for the fuel purchase contract for the Power Plants of Hera and Betano, proposed by the Minister of Public Works, Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires. This supply process aims to purchase fuel for the production of electricity for a period of three years, between December 2020 and December 2023, during which it is estimated that 428,169,843 liters of fuel are needed.
    The Council of Ministers approved a draft Law, presented by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, which makes the first amendment to Law No. 11/2017 of May 24, Migration and Asylum Law. This amendment allows the Government, through a resolution, to order the temporary closure of border posts when there is a pandemic or health emergency of international scope, in accordance with the International Health Regulations approved by the World Health Organization. With the present diploma, the Government may also, through a Government Resolution, temporarily prohibit foreigners, in whose country of origin, or in a country they have passed through in transit, there is an outbreak of cases of disease that due to its degree of transmissibility, by infection or contamination, constitute, once imported into the national territory, a risk to public health.
    The Council of Ministers approved a Draft Law, also presented by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, concerning the first amendment to Law No. 10/2004 of November 24, the Health System Law. With this amendment, the competent authorities for epidemiological and health surveillance are given power to use public health protection mechanisms to prevent and neutralize the risks of the spread of diseases in the population. Public health protection measures detailed in this legislation include the possibility of subjecting any person to medical examinations and the possibility, in the case of suspected disease included in a list provided for in law or administrative regulation, of inpatient hospitalization or treatment, isolation and quarantine. In the case of a disaster or a serious health emergency, home confinement may also be ordered.
    Finally, the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus, gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers, on the 2019 annual report of the national action plan against gender-based violence. This plan is based on four pillars, the prevention of gender-based violence, the provision of essential services for victims of violence, access to justice and coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and presents the main recommendations for actions to be implemented in accordance with each pillar, such as raising awareness among the population and institutions on gender issues, improving victims' access to health and shelter, improving the judiciary and the legal framework for protecting victims and improving institutional coordination. ENDS
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    17 of June of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 17, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 17, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved a draft Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa, on the appointment of Tiago Amaral Sarmento as a permanent member of the Superior Council of the Judiciary. The Council is responsible for managing and disciplining the activity of judicial magistrates and also to appoint, place, transfer and promote judges in Timor-Leste. The Superior Council of the Judiciary is chaired by the Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court of Justice and includes four members, one of which is designated by the Government.
    The Government also approved the draft Decree-Law on the Legal Regime of Epidemiological Surveillance and Sanitary Surveillance. This diploma aims to provide epidemiological and health surveillance authorities with a range of measures appropriate for the protection and promotion of public health, both in times of normality as well as in emergency circumstances, without prejudice to the special regime of states of constitutional exception. The Decree-Law aims to ensure the mechanisms of protection of public health, seeking to avoid and neutralize risks of dissemination and spread of diseases in the population.
    The Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers on the registration and organization of inspection services for ships and vessels. The presentation focused on the preliminary analysis of two draft Decree-Laws aimed at establishing registration standards and procedures and inspection services for the use of national ships and vessels, in accordance with international standards of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment. The two draft Decree-Laws will continue to be examined by the Council of Ministers and will be discussed at the next executive meeting.
    The Minister of Defense, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, also gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers regarding the proposal for the creation of the National Maritime Authority (AMN) and the definition of its attributions and its coordinating structure. It is intended that the AMN becomes the entity responsible for coordinating the activities, nationwide, to be carried out by the Naval Force Component and the Direction of the National Maritime Authority, in the area of jurisdiction and within the framework of the Maritime Authority System, in compliance with the instructions defined by the Minister of Defense. The creation of this institution will continue to be examined by the Government and will be considered again at a later meeting of the Council of Ministers. ENDS
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    10 of June of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 10, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 10, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the second amendment to the Organic Law of the VIII Constitutional Government, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak. With this amendment, the Government integrates the National Ambulance and Emergency Medical Service within the Ministry of Health, clarifies the tasks of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on administrative reform and modernization and defines more precisely the tasks of the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs as a member of the Government supporting the Prime Minister in the coordination of the Government in economic matters. Regarding the composition of the Executive, this diploma merges the positions of Deputy Minister for Primary Health Care and Deputy Minister for Strategic Health Development, into a Vice-Minister of Health. The position of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is also created.
    The Government also approved a draft Government Resolution, also presented by the Prime Minister, on the creation of the Commission for the Preparation of the Economic Recovery Plan and the appointment of Rui Gomes to lead this Commission. The Commission is tasked, within a maximum period of sixty days, to recommend to the Council of Ministers the measures to be adopted and the actions to be taken for the recovery of the national economy, properly systematised and condensed into an Economic Recovery Plan. The Commission is extinguished by the presentation of the Plan to the Council of Ministers.
    The Council of Ministers approved two draft Government Resolutions, presented by the Prime Minister, concerning the dismissal of José Luís Guterres and the appointment of Arsenio Paixão Bano to the post of President of the Authority of the Special Administrative Region of Oe-Cusse Ambeno (RAEOA).
    The Council of Ministers also approved three draft resolutions, presented by the Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho  da Silva, concerning Timor-Leste’s accession to three Conventions that constitute the three most important pillars of international instruments regulating issues related to maritime safety and the prevention of pollution caused by ships.
    The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). This Convention is a fundamental international instrument establishing a wide range of provisions regulating the training and certification requirements for seafarers for the performance of duties on board seagoing vessels. The STCW was adopted in 1978 by the conference at the International Maritime Organization and entered into force in 1984.
    The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The SOLAS Convention was approved in 1914 by the International Maritime Organization, and seeks to ensure minimum standards for the construction, equipment, and operation of ships.
    The International Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution For Ships (MARPOL). This Convention, adopted in 1973 by the International Maritime Organization, was designed to minimize pollution of the oceans.
    The Council of Ministers granted full powers to the Minister for Transport and Communications to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on the Cross-Border Bus Movement. This agreement aims to facilitate the cross-border transport of people and goods, promote, develop and strengthen trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries, establish an integrated and efficient transport system that is capable of encouraging growth and national economic development, in line with the economic objective of joining ASEAN and expanding the land transport network as well as other services capable of stimulating the movement of people and goods between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
    The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dionísio Babo Soares, also received full powers to sign the exchange of notes with the People's Republic of China, for the construction of the Sino-Timorese friendship hospital (military hospital) and the Lere  Anan  Timur School and for the signing of an Exchange of Notes with the Government of Japan, for financial support for the purchase of medical equipment and institutional training. ENDS
     
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    03 of June of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 3, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 3, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the draft deliberation, presented by The Minister of Finance, Fernando Hanjam, which sets the amount of the temporary budget allocation for the month of June 2020 at 122.3 million U.S. dollars (including the payment of loans). Among other expenses, this amount includes US$3.3 million for the payment of Nakroma II and seven million dollars to ensure the payment of the extraordinary allowance, of 60% of the remuneration, under the employment support measure.
    The Government also approved the draft law, presented by the Minister of Finance, on the authorization for an extraordinary transfer from the Petroleum Fund and also the first amendment to Law No. 2/2020 of April 6, which created the COVID-19 Fund. Considering that revenue from tax revenue and the balance of the previous year's budget implementation, supplemented by the extraordinary transfer of the Petroleum Fund, authorized by Law No. 2/2020 of 6 April, are insufficient to finance the regular activity of the Public Administration beyond August and that the amount allocated to the budget of the COVID-19 Fund does not cover all the expenditure foreseen with the prevention and control measures of the COVID-19 pandemic, this law aims to authorize an extraordinary transfer of the Petroleum Fund to the General State Budget, in the amount of US$286,800,000, to ensure sufficient financial conditions for the normal functioning of the Public Administration until the approval of the General State Budget of 2020.
    The Draft Law also includes the first amendment to Law No. 2/2020 of April 6, which authorised an extraordinary transfer of the Petroleum Fund in the financial year 2020 and which created the COVID-19 Fund, so as to clarify that among the purposes of the Fund is also the financing of economic support and social protection measures in response to the economic consequences of the measures taken to prevent and combat COVID-19 and the global economic crisis caused by the pandemic, as well as the operating costs of the Fund itself.
    The Council of Ministers approved the Draft Law, also presented by the Minister of Finance, for the first amendment to Law No.14/2009 of October 21, on the Remuneration Status of Holders of Political Positions. With this amendment, The Deputy Ministers or Secretaries of State who replace their Ministers in the performance of their duties for a period of more than three months, should receive the remuneration corresponding to the post of Minister from the beginning of the performance of their duties under substitution and until its end. This diploma takes effect from the date of the swearing-in of the VIII Constitutional Government.  ENDS
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    29 of May of 2020Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 29, 2020
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers of May 29, 2020
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili, and the meeting started with the message of the Prime Minister welcoming the new members of the Government and thanking the outgoing members of Government and those who replaced non-sworn-in members of the Government for their effort and dedication during the exercise of their duties in the VIII Constitutional Government.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Decree, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, on the measures to implement the renewal of the declaration of the state of emergency enacted by the Decree of the President of the Republic No. 35/2020 of May 27, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of emergency covers the entire national territory and is in force between 00.00 hours on May 28, 2020 (Thursday) and 23.59 hours on June 26, 2020 (Friday).
    The set of measures adopted by the Government to prevent and control a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste contributed to the fact that, currently, there are no people infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus in the national territory. Nevertheless, it is now important to control any risks of re-importing the new coronavirus.
    As such, as considering the Government Decree No. 8/2020 of 30 April, measures relating to international circulation are maintained, and the Prime Minister can now also exceptionally authorize, in addition to the cases previously set out, the entry of foreigners into national territory, in duly substantiated cases, related to the work of companies.
    All measures previously applied with regard to the sanitary control at the entrance and exit points of the national territory, circulation in national territory and establishment of residence are maintained.
    The Minister of the Interior may, through a Ministerial Order, determine the temporary closure of border posts.
    With regard to measures applying to public administration, the Government Decree states that public services should operate normally, while ensuring a minimum distance of one and a half meters between individuals, the use of a protective mask and hand washing before entering public spaces.
    Pre-school, primary education, secondary education, higher education and vocational or technical-vocational training institutions can now carry out school activities on a face-to-face basis, provided that they meet the technical criteria to be approved by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture.
    With this Decree-Law, the rules of access and permanence in market premises are maintained and the limitations related to private economic activities are removed. There are also no limitations on religious, sporting activities and the right to strike and demonstration.
    For the duration of the state of emergency, licences, authorisations and other administrative acts and documents remain valid regardless of the expiry date.
    The Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Alexandrino de Araújo, gave a presentation to the Council of Ministers on the recovery plan, support already provided and the need for intervention to cope with the damage caused and to support the population affected by the floods that affected the east and south coast of the country last week. ENDS
     
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