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Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #553154
10/06/21 06:04 PM
10/06/21 06:04 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 6th October 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 5th October 2021.

• Cabinet met with a few members of the COVID-19 Health Advisory Task Force for an update on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and to make recommendations for the coming months. The group of medical doctors advised Cabinet that while progress was being made in terms of the number of persons vaccinated, the public must continue to take all precautions since this third wave has not yet peaked. In addition, the team of doctors presented a series of recommendations, for Cabinet’s consideration, to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19. These recommendations would cover the period from October to December 2021 and will be announced shortly by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

• In an effort to better control the outbreak of COVID-19, Cabinet approved the establishment of a COVID-19 Enforcement Unit within the Ministry of Health & Wellness to oversee responsibilities for the maintenance of supervision and enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in all businesses and other establishments.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. As of 3rd October 2021, 198,580 persons or 48 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 139,157 persons or 34 percent have been fully vaccinated.

• Cabinet approved a three-pronged approach to crime prevention that is centered on social development, change behavior and violence interrupter components complemented by evidence-based policing presented by the ministries of Home Affairs, Youth and Human Development.

• Cabinet gave its approval for Belize to accede to the Madrid Protocol for the international registration of marks administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization and for the implementation of the Madrid Protocol into the domestic legal framework and for the Belize Intellectual Property Office personnel to be trained in preparation of the full implementation of this Protocol (BELIPO). This will require a review and amendment to the existing Trademark legislation and training of personnel at BELIPO.

• Cabinet approved an initiative by the Ministry of Youth, Sports & E-Governance to provide for youth mainstreaming in Belize. Youth mainstreaming is a strategy which provides young people with opportunities to partake in skills training and other important roles as a means of becoming involved in the leadership of society in the future. Many young people need training in areas that cannot be provided by the private sector of our society but which can be provided by government departments such as Fisheries, Health, Mining and Geology so that they can gain experience or become interested in the future with the aim that they will be the leaders in those areas as well as mainstream society.

• Cabinet gave its approval for Amendment to the Customs and Excise Tariff Introduction of Phase 8 of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU) and approved legislation for the implementation of this phase of the EPA which will result in the removal of import duties from goods from EU countries.

• The Ministry responsible for New Growth Industries was given approval to form a working group to facilitate the development of a National Cohune Industry. This working group will comprise stakeholders and representatives from the ministries of Energy, Economic Development, Trade, Local Government, Immigration, Sustainable Development and New Growth Industries and has been tasked with coordinating and supporting initial investment and incentive requests of the cohune industry.

• In partial fulfilment of its Plan Belize Manifesto promise to make it easy and transparent to conduct business in Belize by eliminating meaningless and excessive bureaucracy and to modernize systems and processes for greater efficiency, Cabinet gave its approval for an addendum to the 2010 Temporary Employment Permit Policy to allow for the processing of applications for temporary employment permits in a more expeditious manner.

• Finally, Cabinet strongly urges the public to wear masks, maintain physical distance and wash hands regularly. For those not fully vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #553302
10/14/21 04:36 AM
10/14/21 04:36 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 12th October 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 12th October 2021.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. As of 12th October 2021, 201,952 persons or 46.9 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 153,982 or 35.8 percent had been fully vaccinated. Of the youth population between the ages of 12 to 17 years of age, 26,862 or 46 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 16,846 or 29 percent had been fully vaccinated. Currently, there are more than 250,000 vaccines in stock including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. An additional 53,000 Pfizer vaccines will be arriving shortly via the United States of America through the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) initiative.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Logistics to conduct a review of the fees in the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Order of 2003 and to conduct a pre-feasibility analysis for the construction of bus terminals countrywide.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation to develop and promote the Belize Civil Aviation Regulation 17 relating to civil aviation security. This will allow for the regulation of all matters pertaining to aviation security in Belize and to work towards the implementation of recommendations to be followed by Belize to meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Cabinet also gave its approval for the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation to establish a strategic plan for the Civil Aviation Sector in Belize for the period 2022 to 2026.

• Hon. Oscar Requena, Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labor & Local Government, received the approval of Cabinet to implement trade licensing reforms in all municipalities and villages. The reforms will modernize and standardize the trade licensing regime. Additionally, villages will for the first time be able to charge trade licensing fees. The amendments will now be forwarded to the Attorney General's Ministry for legal drafting.

• Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, reported to the Cabinet on his recent trip to United States of America to connect and engage with Belizeans. The diaspora engagements included four U.S. cities: Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and New York City. The delegation met with hundreds of Belizeans and discussed a range of issues including crime, banking, the COVID-19 pandemic, repatriation matters and other social issues.

• The Prime Minister was invited by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico to participate in activities in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Independence. The Prime Minister was also invited to be the guest of honor at the celebration of the 256th birthday of the national hero José María Morelos y Pavón. Along with his delegation, the Prime Minister held several meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, COPARMEX (the Association of Chambers of Commerce of Mexico), the Bank of Mexico, FONATUR (The National Tourism Development Fund).

• During his visit, the Prime Minister also met with H.E. Ahmed Almenhali, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Belize, to discuss several cooperation issues between the two countries. A bilateral meeting was also held between the heads of state, the Foreign Minister Hon. Eamon Courtenay and ambassadors.

• H.E. Rossana Briceño, Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children, also met with María del Rocío García Pérez, Mexico’s director general of the National System for the Development of Families and Children.

• Finally, Cabinet continues to strongly urge the public to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #553452
10/21/21 04:16 AM
10/21/21 04:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 19th October 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 19th October 2021.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. As of 18th October 2021, 203,819 persons or 47.37 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 165,542 or 37.4 percent had been fully vaccinated. Belize now ranks second among the Caribbean states in the percentage of the population fully vaccinated. Currently, there are more than 245,000 vaccines in stock, Pfizer – 29,508, AstraZeneca – 90,800 and Johnson & Johnson-114,000.

• Cabinet gave its approval of recommendations from the Ministry of Health & Wellness to amend the Public Health Act to change the structure of the ministry to allow for a Director of Public Health and Wellness as well as a Director of Hospital Services. In addition, Cabinet approved the recommendation by the Minister of Health & Wellness to increase the size of Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) Board to allow for a representative of the KHMH Workers Union to join the KHMH Board of Governors.

• Cabinet authorized the steps necessary to complete the cancellation of the $1.1 billion-plus superbonds and to enter into the Blue Bond loan for the payment of the superbonds at a discounted 55 cents on the dollar. This includes the passing of the necessary National Assembly resolutions and the Blue Bond Loan Bill.

• Cabinet supported recommendations from the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs to introduce legislation for strengthening the juvenile justice system by removing status offences by repealing the Certified Institutions Bill, to support amendments to the Juvenile Offenders Bill and to support amendments to the Families and Children Bill. Taken together, this will be a huge step towards compliance with the Convention of the Rights of the Child by moving Belize beyond a system that criminalizes children for status offences to a state that recognizes the vulnerabilities of children who commit status and criminal offences and affords the opportunity to receive the protection and services they require.

• Finally, Cabinet strongly urges the public to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccinations save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #553641
10/29/21 04:38 AM
10/29/21 04:38 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 28th October 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 27th October 2021.

• Cabinet approved a draft Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy and the creation of a PPP Unit to mobilize private sector capital that support large-scale investment in infrastructure and other development projects that align with government’s policy priorities for public benefit.

• Cabinet expressed concern about the rising cost of fuel and, in that regard, agreed to a team to look at possible mitigation measures.

• Cabinet gave the approval for the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), as the National Designated Authority, to seek accreditation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The MED will be seeking accreditation to access up to US$50 million for programmes and projects. This will enable the Government of Belize to continue transitioning the country’s economy from traditional to more modern along a low-emission, climate-resilient pathway towards true sustainable development.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. As of 27th October 2021, 205,502 persons or 47.7 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 177,455 or 41.2 percent have been fully vaccinated.

• Effective immediately, Cabinet approved booster shots for all healthcare workers, persons 60 years and older, and for persons with comorbidities.

• Finally, Cabinet strongly urges the public to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #553881
11/11/21 05:19 AM
11/11/21 05:19 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 10th November 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 9th November 2021.

• Cabinet endorsed the National Digital Agenda for the period 2022 to 2025 called “Towards a Digital Belize.” This agenda seeks to build trust in government services by simplifying procedures, improving service delivery, and facilitating economic recovery through digitalization. Managed through the Ministry of Youth, Sports & E-Governance, the National Digital Agenda will result in a more open, efficient, and effective government, thereby representing the integration of ICT at all levels of society.

• Cabinet gave the approval for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing to work with the Attorney General’s Ministry to make amendments to the Belize Building Act to adequately monitor and regulate construction and construction activities within Belize as well as to amend Statutory Instrument No. 96 to adjust the schedule of fees and guidelines that govern payment to the Central Building Authority and on its Municipal Building Units.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 370,000 vaccines on hand. As of 8th November 2021, 207,092 persons or 48.1 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 186,418 or 43.3 percent have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, Cabinet approved the Taiwanese COVID-19 vaccine, Medigen, as an entry requirement for Taiwanese entering Belize.

• Cabinet approved recommendations from the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations to make certain adjustments to the current COVID-19 public health measures to take effect 22nd November 2021. These measures will be published shortly by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

• Finally, Cabinet continues to encourage booster shots for all health care workers, persons 60 years and older, and persons with comorbidities. The public is strongly urged to wear masks, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #554038
11/18/21 11:15 AM
11/18/21 11:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 18th November 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 16th November 2021.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration to support a recommendation by the CARICOM Secretariat to migrate from the present system, that use on-premises infrastructure, to a cloud-based platform to provide online services for the Caribbean Community.

• With the increase of flights into Belize and the start of the 2021 tourism season where record high arrivals are anticipated at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, Cabinet gave the approval for the Ministry of Immigration to employ six additional immigration clerks and to increase overtime payment for immigration officers from 50 to 75 hours.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Attorney General’s Ministry to present amendments to the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Substantive Laws of Belize primarily to allow for the publication of the revised edition of the laws of Belize to be done electronically. The final draft of the bill is to be tabled at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 373,868 vaccines on hand. As of 15th November 2021, 208,168 persons or 48.3 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 190,031 or 41.1 percent have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, 4,020 booster shots have been issued since the start of the booster shot program and is now opening booster shots to everyone. Also, the free testing sites, which were scheduled to close at the end of November, will continue to operate countrywide until the end of the year.

• The Minister of Health & Wellness also informed Cabinet that this year alone the ministry issued close to $700,000 in food assistance to persons who had to go into isolation due to COVID-19.

• Cabinet approved recommendations from the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations to make certain adjustments to the current COVID-19 public health measures to take effect 22nd November 2021. These measures will be published shortly by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

• Finally, Cabinet wishes all Belizeans a safe and happy Garifuna Settlement Day and asks that everyone wears masks, maintains physical distance, washes hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #554158
Yesterday at 05:22 AM
Yesterday at 05:22 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 76,981
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 24th November 2021

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 23rd November 2021.

• Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise to conduct a study into the rising cost of living. In addition, Cabinet instructed the minister to introduce legislation at the next sitting of the House of Representatives ensuring that all necessary legal mechanisms are in place for the relevant authority to pursue merchants and shop owners engaged in price gouging.

• The Prime Minister along with the Ministerial Consultative Team convened the first meeting with the Social Partnership Committee to review government’s performance for the past six months. The consultation was in partial fulfilment of government’s undertaking that was laid out in a letter sent by the Prime Minister to the joint unions dated 18th May 2021. The Ministerial Consultative Team provided an update on the state of government’s finances, held discussions on efforts to achieve government’s Plan Belize agenda on good governance as well as agreed on a term of reference for future meetings including biennial meetings of the Social Partnership Committee.

• Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health & Wellness, informed Cabinet that in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, 45 Belizeans were awarded scholarships to study nursing at the University of Belize. Valuing more than a quarter million dollars, these scholarships were granted to qualified students with outstanding academic performance.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 369,588 vaccines available. As of 23rd November 2021, 208,621 persons or 48.5 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 192,206 or 44.7 percent have been fully vaccinated. Also, for the first time since the start of the third wave, the daily positivity rate fell to 5.4 percent, an indication that the nation is moving in the right direction.

• Cabinet mandated that effective Thursday, 25th November 2021, all motor omnibuses are permitted to carry 100 percent seating capacity. All bus operators are required to continue adhering to the COVID-19 regulations and ensuring that all their buses are sanitized properly, that passengers continue to wear their face masks properly, and sanitize prior to boarding the buses. It is the responsibility of bus operators to prohibit passengers without a face mask and to remove any passenger in violation. Failure to do so will result in fines to be levied upon operators.

• Cabinet approved recommendations from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management to reintroduce legislation in the National Assembly for Belize to become a State Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This will allow for Belize to fulfill its commitments to address the illegal trade of endangered species of fauna and flora, to promote the management, conservation, and protection of endangered species and to establish the necessary legal structures enabling the effective regulation of international trade of CITES listed species in compliance with international obligations.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government to conduct a comprehensive review of the Labour Act, including a review of new regulations in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the ministry was requested to formulate a plan for the gradual implementation of government’s commitment to reaching a five-dollar minimum wage.

• Finally, as the holiday season draws near, Cabinet continues to encourage those not yet vaccinated to do so and reminds Belizeans who have been fully vaccinated for more than six months that booster shots are now available. The public is reminded to maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and wear a mask or face covering in public.

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