The Senate then moved on to the loan motion for 150 million Belize dollars from the Taiwanese Government.

As we reported, the Briceno Government wants parliamentary approval to engage in a long-term, low-interest loan from the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China in Taiwan. As we told you, this generous bilateral partner is offering what the GOB calls "budgetary support" to the Belize Government.

But, 150 million is a whole lot of money - and a whole lot to add to the national debt. Here's the robust debate on that major sum:

Jacklyn Burns - UDP Senator
"The purpose of the loan is somewhat vague. And while I understand that it is a loan offer for providing financing costs and expenses incurred and to be incurred, my concern regarding that purpose has to do with the idea that it's not very specific. And so, I don't want that the government would feel that they can create other expenses based on having this financing available and can easily use the funds in ways that are of concern to the Belizean people."

Antonio Herrera - UDP Senator
"As my colleague listed, we are almost to $400 million in loans in 1.6 or so years of this government. Madam President, they always say there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but in my view, this is a train coming hard at us. We're heading just in the same direction of the Superbond, only because this time it might be called a Super Duper Bond."

Phillip Willoughby - Interim UDP Senator
"Go to Jane Usher Boulevard, sir, and tell those people back there that you are borrowing 75 million USD. You go to the people on Caesar Ridge Road, sir, and tell them you are borrowing $75 million. You can go to any area across Belize City, in particular Southside Belize City, and tell them that you are borrowing $75 million and US at that. And what does this translate to them? What does this mean for them? They are the ones; they are the majority who will be paying back these loans, in particular this 75 million US dollar loan. Sir, the most difficult thing for a decent human being, a god-fearing person is to get up right now and tell his children, I can't provide for you. I can't pay the utility bills. I can't pay the rent. I can't provide the basic food basket."

Eamon Courtenay - Leader of Government Business
"Have a seat."

Phillip Willoughby
"No, We will act with decorum, sir."

Eamon Courtenay
"Have a seat."

Phillip Willoughby
"We will act decorum, sir. Yes, you don't need to tell me to have a seat. I know, sir."

Carolyn Trench Sandiford - Senate President

Eamon Courtenay
"Madam President, I ask that Senator Willoughby be brought within the standing orders. He is not only being trivial and repetitive, which is prohibited by the standing orders, but he is not relevant to the motion before us. I understand his proclivity for Southside Belize, and I understand his failure on Southside Belize. But it is not the matter before the Senate this morning."

Chris Coye - PUP Senator
"So we were at 133% debt to GDP. When we secured that Blue Loan arrangement, what was the debt to GDP? That was reduced by 25%. We were down to 108%. Where we are now is that it is 89% after the rebasing of the GDP. So, we don't beat have this going up. We have debt coming down. It's a misrepresentation all around, whether it's in the House or in the Senate, to speak of runaway debt. In the data, it is absolutely clear that the debt is coming down. And in an appreciation, it's important to explain to the public the difference between a loan amount and a disbursement. Don't mislead the people. This loan, this 75 million loan, as it relates to purpose, it is for budget support. And I would highlight that Taiwan is one of Belize's closest friends, and it was horrifying to hear the senator speak in those terms about Taiwan. One of our closest friends was appreciated under the past UDP administration, so much so that the amount of borrowing under the past UDP Administration from Taiwan amounted to close to $600 million: budget support, budget support, budget every year. 40 million, 50 million US in budget support. This 75 million is not for one year. This 75 million is over five years. If you read the document, you will see how it's laid out."

The UDP's Guardian newspaper today listed $540 million dollars - or more than half a billion dollars in loans the Briceno administration has taken on since taking office less than two years ago.

Channel 7