Dili, March 17th, 2021 – His Excellency the Prime-Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, met this Wednesday, with His Excellency the President of the Republic, Dr. Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, at the Presidente Nicolau Lobato Palace, to inform him about the current situation in the country, and about the efforts that the Government is developing to respond to the changing of the situation in the country.
“As you know, my regular meeting with His Excellency the President of the Republic is usually on Thursdays, but this week I came today, Wednesday, because His Excellency the President of the Republic wanted to know what the situation in our country, and what efforts the Government is developing to better prepare itself, in response to the evolution of the situation in our country. Firstly, I informed His Excellency that the current situation is under control, we have no yet lost control of the situation, so I reinforce the message that the Situation Room has been passing and appeal to our population, to families, to stay at home, calmly, and give us maximum support, so that we can also continue to support the frontline teams, who seek to follow this disease and understand where it has spread to, to understand who is infected and how we can neutralize this risk.”, explained the Head of Government, after the meeting with the Head of State.
Thus, in this meeting, the Head of Government informed His Excellency the President of the Republic about four (4) key points: firstly, explained that the situation is under control, secondly, presented the steps the Government is taking to respond to this second wave of the pandemic, thirdly, he referred to the reinforcement of the logistical support on the ground, to the front lines, in order to facilitate its service, and finally, he detailed the Government’s intervention in the socio-economic and humanitarian areas.
Head of Government’s description on the four key points, on which he informed to the Head of State:
“I also informed His Excellency the President of the Republic about four key points, namely about the steps that the Government must take in the future.
Firstly, we have to consider an additional budget, because, as you know, the Government, in preparing the 2021 Budget, focused mainly on the economic recovery, assuming that the situation of COVID-19 would be calm, hence our focus on the economic recovery, but unfortunately this situation has changed, and so we have to prepare a budget for this new situation. We have two options, one through the General State Budget, and the other through the reinforcement of the COVID-19 Fund, but the Ministry of Finance is still analyzing, and will soon present a proposal on what steps the Government should take to have funds available.
Secondly, we talked about strengthening our support for the frontline groups. As you have seen last year, we gave support to the teams so that they had human resources, logistical means, and everything they needed, so that when we went to the field there would be no problems. If you notice, recently the Situation Room has already prepared a budget for two municipalities [Covalima and Bobonaro], but now, if it is necessary to do the same for four or five municipalities, this means that we need a budget reinforcement, to give them the tools they need to work better.
Thirdly, we have addressed the issue of the socio-economic and humanitarian intervention that we need to do. As you know, last year, we already intervened in several areas, economic, social, and humanitarian. Naturally, I have already given instructions to the Ministers of Economic Affairs, Finance, and Social Solidarity and Inclusion, to see what initiatives, programs, and steps we should take at this moment, to support our citizens. This is extremely important.
Finally, we talked about the vaccine. In some countries, as you know, vaccination has already begun, but in our country not yet. Of course, the Government is striving to get vaccines, but that is not easy, because there is a great dispute over vaccines around the world, more or less like us here, disputing rice, but the Government is working hard to make this happen. These were the four points on which I informed His Excellency the President of the Republic”. END/M-PMO