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Jun 10, 2015

Chamber of Commerce Slams Patrick Faber’s Petrocaribe Beach Bash

Mark Lizarraga

The use of Petrocaribe funds remains a controversial issue.  Sunday’s jaunt to Corozal Bay, organized by Collet Area Representative Patrick Faber, using Petrocaribe monies to pay for twenty-one buses to transport dozens of constituents to the north for a daylong outing, is coming under fire.  Faber’s supporters gorged on tacos and pibil, drank heartily and made merry to live music, all at taxpayers’ expense.  The fact that he was candid about their merriment while addressing an audience at Sunday’s endorsement of Mayor Darrell Bradley in Caribbean Shores has rubbed many the wrong way.  The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry wasted little time in firing off a terse press release on the issue of the usage of the funds.  This morning, News Five spoke with Senator Mark Lizarraga who reiterated the chamber’s position on Petrocaribe.

 

Senator Mark Lizarraga, Representative, Private Sector

“The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry emphatically condemns the confessed blatant misuse of the Petrocaribe loan funds as confirmed by the Minister of Education Patrick Faber and aired by multiple media houses on newscast on June eighth.  The minister stated at a Caribbean Shores endorsement convention that he used Petrocaribe loan funds to take twenty-two buses of his constituents to Corozal Bay for a beach party using the said money to finance this outing.  The Chamber says, spending loan funds for a picnic can in no way be seen as investing in our people’s future and this activity underscores the need for procedures that uphold the principle of accountability, transparency, particularly in the use of public loan funds.  The Chamber remains firm in its resolve to uphold the principle of good, responsible governance or management and calls on the Minister Finance and on the Government of Belize to act responsibly in the use of those public funds which every single Belizean must repay.  That was the release.  And we certainly believe that this release, you know, highlights this type of unrelenting spending of our public money for electioneering and underscores the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s continued call for prudence and wisdom in the spending of all public money.  Not just borrowed monies but all monies and it should be clear in all its policies and particularly those that govern the use of our funds, and especially borrowed funds.  And all these spending should of course, at all times, and all these policies should uphold the principles of accountability, transparency and sound management policies and principles.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“As a representative of the business community, what is your position or the Chamber’s position on initiatives such as Mother’s Day or Christmas Cheer where public funds are essentially being used and distributed among constituencies for one-day purposes essentially?”

 

Senator Mark Lizarraga

“Certainly the constitution and the Laws of Belize empowers the government to set policy but that policy should come as a result of debate in parliament before you expend public monies and especially public loan monies on these events.”

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1 Response for “Chamber of Commerce Slams Patrick Faber’s Petrocaribe Beach Bash”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    The Belizean business community and the general public must stop paying taxes thereby denying Barrow funds he can spend recklessly, unaccountably, and against public policy.

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