Meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 23, 2020

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on September 23, 2020

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pedro dos Reis, on the first amendment to Decree-Law No. 19/2019 of  July 31st, on the Organic Law of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. This draft Decree-Law aims to reconcile the wording of the Organic Law of this Ministry with the current Organic Law of the 8th Constitutional Government, in order to include in its organic structure, the existence of the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. The logo of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, which should appear in all documents and forms prepared by the Ministry, was also approved.

The Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral, presented the draft Decree-Law, which establishes the support measures for families, through the allocation of basic food baskets, and for farmers and traders of food and personal hygiene products, both national and local, in order to provide short-term economic stimulus and encourage production and trade, as part of the Economic Recovery Plan. This draft Decree-Law was approved, with amendments, by the Council of Ministers. This draft Decree-Law also establishes the mechanisms and conditions for the implementation of the measures and creates a special distribution network within the allocation of basic food baskets’ framework.

The beneficiaries of the basic food basket are those who are members of households registered in the “Uma-Kain Register Book” and who are on national territory when the basic food basket is distributed, as well as Timorese citizens who currently attend social, educational, religious, health or prison institutions on a boarding or imprisonment  basis, and for this purpose, they will be treated separately from the respective households listed in the “Uma-Kain Register Book”.

The basic food basket will be delivered in the months of November and December, with an amount up to USD $ 25.00 (twenty-five American dollars), for each household member, in each of the two referred months. The food basket may be replaced by a shopping voucher for the corresponding goods, in the same amount.

This measure will help support families in meeting basic needs, also contributing to fight hunger and the greatest vulnerabilities in some of the poorest and most isolated regions of the country, and to contribute to the improvement of the food and nutritional diet of Timorese families, affected by the decrease of income streams. This support also aims to stimulate local economic dynamics, through the circulation of financial resources, necessary to increase national production, aiming at reducing the impacts of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, within the scope of the Economic Recovery Plan, creating conditions for increasing farmer’s, agricultural producers in general and local traders income, in order to also encourage local supply, ensuring the outlet of the respective products.

The Government has decided to propose to the His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, the extension of the state of emergency, for thirty days. Given the worrying evolution of the epidemiological situation and the proliferation of registered cases of COVID-19 infection, both at regional and global levels, and in order to avoid and neutralize the risks of SARS-CoV-2 spreading, thus protecting public health and the National Health System response capacity, the Government proposes to the President of the Republic that, through the extension of the state of emergency statement, the rights of international circulation, movement and establishment of residence and the right of resistance’s suspension or restriction may be allowed.

Lastly, the Minister of Defence, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, gave a presentation on the political-legislative  options underlying the draft Decree-Law on the F-FDTL Remuneration Regime and the draft Decree-Law on the Military Service Law Regulations. END