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Mar 20, 2019

Coastal Road Rehabilitation Project Debated by Senators

The second loan motion which was debated in the Senate today was one for thirty-six point five million U.S. dollars. Those monies have been secured from the Caribbean Development Bank for the rehabilitation of thirty-four miles of the Coastal Road. Like the Caracol Road Rehabilitation Project, the Coastal Road project has attracted naysayers including several senators. Here is the back and forth in the senate.

 

Aldo Salazar, UDP Senator

Aldo Salazar

“We need to consider the impact that that is going to have on the economy on a whole. People who have to go to Dangriga now, down south would be able to traverse the road. You save money on fuel. We don’t realize that there is a lot of citrus going down through the Hummingbird and that will be a better avenue for them. There are a lot of communities there. I read an article by the ILO and there are other articles which speak about how infrastructure really affects poverty alleviation. So I support this loan motion.”

 

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson, PUP Senator

“With Belize’s poverty rate close to fifty percent why reducing poverty is not reducing property a priority? What about programs that can address the root causes of crime of our country? What about the unemployment rate which we say is at nine percent but we know it is not at nine percent because people have just stopped looking for jobs? Why couldn’t we invest these millions in job creation? What about Belizeans who need a home? What about education? Will the dropout rate decrease?”

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Private Sector

Mark Lizarraga

“We support this project in principle. We believe that it is a good investment to have that road upgraded and paved. However again we stressed as we do with every loan motion in this honourable house, we remind our colleagues of the commitment under the Finance and Reform Act to provide the contracts to parliament. We have constantly made those request. Why do we ask for that? I repeat again, it says bridge repairs, bridge replacements. We don’t know how many bridges will be repaired, how many bridges will be replaced. It is simply for us to have knowledge of what it is we can expect to get from these investments.”

 

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