Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 9th, 2022

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 9th, 2022

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili and approved with amendments, the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral, on the Organic Structure of the General Labour Inspectorate (IGT – Portuguese acronym).

This law aims to restructure and reorganise the IGT by expanding its organic structure, with the creation of national directorates and territorial delegations, which are necessary given the increase in the number of employment relationships to be supervised.

This expansion should contribute so that the State can guarantee an effective improvement in the working conditions of all those who work in Timor-Leste.

Also presented by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, the draft Decree-Law aiming at the approval of measures to reinforce the distribution of the basic food basket to the neediest Timorese families and to support local economic operators, and creating a special provisioning regime for this purpose, under the scope of the economic recovery plan, was approved with amendments.

With this draft decree-law, the Government intends to continue to make available products of basic necessity to, on the one hand, guarantee the sustainability of families and, at the same time, create conditions for the normality of the activity of producers and national economic operators in the face of falling demand.

The basic food basket is fixed at a maximum amount of 50 US dollars for each member of the beneficiary household and will be distributed throughout the year 2022. The basic basket is composed of a basket of food products and personal hygiene goods, whose description, quantity and price will be defined by joint order of the members of the Government responsible for the areas of commerce and industry and cooperatives. This basket can be replaced by a shopping voucher.

The Basic Basket measure is now limited to the people most in need of food support, validly registered in the " Uma Kain Registration Book". Excluded from the list of beneficiaries are citizens, as well as their household members, who are holders of sovereign bodies and holders of management positions or heads of department of services of the direct and indirect public administration of the State. Also excluded are all citizens and their "Uma Kain" members with monthly incomes of over $500.

With this diploma, the process of acquisition and distribution of the basic food basket is limited to cooperatives and economic operators that are formally constituted, with no debts to the tax authority and whose majority of the company's capital is held by Timorese citizens.

Also approved was the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Affairs for National Liberation Combatants, Júlio Sarmento da Costa "Meta Mali", for the seventh amendment to Decree-Law No. 15/2008, of June 4th, which approved the pensions of combatants and martyrs of national liberation. This draft decree-law aims to give the Administration of the Council of National Liberation Combatants the power to approve the rules relating to the operation of the bank account for the deposit of withholdings on the pensions of combatants and martyrs of national liberation and the administration and accountability of the respective funds.

The draft Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of Health, Odete Freitas Belo, approving the National Family Planning Policy, was also approved.

This policy aims to adapt the concepts of integrated and culturally appropriate family planning to the context of Timor-Leste, bearing in mind the political commitment that motivated national compliance with the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.

Family planning is essential for reducing maternal mortality and empowering women, namely through genetic and conjugal counselling, information on methods and the provision of contraception, infertility treatment, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and genital cancer screening. Family planning methods are also privileged instruments for protecting the health of mothers and children, preventing abortion and protecting the health and quality of life of family members.

The draft Government Resolution regarding the donation to the Permanent Representation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, proposed by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Julião da Silva, was approved by the Council of Ministers.

This measure strengthens the historical ties that unite Timor-Leste and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, based on the common desire for self-determination, on the principle of solidarity with the struggle of peoples for national liberation and on the right to self-determination and independence, present in the Constitution of the Republic, in the Resolution of the National Parliament of solidarity and support to the Saharawi people, and in the fact that Timor-Leste has contributed, since 2011, to the functioning of that Permanent Representation in Dili, through the granting of an annual subsidy for the exercise of its activities in Timor-Leste and the region.

The Council of Ministers approved the draft Resolution of the National Parliament, also presented by the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, for the ratification of the Agreement on Mobility between the Member States of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP – Portuguese acronym).

This Agreement was approved at the XXVI Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the CPLP, held in Luanda, Angola, on July 16th, 2021.

The Agreement on Mobility is a framework agreement that establishes the legal basis on which greater mobility and movement within the CPLP area will be built, allowing the facilitation of the movement of citizens of the member countries within the CPLP area.

Also approved was the draft Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, for the acquisition of ballot papers for the 2022 presidential elections. Given the urgency in acquiring the necessary ballot papers for the Presidential election, through this Government Resolution, authorization is given to the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) to initiate the procurement procedure through direct adjustment and it is defined that the production of these ballot papers will be carried out by the National Press of Timor-Leste.

The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Resolution, presented by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Territory, José Maria dos Reis, determining the elaboration of the Timor-Leste National Plan for Territorial Planning (PNOT-TL – Portuguese acronym).

The PNOT-TL will be drawn up by the Ministry for Planning and Territory, through the Directorate-General for Territorial Planning, and will be the territorial planning instrument that defines the strategic framework for the organization and use of national territory, translating the objectives, principles, and strategies assumed by the State, taking into account the geographical, ecological and environmental characteristics of the territory, its demographic, social and economic dynamics and the functional and productive vocations of the different spaces.

This plan will also establish the guidelines to be considered in the drafting of the other instruments of the national planning and territorial management system and the coordination of the State's sectoral public policies, as well as, to the extent necessary, the safeguarding of values and resources of recognised national interest.

The Council of Ministers also approved a deliberation project presented by the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Joaquim José Gusmão dos Reis Martins, representing the Vice-Minister of Interior, regarding the first amendment to the construction contract of the Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL – Portuguese acronym) Headquarters.

The said construction contract was signed on January 26th, 2018, between the Timorese State and Shanghai Construction Group Co., Ltd. But after the beginning of the implementation of the contract, it was found that the project contained errors that jeopardize the safety of the construction. Studies concluded that it was necessary to amend the construction project to strengthen the foundations.

And lastly, the Minister of Justice, Manuel Cárceres da Costa, has presented to the Council of Ministers the legislative policy options regarding the initiative on the procedure for acquisition, by national citizens, of real estate belonging to foreign citizens which have reverted to the State. END