Meeting of the Council of Ministers of June 24, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


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