Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers on May 17th, 2022

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


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