In Belize Rural South (BRS), comprising of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and St. George’s Caye, both candidates vying for the seat in the said constituency from the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s United Party (PUP) have been very active in getting their message across to the electorate, who will have the last say at the polls in November.
Current BRS Area Representative under the UDP, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., stated that his machinery is busy campaigning. Heredia did not say the location of a new subdivision he favors, but it is believed to be in northern Ambergris Caye. According to him, the aim is to help those renters that have been struggling and need a piece of property so they can build their house. He mentioned that the distribution of 1,500 lots would start soon. Heredia mentioned up to 30 families currently live in this new subdivision. He explained that there has never been a subdivision complete with streets before many residents settled in. “In the next three weeks, we will complete about $5 million in streets for this area,” he said. The new subdivision will also count with a brand new high school, primary and pre-school. Heredia hopes that in the next five or ten years, the subdivision becomes a satellite city. “It has provisions for schools, for playgrounds, a fire department, a police department, and government offices,” said Heredia. According to him, the subdivision is well planned and is all due to humble leadership. Heredia strongly believes that because of his leadership and having delivered to the people all these past years, he will retain his seat as BRS’s Area Representative for another five years. The topic about a hospital on the island was broached, with Heredia claiming its materialization will happen after the general elections. The Taiwanese Government will allegedly fund the building of this much needed medical facility on the island. (It is important to note that the promise of a medical facility is announced every time elections draw near, but there is never an indication of the source of funding.)
Standard Bearer for the BRS of the PUP, Andre Perez has released a 100-day plan, vowing to address several issues and needs of the islands. 1. Extend the food pantry program for San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Simplify the application and approval processes, with a focus on implementing a permanent program that benefits more families. 2. Implement a government initiative to assist businesses with immediate cash flow to jump start their business and the local economy. 3. At the Cabinet level, negotiate that the Central Bank Of Belize encourages commercial banks to consider deferring loan payments until the end of the fiscal year particularly for tourist related businesses and for customers whose income is directly related to tourism. 4. Immediately open fully functional BTB office in San Pedro with emphasis of weekly services in Caye Caulker to facilitate hotels, tour operators and freelance tour guides with the requirements, licensing procedures and marketing strategies. 5. Identify and secure the properties for the construction of Health facilities in both Caye Caulker and San Pedro. 6. Take health and wellness mobile clinics to the different neighborhood communities. It is especially important to monitor the health of those community members with decreased mobility and other vulnerable groups that may experience difficulty coming into the Hospital or Polyclinic. Implement community health workers in each area as well as provide basic medication distribution. 7. Increased testing for Covid-19 in both Caye Caulker and San Pedro and provide needed support to residents who have tested positive such as automatic food pantry and medication assistance. 8. Subsidize tuition fees for secondary and tertiary level students enrolled in schools in Caye Caulker and San Pedro. 9. Expand WiFi access in designated public spaces and work at increaser broadband speed for schools in both San-Pedro and Caye Caulker. 10. Establish a local market day at the Saca Chispas Stadium grounds. Vendors, local artisans and food vendors will have a new opportunity for increased sales. Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun