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Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #559340
09/10/22 05:18 AM
09/10/22 05:18 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 8th September 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 6th September 2022.

Cabinet affirmed its policy decision that no surface mining (strip, open put, mountain top) or any other type of mining activity in the Gales Point Manatee area shall be permitted having regard to the surrounding communities' concerns and given the threats and damages it may cause to the environment, including its extensive and sensitive biodiversity, watershed and other immense ecological systems.

Cabinet approved the establishment of the National Women’s Commission as a statutory body of the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs thus allowing this institution to legally address gender issues and to coordinate all national efforts relating to gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment.

The Prime Minister reported to Cabinet on his successful trip to Berlin, Germany, where, at the invitation of the technology company Variodin AG, he led a delegation of technical experts on a research and educational visit to have a better understanding of how Belize and the Caribbean region can capitalize and mitigate the growing threat of sargassum to the region’s critical tourism industry. The Prime Minister is seeking technological solutions in managing sargassum, for the production of energy, and based on ongoing research, believes that Variodin’s technology is suited for Belize’s needs in helping to mitigate the sargassum problem.

Cabinet approved the signing of an Air Transport Agreement between Belize and the State of Qatar, granting the two countries the right to fly across each other’s territory and make stops in each other’s territory and establish scheduled international air services.

Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of Economic Development to sign a memorandum of understanding in connection with the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism. This mechanism will enable Belize over a period of four years to access up to 29 technical assistance programs free of cost from Canada. These may be utilized to address Belize’s priority needs by supporting institutional strengthening and economic growth through the transfer of skills and knowledge and fostering locally-driven, sustainable solutions that are equitable, inclusive and environmentally responsible.

Finally, Cabinet wishes all Belizeans a safe and Happy St. George’s Caye Day.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #559448
09/15/22 11:30 AM
09/15/22 11:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 15th September 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 13th September 2022.

' Cabinet gave its approval for the removal of overtime restrictions for healthcare workers. This will improve the terms of service and timeliness of payment of overtime to healthcare workers.

' Cabinet determined that Monday, 19th September 2022, will be observed nationally as a public and bank holiday. This is the day of the State Funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and coincides with National Service Day, which will be observed as a day of service. This is a one-time statutory holiday and will not be on the schedule of holidays. In this regard, a statutory instrument has been signed by the Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries.

' Cabinet gave its approval for amendments to be made to Statutory Instrument No. 6 of 2020 to facilitate the application process for the new Belizean Electronic Passports (E-passports) and to legally operate the Electronic Passport Issuance and Control System (EPICS), beginning October 2022.

' Cabinet was notified of an outbreak of the Avian Influenza (H5) disease, commonly known as bird flu, in two communities in Belize and approved measures recommended by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) to control and eradicate the disease. Measures include depopulation of birds from affected farms, cleaning and disinfecting of these farms, checkpoints to control the movement of poultry and poultry products from affected farms, and increasing surveillance in communities where there is a presence of the disease. Cabinet was given the assurance by the Minister of Agriculture that measures to effectively control this outbreak are being implemented by BAHA and that there is no shortage of poultry and poultry products in Belize at this time.

' Finally, Cabinet wishes all Belizeans a safe and happy Independence Day.

Valiant and Bold, Proud and Strong!: Belize Rebounds @ 41!

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #559953
10/14/22 04:23 AM
10/14/22 04:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 13th October 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 11th October 2022.

- The Minister of Agriculture notified Cabinet that the quick response by government and poultry producers to address the outbreak of the avian flu in Belize was successful. All tests conducted by Belize Agricultural Health Authority show Belize is completely free of the avian influenza virus. As such, quarantine measures have been discontinued.

- Cabinet received a preliminary damage report from the Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management on the flooding resulting from the heavy rains caused by Hurricane Julia and has requested that a damage assessment and needs analysis be conducted. In addition, Cabinet approved initial monies from the Contingency Fund to provide assistance to those most affected by the flooding.

- Cabinet approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Belize and Variodin AG, a technology company based in Germany. The MOU will set the conditions for capitalizing on and mitigating the growing threat of sargassum to the region’s critical tourism industry by using it to produce energy.

- Cabinet approved the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Belize country office by the Central American Bank for Economic Development (CABEI).

- Cabinet approved just over BZ$677,000 in additional funding for the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour & Local Government. The funds will be used to acquire a new well rig and support vehicle to provide access to water for 22 rural communities that currently do not have a water system and allow for effective maintenance to the 108 communities that currently depend on rural water systems. The total cost of the rig and support vehicle is BZ$2.1 million of which BZ$1.5 million is a grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

- Cabinet gave its approval for Belize to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts. This will complete and update existing legislation as well as provide a strategic advantage to the country when promoting e-commerce and information technology-related services.

- The Prime Minister informed Cabinet that after accepting to serve as the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Mr. Cresencio Sosa, Sr. requested that his name be withdrawn from the post due to illness. The Cabinet shares best wishes to Mr. Sosa for a full recovery.

- Finally, Cabinet gave its recommendation on a number of legislative amendments and laws which will be presented at the Sitting of the House of Representatives on Monday, 17th October 2022.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #560088
10/20/22 10:55 AM
10/20/22 10:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 20th October 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 18th October 2022.

- Cabinet received an update from the Minister of Education on the CDB Belize Education Sector Reform Program II. The program is entering a new phase which will see the construction and retrofitting of 27 schools across the country. Importantly, this phase of the program will include the rehabilitation and retrofitting of Stella Maris School and the Leo Bradley and Turton libraries in Belize City.

- Cabinet reviewed the approved Work Program for 2022/23 and accepted two concept notes for the development of project proposals through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for the Education and Energy sectors.

- Cabinet received an update from the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy, Logistics & E-Governance on the plan for the transformation and modernization to a digital government. The National Digital Agenda is a part of the government’s commitment to becoming a more open, efficient, and effective government and is in partial fulfilment of Plan Belize.

- Cabinet approved the supplementary Capital II budget appropriations for BZ$734,000 to support the work of NEMO, through its Operations Center, to replace materials and supplies critical to its efforts during national emergencies.

- Cabinet endorsed the list of public and bank holidays for 2023 submitted by the Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries in accordance with Section 3 of the First and Second Schedules to the Holiday Act.

- Finally, Cabinet congratulates the young Belizean students from Belize High School who won a gold medal at the FIRST Global Challenge International Robotics Competition in Geneva, Switzerland.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #560215
10/27/22 11:10 AM
10/27/22 11:10 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 27th October 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 25th October 2022.

- Cabinet gave its approval for an amendment to Statutory Instrument No.110, titled Telecommunications (Licensing Classification, Authorisation and Fee Structure Amendment Regulations 2021, to amend regulations to clarify the various classifications of licenses, services to be provided under various licenses and their applicable fees and to clarify the services which can be provided under a class license. These amendments would bring about much-needed clarity to the regulations, improve the administration by the Public Service Commission of license holders and update the fees payable under the regulations to be in line with current industry costs.

- Cabinet approved a proposal by the Ministry of the Public Service, Constitutional and Political Reform and Religious Affairs to modernize the recruitment and promotion system and to revamp and modernize the Human Resource Management systems. The objective is to create a more professional, responsive and effective Belize Public Service.

- Cabinet approved the entry by Belize, by way of Senate ratification of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement, to enhance safety standards and requirements for Belize registered high seas fishing vessels as well as strengthen efforts to combat illegal, unreported and underregulated fishing activities. Cabinet also gave its approval for Belize to accede to the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean to enable Belize to participate as a voting member and influence the allocation of fishing quotas in the South Pacific Ocean to Belize.

- Finally, Cabinet welcomed a visit from the students of Belize High School who won the gold medal in the FIRST Global Challenge, which featured high school students from 180 nations competing to build and program a robot. During the visit, the students demonstrated to Cabinet how they constructed and programmed their robot to compete at the event. For their efforts, the students were presented with letters of commendation by Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology. Additionally, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño presented a citation to the students and the school in recognition of their excellent performance at the competition.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #560798
12/01/22 11:51 AM
12/01/22 11:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 1st December 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 29th November 2022.

The Cabinet received an update from the Prime Minister on his official visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and successful meetings with President Nicolás Maduro, where they agreed to strengthen the close bonds of friendship and solidarity between Belize and Venezuela. They committed to working together on matters of trade, energy, tourism, communications, air connectivity, education, culture and housing. President Maduro announced that Petrocaribe was being renewed and expanded and that Belize would continue to be one of the beneficiaries. The Prime Minister also updated Cabinet on the important negotiations on the debts owed by Belize to Venezuela on which a new agreement was reached that brings substantial benefits to both countries.

Cabinet approved the introduction of the General Revenue (Supplementary Appropriations) (No. 4) Bill at the 2nd December 2022 House Sitting, including to appropriate further sums of money for the use of the Public Service of Belize including for hurricane relief. In addition, Cabinet also approved the tabling of two loan motions and for Government to provide government guarantees for the Development Finance Corporation to support tertiary level education and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Belize.

In an effort to ensure the adequate monitoring and regulation of construction in Belize, Cabinet gave its approval for the establishment of general guidelines by which the Central Building Authority (CBA) will operate. The Belize Building Regulations, 2022 will set out procedures and general requirements of the CBA. This knowledge would lead to greater transparency and promote overall safety in construction in Belize.

Cabinet gave its approval for a three-month extension of the registration period of Amnesty 2022, to February 2023.

Cabinet approved amendments to the Fiscal Incentive Act to support MSMEs with important duty exemptions for their capital investments, to incentivize their formalization, and to earmark government procurement to MSMEs with a view to stimulate economic growth and improve Belize’s investment climate.

Cabinet approved the introduction of a bill to provide for the creation of a credit bureau in Belize. The Credit Reporting Bill will establish a legal framework for a credit reporting system that will provide objective credit information to lenders, foster efficient credit decision-making, and a sound level of consumer protection.

Cabinet also gave its approval for the repeal and replacement of the Financial Services Commission Act, 2020 with the Financial Services Bill to strengthen the regulatory powers of the commission and introduce several key provisions to ensure that it is in line with best international standards and obligations to ensure the integrity and compliance as well as promote Belize’s reputation for conducting and promoting good business

Finally, in commemoration of World AIDS Day, observed under the theme, “Equalize,” Cabinet encourages all Belizeans to join in the global call to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #561308
01/13/23 06:29 AM
01/13/23 06:29 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,527
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 12th January 2023

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 10th January 2023.

- Cabinet welcomed a presentation from members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association on their ongoing negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Industry/American Sugar Refinery over the current situation in the industry, including an agreement on revenue sharing.

- In enhancing efforts to improve the quality and delivery of health services in Belize, a PlanBelize commitment, Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of Health & Wellness to upgrade its fleet of ambulances starting with the purchase of three ambulances.

- Cabinet was briefed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration on the work program as Belize assumes the Presidency Pro Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA). During its six-month chairmanship of SICA, Belize will focus on the following priorities: migration, climate change and food security.

- Cabinet gave its approval for Belize to ratify the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean (ESCAZU Agreement). This Agreement will uphold and strengthen the values of democracy in the region, foster more inclusive community-oriented actions and set the foundation for improved policy and decision-making.

- Cabinet gave its approval for the tabling of amendments to the Immigration Act and the Caribbean Community Free Movement of Skilled Persons Act with a view to allow for the free movement of economically active citizens who can contribute to stimulating a robust economy with greater employment and productivity.

- Cabinet approved the presentation of two proposed loan motions at the next sitting of the House of Representatives - one for US$15 million in support of the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), particularly in the agriculture and tourism sectors, and the second for US$8 million for Trade and Investment Facilitation to promote investment and trade through simplification, standardization, and automation of key procedures including the establishment of a single investment window and a single trade window. Both loans are being facilitated through the Inter-American Development Bank on favourable terms.

- Cabinet gave its approval for the Attorney General’s Ministry to bring into force the Caribbean Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Serious Criminal Matters.

- Finally, Cabinet wishes all Belizeans a safe and happy George Price Day.

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