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  • 01 of June of 2022Meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 1st, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers on June 1st, 2022
    The Council of Ministers met at the auditorium of the Ministry of Finance, in Dili, and approved the National Parliament Resolution Proposal that ratifies the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty in which the signatory countries have committed themselves to reduce their respective greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. The Doha Amendment to this Protocol is also an important contribution to broadening awareness and mobilization regarding the need and demand for a greater global effort to combat climate change, namely by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5%. 147 countries have already ratified this amendment.
    The Council of Ministers decided to authorize the Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva, to negotiate an Air Services Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
    The Council of Ministers also decided to grant full powers to the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral, to sign an Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
    The Council of Ministers also decided to grant full powers to the Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo, to sign a Cooperation Agreement in the area of Health between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Republic of East Timor.
    The Council of Ministers also decided to grant full powers to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Social Communication, Francisco Martins da Costa Pereira Jerónimo, to sign an agreement with the National Radio and Television Administration of the People's Republic of China.
    The Council of Ministers also deliberated to give full powers to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Media, Francisco Martins da Costa Pereira Jerónimo, to sign an agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, to proceed with the digitalization process of the Radio and Television of Timor-Leste and for the second phase of the digital terrestrial television project.
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law regarding the First Amendment to the Decree-Law 16/ 2004, of October 1st, which approved the Cooperatives Law, presented by the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral. With this first amendment to the Decree-Law, some changes have been introduced that may constitute another incentive for the sector, insofar as cooperatives are crucial for the economic development of the country.
    Following this amendment, the Council of Ministers approved three draft Decree-Laws, also presented by the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral.
    The first is the draft Decree-Law on Trading Cooperatives. This decree-law aims to establish a specific legal regime for trading cooperatives.
    The second is the draft Decree-Law on Agricultural Cooperatives. This decree-law aims to give legal expression to current and future trends in expanding the traditional areas of intervention of agricultural cooperatives.
    And the third is the draft Decree-Law on Fishing Cooperatives. This decree-law intends to provide fishing cooperatives with a more complete legal framework, which will allow the development of fisheries in Timor-Leste.
    Lastly, the Council of Ministers approved the draft Deliberation, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, regarding the Authorization of expenditure and opening of the procurement procedure for the award of the contract for the acquisition of management services for the implementation of the Unique Identity System Implementation Strategy (Unique ID), the definition of the type of procedure to be adopted and authorization to enter into multi-annual commitments related to the execution of the contract to be awarded. With this deliberation, the Council of Ministers decides to authorize the opening of a procurement procedure, of the International Public Tender type, with a maximum value of US$ 13,814,201 (thirteen million, eight hundred and fourteen thousand, two hundred and one American dollars) also authorizing the Information and Communication Technologies Agency, I.P. to manage the execution of the Unique Identity System Implementation Strategy (Unique ID) in a pluri-annual regime. END 
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  • 30 of May of 2022Government congratulates Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva on his elevation to Cardinal
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Dili, May 30th, 2022
    Press Release
    Government congratulates Dom Virgílio do Carmo da Silva on his elevation to Cardinal
    The 8th Constitutional Government expresses congratulations on the decision by Pope Francis to appoint the current Archbishop of Dili, His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, as the first Cardinal in Timor-Leste.
    This decision was announced yesterday, May 29th, by Pope Francis, at the end of the Angelus prayer in St Peter's Square. The elevation ceremony of the first Timorese Cardinal and the other new Cardinals, also appointed yesterday, will take place this coming August 27th.
    Cardinals are members of the College of Cardinals, an advisory body to the Pope, whose duty is to assist him in the governance of the Catholic Church.
    His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, son of José do Carmo and Isabel da Silva was born in Venilale on November 27th, 1968. He made his aspirancy, pre-Seminary, in Fatumaca in 1983. He entered the novitiate, also in Fatumaca, in the year 1989-1990. He took his first vows on May 31st, 1990. He did his philosophical studies and theology in the Philippines, in Canlubang and Parañaque, respectively. He took his final vows on March 19th, 1997. He received his sacerdotal ordination in Parañaque, in the Philippines, on December 18th, 1998. He was then assigned to the Salesian house in Venilale as bursar and vicar. In 2005, he was sent to Rome where he studied Spiritual Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University. Upon his return to Timor-Leste, he was appointed Master of Novices and Director of Fatumaca House, positions he held from 2008 until January 2014, when he took over as Provincial Superior.
    On March 19th, 2016, His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Dili and on September 11th, 2019 he was appointed the first Archbishop of Dili.
    The Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, on behalf of the 8th Constitutional Government, congratulated, today, by phone, His Most Reverend Excellency Archbishop Virgílio do Carmo da Silva and also the representative of the Vatican in Timor-Leste, Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, for this so honourable distinction, that represents an enormous pride for all Timorese people and that constitutes a deserved recognition of his work and his human qualities. END
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  • 24 of May of 2022Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 25th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 25th, 2022
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved the draft Law Proposal for legislative authorization regarding company recovery and insolvency, presented by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral. The purpose of this request for legislative authorization to the National Parliament is to draft a modern Recovery and Insolvency law, as an essential element for the growth of the country's economic fabric and investment. This need arises from the intention of the 8th Constitutional Government to transform the foundations of the Timorese economy to increase resilience and growth potential, supporting and resolving the situations of companies in difficult financial situations, but that are economically viable. Furthermore, it also aims at responding to the demands of ASEAN and WTO integration, with a legislative framework that meets the needs of the country and the commitments assumed in the international arena.
     
    The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law that proceeds with the first amendment to Decree-Law no. 45/2015, of December 30th, which creates the Investment and Export Promotion Agency of Timor-Leste, I.P., also presented by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral. This decree-law aims to adjust TradeInvest's legal regime, reinforcing its competencies as the governmental entity responsible for promoting, facilitating and monitoring private investment and exports in Timor-Leste. In addition, this amendment aims to ensure the uniformity and consistency of the national legal system, namely adjusting the legal regime of this government agency to Decree-Law No 15/2017 of August 23rd, Private Investment Law, Decree-Law No 16/2021 of September 15th, on the General Bases of the Organization of Public Administration and Decree-Law No 30/2020 of July 29th, on the Direct and Indirect Organization of the State.
     
    The Council of Ministers also approved three Decree-Law projects, presented by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos.

    The first is the draft decree-law approving minimum values for disability and elderly pensions.
     


    This proposal aims to guarantee minimum values for invalidity and elderly pensions, within the scope of the contributory social security regime, depending on the contributory career of the workers. Thus, the aim is to ensure that these pensions, under the contributory scheme, are never lower than the social pensions, to reward the contributory effort of the workers.

    The second is the draft decree-law approving the Social Pension.
     
    The new social benefit, created by this Decree-Law, has the nature of a social pension and not a subsidy, aiming to ensure a decent minimum income to all those who really need it because they have no other forms of income and are in a situation of old age or disability. This social pension replaces the Subsidy for Support to Elders and Invalids (SAII), to make the social security system fairer.

    This legislative amendment aims at the following changes:


    Changing the concept, from subsidy to a social pension;
    Changing the personal scope to include workers who are in the contributory system but are not entitled to a pension;
    Adjusting the value of the benefit, ensuring that the amount of the pension does not fall below the international poverty line;
    Not allowing the accumulation of other income, for new beneficiaries;
    Changing the periodicity of payments from biannual to monthly payments;

    The third is the draft Decree-Law that creates the Disability Verification System.

    This draft decree-law aims to create a system for verifying situations of disability to grant social benefits. With this decree-law, the administrative procedure of technical verification of the disability situation is defined.

    The Disability Verification Service is a specialized technical instrument, composed of technical and material means, which will operate in two services integrated into the National Institute of Social Security (INSS): the medical expertise service and the administrative support service.
     
    The Council of Ministers also approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Taur Matan Ruak, which amends the Organic Law of the National Police of Timor-Leste. This organic restructuring of the PNTL seeks to adapt its response capacity to the current national and international challenges, improving the functional and operational conditions, in line with the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030, the Strategic Concept for National Defence and Security and the Program of the 8th Constitutional Government.

    With this amendment to the PNTL Organic Law, a hierarchical organisational model was adopted, consisting of three levels of command: a top-level, under the command of the General Commander and assisted by the 2nd General Commander; an intermediate level that comprises the Operational Command, the Administration Command and the Personnel Command; and a third level, made up of the municipal commands, including the recently created Ataúro municipal command, and the Oé-Cusse Ambeno regional command.

    It is also envisaged that the regional command and municipal commands, the Higher Institute of Police Sciences and the special police units, which are assigned competencies in areas of police speciality at the national level, will function in the same hierarchical position.

    Lastly, the Council of Ministers was given a presentation on the Public Perception Survey - 2022 TATOLI, presented by the Asia Foundation. This survey was conducted in January and February 2022, with the support of the Government of Australia.  A total of 2489 adult citizens were interviewed, in all municipalities of Timor-Leste.

    The results include information on employment, type and value of income, international remittances, economic recovery aid payments, economic well-being and economic situation.

    Furthermore, the survey addressed issues such as the path the country is taking, the main problems facing the country and the communities, and the difficulties women face.

    The survey also sought to understand what the citizens' opinions are on Government action, namely what the main priorities should be and what the reasons are that prevent the Government from doing a better job.

    The survey also addressed the issues of public service delivery, women's rights, infrastructure, perception of corruption, political perceptions, the role of women in politics and leadership renewal.

    And lastly, the study addressed media-related issues, namely which are the sources of information, the use of digital media and media independence, and the use of social networks. END


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  • 17 of May of 2022Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 17th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 17th, 2022
    The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved five draft Decree-Law projects, presented by Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak.
    The draft Decree-Law concerning the Organic Law of the Secretariat of State for Timorese Communities Abroad. This Secretariat of State, which is under the direct dependence of the Prime Minister, seeks to respond to the concerns of the Timorese living abroad. The objective of this new Secretariat of State is to strengthen the ties that unite Timorese citizens living abroad and the Timorese State. With this service, it is intended that Timorese citizens living abroad may have easier access to an important set of public services. This Secretariat of State will also have the function of disseminating information on the Timor-Leste development process to Timorese communities in the diaspora and mobilising them to promote Timor-Leste abroad.
    The draft Decree-Law on the regulation of the National Liberation Combatants Fund. This decree-law regulates the National Liberation Combatants Fund and establishes the model for the investment of the fund's resources, to generate income and ensure its continuity. This fund, which will have an initial allocation of US$ 1,000,000,000.00 (one billion US dollars) will be an autonomous fund with administrative, financial and patrimonial autonomy. The objective of the fund is to finance support programmes for National Liberation Combatants, namely in the areas of social support, education, health, employment, access to credit and income-generating activities. The fund will also be responsible for the payment of the single cash benefit foreseen in the Statute of the National Liberation Combatants.
    The Draft Decree-Law that grants the right to decent accommodation to F-FDTL military personnel on duty and active service and to members of the PNTL, who, for service reasons, have to move to a different municipality from the one where they have their habitual residence. This right is materialised through the installation of F-FDTL military personnel on duty and on active service, and members of the PNTL who, for reasons of service, have to move to a different municipality from the one where they have their habitual residence, in a house made available by the State. The State may provide houses that already belong to the State or rent houses for this purpose.
    The Draft Decree-Law establishing the Programme to encourage the renewal and expansion of coffee plantation areas. Given the importance of agriculture, in particular, the coffee culture, for the improvement of the living conditions of the Timorese and the economic development of the country, as well as the importance of supporting the production and promotion of organic and high-quality coffee and of improving coffee production through the rehabilitation of coffee plantations, the Government decides to establish this support programme. This draft Decree-Law aims to stimulate the renovation of coffee plantations, expand coffee plantation areas, increase annual coffee production and increase farmers' incomes.

    The support will be as follows:

    Grant to support the renovation or expansion of coffee plantations, in the amount of US$340 (three hundred and forty US dollars) for each hectare of coffee plantation renovated or newly planted;
    Grant to support the planting and treatment of trees to protect or support coffee plants in coffee plantations, in the amount of US$ 0.21 (twenty-one cents) for each tree planted.

    The Draft Decree-Law establishing the Support Programme for the Planting of Coastal Mangroves "Ai-parapa" and approving its implementation rules.

    This Decree-law's purposes are:

    Encouraging the creation of Coastal Mangroves “ai-parapa” nurseries;
    Expanding the Coastal Mangroves “ai-parapa” planting areas;
    Fighting coastal erosion;
    Improving Timor-Leste's position in the international carbon market;
    Contributing to the consolidation of Timor-Leste as a tourist destination.


    The support is provided through a public grant of US$ 0.50 (fifty cents) per Coastal Mangroves “ai-parapa” plant grown in nurseries or planted.
    The Council of Ministers also approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Armindo Maia, regarding the measure of support for establishments of pre-school education, basic education and secondary education, public and private, integrated into the network of the public service offer, for internet access, to award a scholarship to the best students and to implement the pilot project "Eskola iha Uma” or home-schooling, as well as the financing of the feasibility study of the establishment of the “Escola de Raiz” (school from scratch).
    With this draft Decree-Law, it is established:

    Support for internet access, through the payment by the State of the installation and maintenance costs of the internet connection for teachers and students in 1008 establishments of Central Basic Education (EBC) and General and Technical-Vocational Secondary Schools, as well as the costs of internet traffic;
    A scholarship for the best students, which consists in the attribution of a pecuniary sum, the amount of which shall be determined by Ministerial Diploma, targeting 5837 students;
    The financing of the project "Eskola iha Uma” or homeschooling. This funding is intended to meet expenses related to recruitment, hiring and training of teachers, with the acquisition of didactic and pedagogical materials and with monitoring and evaluation processes. The pilot project in Dili is expected to include the hiring of 442 teachers, who will operate in 222 villages. This support also includes support for the Mobile Library and teacher training, with the feasibility study for the establishment of the “Escola de Raiz” (school from scratch).

    The Council of Ministers also approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, which makes the third amendment to Decree-Law no. 55/2020, of October 28th, approving the establishment of the Social Security Reserve Fund and the definition of the respective management model.
    With this amendment, the concept of operational management is defined and it is possible that the Social Security Reserve Fund, directly, or the Central Bank of Timor-Leste or another public entity, responsible for the operational management, may resort to hiring or subcontracting other entities to assume some specific functions included in the operational management of the Fund.
    Furthermore, with this amendment, it is clarified that the assets that will be part of the portfolio of the Social Security Reserve Fund must be issued by entities that do not present a substantial risk of default, to ensure the safety of the Fund itself, with the maximisation of income and the minimisation of risks.

    Lastly, three draft Decree-Laws were also presented by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos.
    A Project to replace the SAII with invalidity and elderly social pension.
    With this legislative amendment, the following changes are sought:

    Changing the concept, from subsidy to a pension;
    Changing the personal scope, to include workers who are in the contributory system but are not entitled to a pension;
    Adjusting the value of the benefit, ensuring that the amount of the pension does not fall below the international poverty line;
    Not allowing the accumulation of other incomes;
    Changing the periodicity of payments from biannual to monthly payments;

     
    A project that establishes minimum values for the invalidity and elderly minimum pensions of the contributory regime.
    This proposal aims to guarantee a minimum pension, depending on the contributory career of the workers.
    A Project for the establishment of the Incapacity Verification Service.
    This project aims to create a service that certifies situations of incapacity to grant social benefits. END
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  • 16 of May of 2022Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 16th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 16th, 2022
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  • 09 of May of 2022Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 13th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 13th, 2022
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  • 09 of May of 2022Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 9th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
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    Press Release
    Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 9th, 2022
    The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved a Law Proposal, presented by the Minister of Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes, relative to the Major Planning Options for 2023. The existence of a Law for the Major Planning Options is a requirement of Law no. 2/2022, of February 10th, the State Budget and Public Financial Management Framework Law. This Law aims to approve the annual and multi-annual options, in terms of planning with impact on the State Budget and the multi-annual budget programming, which will allow for the full implementation of programme budgeting.

    The Major Planning Options for 2023 present, by Article 47 of Law no. 2/2022 of February 10, the identification of the budgetary strategy and the main options in terms of planning with an impact on the State Budget for the following budgetary year and the four subsequent years, the multi-year budgetary programming and an analysis of the projections of the main macroeconomic indicators with an impact on the State Budget and their evolution.

    This Bill will now be submitted to the National Parliament.

    The Council of Ministers also approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, regarding the Uma ba Ema Kbiit Laek Plus (UKL+) programme. This draft Decree-Law had already been approved in the meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 6th, 2022, however, due to some amendments being introduced in the final drafting phase, it became necessary to submit it to a new approval by the Council of Ministers. This Decree-Law establishes a special provisioning regime for the implementation of the UKL+ measure. With this new regime, two options are now foreseen: one, with the attribution of the subsidies through the PNDS village (suco) structures, and another with the possibility of centralised provisioning, to achieve economies of scale and savings of economic resources.

    The programme aims to improve the habitability conditions of houses that serve as permanent homes for the most vulnerable households, in situations where the house is in bad condition and they have no other house to reside in. For the UKL+ programme, the most vulnerable households are considered to be those whose average daily income does not exceed US$ 1.25 and whose homes are in a poor state of conservation.
    Households can be beneficiaries of one of the following support modalities:
    a) Financial support for improvement, conservation or repair works in their housing, up to a maximum of US$ 13000;
    b) Support in the form of building materials for the replacement of the roofing and lining materials of their home, up to a maximum of US$ 4000. END
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  • 04 of May of 2022Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 6th, 2022
    Presidency of the Council of Ministers
    Eighth Constitutional Government
    .............................................................................................................................
    Press Release
    Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 6th, 2022
    The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved the draft Government Resolution, presented by the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, for the establishment of the Interministerial Commission for the coordination of the value chain and stimulus to local production and for the establishment of its support committee. The purpose of this Interministerial Commission is to submit recommendations to the Council of Ministers for the improvement and coherence of public policies, administrative systems and procedures, and the legal framework for coordinating the value chain and stimulating the growth of domestic production.

    The Council of Ministers also approved a draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, regarding the provisioning regime for the Uma ba Ema Kbiit Laek Plus (UKL+) (House for the poor) programme. With this Decree Law, a special provisioning regime is established, intended for the execution of the UKL+ measure. With this new regime, two options are now foreseen: one, with the attribution of the subsidies through the PNDS' Villages (Suco) structures, and the other with the possibility of centralized procurement, to achieve economies of scale and savings in economic resources.

    Lastly, the Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Vice Prime- Minister and Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, regarding a one-off support to households. The purpose of this Decree-Law is to create and regulate the provision of a one-off payment to Timorese households. This payment will be called the End of the Year Subsidy and has a value of US$ 200 per household. With this measure, the intention is to support families’ economy. All households registered in the household registration book in each village until February 28th, 2022 are considered eligible for this measure. END
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