Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 8th, 2023

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 8th, 2023

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili and approved the draft Law Proposal, presented by the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Territory, José Maria dos Reis, referring to the Housing and Accommodation Law.

In order to guarantee the fundamental right to housing, enshrined in article 58 of the Constitution, this legislative initiative aims to promote access to decent housing, guarantee resettlement, contribute to improving the quality of housing, redevelop run-down urban areas and rural settlements, promote urban rehabilitation, support self-construction and associative (cooperatives), disseminate sustainable and appropriate construction techniques, develop the civil construction sector, and establish a public entity responsible for the public development of the housing sector.

This draft Law Proposal is based on universality, sustainability, equality, and participation principles.

The draft Law Proposal foresees the elaboration of a National Housing Plan and the establishment of a governmental entity that will be responsible for the development and implementation of State policies in the area of housing, being accountable for the preparation of the Strategic Plan and Housing Policy, proposing legislative and regulatory measures in this area, preparing financial policy measures adequate to the housing programmes to be implemented, construct, manage, conserve, and alienate the State’s housing assets, intervene in the land market as a Government policy instrument to control land costs, and provide technical support to municipalities and other public entities in the management and conservation of their building assets.

The Council of Ministers approved the draft Law Proposal, presented by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Joaquim Amaral and by the Secretary of State for Professional Training and Employment, Alarico do Rosário, regarding Safety, Health and Hygiene at Work.

The present Law Proposal, to be submitted to the National Parliament, establishes that the employers’ and workers’ representative organisations responsible for the areas of working conditions and health shall promote training in the area of protection and prevention of safety, hygiene and health at work against occupational risks and diseases. Employers are also responsible for organising workplaces, means and processes in such a way as to avoid risks to the health and safety of workers, ensuring the existence of safety and health at work signs and protective equipment, among other preventive measures, as well as providing all appropriate information and training to workers.

In short, Health, Safety and Hygiene at Work activities aim to ensure working conditions in any company “in a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity” (according to the World Health Organization).

Also presented by the Minister Coordinator of Economic Affairs, the draft Decree-Law for the first amendment to Decree-Law no. 23/2009, of August 5th, on the regime of administrative offences against the economy and food safety, was approved.

After more than twelve years of the current regime of administrative offences against the economy and food safety, there is a need to review and update it following the dynamics and permanent evolution of the national economic and social reality, as well as to strengthen the measures and mechanisms to combat offences against the economy and food safety.

All in all, this legislative amendment aims to broaden the scope of application of the regime, including non-food products; simplify the sanctioning regime by articulating the classification of infractions (light, serious and severe) and its correspondence with a typology of economic agents (natural person and small, medium and large companies); establishing elementary investigation procedures, notification of the infraction and the possibility of hearings and defence of the infringer; and defining the concept of counterfeit and pirated goods; and determining the provision on “misleading advertising” to cover practical situations of distortion of the advertising message.

Also approved was the draft Government Resolution, presented by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, approving the Millennium Challenge Compact Program Implementation Agreement, signed on December 16th, 2022.

The approval of this implementation agreement means an essential step towards the beginning of the implementation of the MCC Compact Agreement, with a global amount of US$ 484 million, which was signed by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, last July. To be implemented over five years, this program has two main components for improving two critical areas for Timor-Leste’s development: education and sanitation; and water supply and drainage.

The Minister of Justice, Mr Tiago Amaral Sarmento, then gave a presentation on the political-legislative options underlying the legislative initiative to create staffing, management, and leadership of the Technical and Administrative Support Services of the Attorney General’s Office.

This legislative initiative aims to complete the regulatory framework relating to the services of the Attorney General’s Office to ensure the implementation of the Judicial Organization Law and the Statute of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and to complete the staffing of the technical support services. END