For the year 2021, the Government provides support of US$ 15 million
Dili, February 19th, 2021 – His Excellency the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, signed, this Friday, at the Government Palace, in Dili, on behalf of the 8th Constitutional Government, the 2021 annual grant agreement with the Timorese Episcopal Conference (CET), represented by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Dili, Dom Virgílio do Carmo da Silva SDB. The US$ 15 million grant to the local church is intended for the management of social, educational, and human activities, pursuant to the Concordat, an agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Holy See, concluded on August 14th, 2015.
After signing, in a brief statement, the Head of Government said that it is a great honor to sign the grant agreement with CET, whereby, every year, the Government supports the local church, pursuant to the Concordat. This year, the Government decided to allocate the first US$ 15 million for the local church, to be used in its planned activities.
“Once again, it is a great honor to sign the agreement with Reverend Dom Virgílio do Carmo, regarding the grant provided annually by the Government to the Episcopal Conference, according to the Concordat. This year, for the first time, the Government has decided to increase the budget ceiling, according to the government’s possibilities, to US$ 15 million, to finance the activities planned by the Episcopal Conference”, said the Head of Government.
The Chief of the Executive also thanked the efforts of the Episcopal Conference, which has already presented the implementation report on last year’s grant.
In addition, the Government has also made available to CET the new Government program “Dalan ba Futuru”, a management program that is currently used by the Ministries and State Institutions, to define programs, sub-programs, and activities, as well as their financial allocations, helping to define goals and objectives that the Government wishes to achieve. In the event that CET is interested, the Head of the Government will ask UPMA to make a presentation of that system.
Lastly, the Head of the Government also suggested that, instead of the Prime Minister and the President of the Timorese Episcopal Conference signing the grant each year, it would be preferable to sign it only once every five years, and in the implementation of the annual budget, the Government would be represented by the Minister of Finance, while the CET would be represented by the Episcopal Vicar.
At the ceremony, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dili, Dom Vergílio do Carmo, signed this grant, because the President of the Timorese Episcopal Conference, the Current Bishop of the Diocese of Maliana, Dom Norberto do Amaral, was unable to participate, due to the fact that the Municipality of Bobonaro is currently with a sanitary fence, until March 3rd, which prohibits the movement to other municipalities.
Vatican Representative was also unable to attend this ceremony, as he is still quarantined after returning from a visit to Malaysia.
Of the US$ 15 million grant, 50% goes to education, 25% goes to social services, 15% goes to Ecclesiastical Government and 10% goes to administrative management.
The ceremony was also attended by the Bishop of the Diocese of Baucau, Dom Basílio do Nascimento, some Fathers, the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Leite Magalhães, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Social Communication, Francisco Jerónimo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, and the Minister of Finance, Rui Augusto Gomes. END / M-PMO