Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 14th, 2021

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 14th, 2021

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili, and approved the draft Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Magno, on the approval of Timor-Leste's candidacy as a member of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) for the period 2024-2026.

The Human Rights Council has 47 members, elected by the majority of states of the UN General Assembly for a three-year term, while the remaining countries maintain an observer status. Seats are allocated according to equitable geographical representation (13 from the Group of African Countries, 13 from the Group of Asian Countries, seven from the Group of Eastern European Countries, eight from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries, and seven from the Group of Western European and Other Countries).

The draft Decree Law, referring to the seventh amendment to Decree Law No. 10/2005, of November 21st, which approves the Procurement Legal Regime, with the intent of simplifying the special procedure of the urgent direct award, was also approved, with amendments.

With this Decree-Law, new rules for the processing of the procedure for direct award for emergency purchases are now in place, following unforeseen events that endanger public health and safety, or where there is an urgent, unpredictable and unprovoked need by the beneficiary of the supply in relation to works, goods or services, and it is therefore not practical to initiate tender procedures or any other methods of supply, or in the case of an official declaration of disaster or emergency situation, which requires the need to do the works, or to provide the goods or receive services to prevent the loss of life, the loss of government property, or other requirements that require urgent action, in the public interest.

Thus, in the cases referred to above, the body responsible for signing the contract is now allowed to carry out the acts of the procurement procedure and conclude the contract without any formalities. Although the contract produces immediate effects, the procurement acts and the contract must be reduced to writing within a maximum period of 60 days. In these cases, the acts of authorization and approval are dispensed with and the cabimentation is ensured until the moment of the reduction in writing of the contract.

In the case of contracts for the execution of works, the price is determined by applying the unit values provided for in a Joint Ministerial Diploma of the members of the Government responsible for public works and for planning and zoning.

The Diploma also refers that in the context of the declaration of a state of siege or state of emergency, as well as the declaration of an alert situation, contingency or calamity, the procurement procedure by request of quotation can be used, regardless of the value, for the adjudication of contracts with a counterpart in expenses of the category of goods and services, in specific circumstances.

After the analysis of the presentation of the epidemiological situation of the country, gave by the Situation Room of the Integrated Crisis Management Center, the Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Resolutions, for the continuation of the imposition of a health fence in the municipalities of Dili, Baucau and Viqueque until May 2nd. Draft Government Resolutions for the imposition of a health fence in the municipalities of Ermera, Covalima and Ainaro, until May 2nd, were also approved. Thus, the movement of persons between these municipalities and other administrative constituencies is prohibited, except in duly substantiated cases for reasons of public security, public health, humanitarian assistance, maintenance of public supply systems or the realization of the public interest.

The first amendment to Government Decree No 12/2021 of April 1st, on the implementing measures of the declaration of the state of emergency made by decree of the President of the Republic No 17/2021, of March 31st, concerning the rules for the quarantine of humanitarian aid personnel, was approved.

The Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo, presented to the Council of Ministers the progress of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19. Since April 7th, of the 24,000 vaccines that arrived in Timor-Leste, 2,629 people were vaccinated, of which 887 are women and 1,742 are men. 1,619 health professionals and 1,010 other frontline professionals have already been vaccinated.

The Minister of Health also presented the results of the tests to determine which variants of SARS-CoV-2 exist in the country, which were conducted in Australia. Most of the results found in the 70 samples analyzed show a similar pattern to what has been detected in other countries in the region, and one case of the UK variant (B.1.1.7) was detected in a patient who was in prophylactic isolation when tested, on December 27th, 2020, and did not cause contagion. No cases of the variants from South Africa (B.1.351) and Brazil (P.1) were detected. A further 246 samples will follow on the next flight for analysis.

The Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho and the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Joaquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins, presented to the Council of Ministers the state of play of the impacts of the floods of April 4th, caused by the tropical cyclone Seroja and the support measures already implemented. According to the provisional data presented, the floods caused a total of 35 deaths (twenty in Díli, six in Ainaro, three in Viqueque, two in Covalima, two in Manatuto, one in Aileu and one in Baucau) and ten missing (four in Ainaro, four in Manatuto and two in Díli). More than 25,000 families across the country were affected by the floods and 4,546 homes were destroyed or damaged. In terms of public infrastructure, Tropical Cyclone Seroja damaged 22 roads and 11 bridges. In Dili, there are currently 11,104 people sheltered in 38 active centers in Dili. Of the total of 8,548 families affected by the floods in Dili, the Government has already distributed support to 1,396 families by April 11th, and distribution to the remaining families is planned and underway until April 18th. Food support was also sent to RAEOA and Liquiçá, on April 13th. Today support was delivered in Manatuto. Tomorrow it will be Viqueque's turn and on April 16th support will be delivered to the municipalities of Ermera and Aileu.

The Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva presented the political-legislative options underlying the project on the regulation of the organization of ships and vessel inspection services. The presentation aimed at preliminary analysis of policy-legislative options for the establishment of 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.

Finally, The Minister of Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes, made a preliminary presentation to the Council of Ministers regarding a proposal to segmentation the Petroleum Fund, dividing it into two parts, one for high liquidity assets, and the other for long-term investment. END