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Jan 12, 2023

Minister Habet on New Junior Minister in Sustainable Development

Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes

Earlier this week, Prime Minister John Briceño announced a minor shuffle in cabinet where Orange Walk North Area Representative Ramon “Monchi” Cervantes was removed as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration to the Ministry of Sustainable Development. Today, when we spoke with substantive minister, Orlando Habet, he says that Cervantes had assisted him with gathering signatures for the political recall of Elvin Penner in Cayo Northeast. Habet says that his portfolio covers a number of departments and additional hands on deck, particularly as it relates to strengthen NEMO, are welcomed.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management

“I already had a first meeting with him, of course looking at where the minister would be established, his office and how we can assist him to be able to assist us also. I think he brings a lot of experience, his business side of things, and so where he will be posted assisting us in moving our policies and objectives forward for NEMO, the Fire Department and also now the new department that has been put back over to environment, which is that of solid waste management. We have such a large ministry, and certainly you are aware we travel a lot because of the nature of our ministry. NEMO is very important and many people see the importance of NEMO when we have an emergency, but it shouldn’t be only that because NEMO is not only for hurricanes. They look at other emergencies. A few days ago, we heard about the issue of the tourists that were trapped at that cave; NEMO was also active. NEMO needs to be built up a lot more. I think that initially when we had just taken over government, one of the first interviews I can recall at the Biltmore Plaza I was asked what was one of the things that I wanted to accomplish and I said I wanted to see us at NEMO have our own emergency fund established. That hasn’t happened per say as specific emergency fund, but the prime minister made sure that earlier this year we had a contingency fund from which we drew monies as emergency fund for assisting the people who were devastated by the disaster with Lisa. I am still the substantive minister responsible for NEMO, fire and for solid waste management and we have our programs in place which we will continue to put into effect, but if we can improve those then we improve that.”

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