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Jul 13, 2015

Fin Sec Says Petrocaribe Money Being Spent Wisely

Joseph Waight

It’s likely that nobody will be complaining much about Petrocaribe rolling onto the Jaguars’ football pitch. The fact is that G.O.B. has been conspicuously absent in the national team’s journey to date. Petrocaribe – the use of it and the recent Act – continue to be sources of controversy and contention though. Today, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told News Five that while opposition to the Act – most recently from the Roman Catholic Church – is widespread…it’s not necessarily going to affect G.O.B.’s spending in any way.

 

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“We understand and respect the opinion of all the social partners and including the religions because we have to take on board what they are telling us. Whether that will be sufficient for the government to change course its program, I don’t know. But I have a feeling, my conviction, is that the Petrocaribe money is being used in accordance with the terms and conditions set out by Venezuela and I do believe there is proper accounting of the money. People may not agree with all its uses. I have to say that most of it goes to infrastructure and you can see tangible proof—some for social support, some for you can say community development like the Christmas program and a little to sports. I don’t think anyone can argue with the contribution to try to develop—as I said in my little talk a minute ago—the full potential of our youth and try to give them the support necessary. So really the Petrocaribe program is far-reaching; it covers a lot of things, not only infrastructure but also social development and development in sports. And you know many [countries], including Venezuela put a lot of emphasis on funding their sports program to develop the national team and the national unity and we are trying to do something similarly in Belize.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir, could you give us an idea of the decision making process in where these monies are allocated out of the Petrocaribe stock? Because we have heard the criticism also that there should be a technical committee which would decide where the monies would be spent to ensure that it is in keeping with the agreement with Venezuela.”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well you know, when it comes to the infrastructure, what the government did was this. They took a decision that we would improve streets and drains in communities, municipalities and then in the rural areas. Starting with Belize City, it was supplemental to the street program there. It moved into the district towns; the northern highway between Orange Walk is an example. The idea being to improve transportation and the loss of wear and tear on vehicles and it also helped to employ as well because the program had an element of high labour content so there was an element to try to improve the livelihood of the workers as well. When it came to the community support like the Christmas program, the Mother’s Day, it wasn’t a whole lotta money in the scheme of things. But every dome, no matter how big or small, has to be accounted for—we understand that—but in the scheme of things, it wasn’t the vast majority did not go to the social programs. And now the support to sports is then again another request to the government. The government has the responsibility to support our sports program and therefore drew a little money, at least a hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars this time from the Petrocaribe fund to support the sports development, the sports program.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir, would you support a belief, an opinion, that this spending, the prioritization is somewhat skewed? You said the bulk of it has gone into infrastructure. There are some who’d say but what about hospitals across the country. They are in dire need; we have people at the K.H.M.H. when the emergency room is full, they have to go on the floor, but none of the money has gone into the health sector.”

 

Joseph Waight

“Well indeed, but that doesn’t mean that the health sector is ignored. Many donor funded programs in education is from the IDB, from the CDB. In health, there was the big IDB program to support the infrastructure development, the whole national health insurance.  So the government is putting resources in those sectors as well, but not from the Petrocaribe fund itself.”

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2 Responses for “Fin Sec Says Petrocaribe Money Being Spent Wisely”

  1. Ali BaBarrow & his 40 say, Je juis Castro says:

    Belizean fools we are, ….

    believe this fool who wisely spends Ali’s money.

    You should obey and ask no questions.

  2. Ali BaBarrow & his 40 say, Je juis Castro says:

    >A) “Many donor funded programs in education IS from the IDB, from the CDB.
    >B) “Many donor funded programs in education ARE from the IDB, from the CDB.”
    send it to Faber to figure out this clown’s grade. HS, BS, PhD?

    So what if IDB/CDB outsiders spend money on education, we steal at leisure.
    IN BELIZE, education is a dead end. So GOB criminals invest in gangs to run the next generation.
    If you can’t thieve, you cant’ work…..

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