28 March 2012

Petroleum regulators to get better health care

Earlier this month, Timor-Leste’s National Petroleum Authority (ANP) published this advertisement several times in local newspapers, looking for a local clinic or hospital which can provide health care for their staff and their families. Like everyone else in Timor-Leste, they are not satisfied with the level of health care provided by the public system and are looking for something better.

La’o Hamutuk shares their concern, and we have often urged the Government to spend more on health care than the 3.3% allocated in the 2012 State Budget, much less than most developing countries. But we are uncomfortable when regulators in the oil and gas sector decide to spend money from the people’s natural resources to obtain better care for themselves than is available to other public employees.

When the Council of Ministers created the ANP in 2008, La’o Hamutuk raised questions about its budget and decision-making, which are not subject to democratic administrative and oversight processes applicable to other state institutions. We also raised concerns that ANP receives revenues directly from oil companies in violation of the principle underlying the 2005 Petroleum Fund Law that all petroleum revenues must be deposited in the Petroleum Fund (Article 6.1) and allocated through the State Budget approved by Parliament (Article 7).

Although the ANP budgeting process is not transparent or open to Parliamentary participation, the ANP publishes reports which show that it took in $1.8 million from the State Budget and $4.0 million from taxes and fees paid by oil companies during 2011. (The companies also paid $3,232 million into the Petroleum Fund.) The ANP spent $5.99 million last year, as shown in the pie chart. We do not know how much they plan to spend on health care for their employees this year, or what expenditure category it will be charged against.

In many resource-curse afflicted countries, people with the opportunity to skim money from oil and gas activities become a privileged, corrupt class. We do not think this has happened yet in Timor-Leste, and hope it never will.  Pay close attention!

Click here to read La'o Hamutuk 4 April response to the comments to this posting.


  1. If an organisation gets health care for its employees, that is a good example for other organisations to follow. Is it a fashion for NGO's to pick on such things and mislead public that their money is being skimmed? Does your company have health care for its employees? This is a basic need, no one bought hummers for the employees.You should concentrate on NGO's who pay their country heads half the money that comes as donation and go around beating their chests that they have saved this nation.

  2. I totally agree. Lao Hamutuk should concentrate on providing health cover to their staff before bagging other institution for carring enough for their staff health. Clean up your own house Charlie.

  3. How true. Lao Hamutuk is always looking for the negative in everyone elses work place except their own. Turn the microscope on yourselves for once. I am sure there are plenty of things in Lao Hamutuk that needs to be fix up. ANP is a leading institution in Timor Leste and we East Timorese should be proud tht we have such an institution run by Timorese professionals and who care for their country and have the commitment to to the best job they can. Stop putting down ANP, one might get the impression Lao Hamutuk is actually Lao Hamutuk with Woodside....Just a thought.....

  4. On another note, I doubt if there are defamtion laws in this nation. So, every NGO and so called "Saviours of this impoverished Nation" go around finding problems than finding solutions.
    How many NGO's go to Bali for weekends? Do you think of the poor people in districts and their health at those times? Why are all the bars and pubs full in Dili? Is it because NGOs and UN are having a discussion about social welfare for Timorese? Why are NGO and UN cars parked all over the place in front of restaurants during lunch? Are they transporting Timorese from districts to have lunch?

    DOES THE US EMBASSY HERE ISSUE VISAS & CARRY OUT CONSULAR DUTIES or they call themselves GEOPOLITICAL EMBASSY? I think they have better GeoPolitical duties back home, where the economy is a mess, housing schemes have hit the gutter and their search for WMD in IRAQ has thrown mud on their face...oh,now IRAN has WMD's, then....who else?

    Western funded NGOs have to think...are they doing sociual welfare schemes or carrying out government orders to maintain political instability by raking up issues and creating public disturbance.

    Or are the Western DemocraZies worried that ET may have free and fair elections and this will leave them with no option to send their peacekeepers on highly paid salaries?

    I hope Lao Hamutuk answers these!!

  5. Health care is a basic needs. Everyone know that. However using people money to get a better health care while leaving people with bad quality health care is not fair. Your comment sound like someone who hate critics, and only unprofessional hates critics. I hope you are not one of the foreign advisor to our government.

  6. Focus on the issue. I hate this kind of discussion where people are expressing their sentiments instead of facts. If you think what you are doing is right, why you become so sensitive? Just explain the reason behind what you are doing! and if you think that NGOs have done something wrong, tell them. If they did a crime bring them to the court! Or you don't have enough courage to do that? NGOs using people's name to get money then doing nothing to help people is wrong, but I can't expect NGOs to do government obligation.
    The "FINDING PROBLEMS IS NOT THE DUTY OF SOCIAL ORGANISATION, GO FIND SOLUTIONS" is not logic for me. How can they find solution if they didn't know the problems?
    I'm proud of ANP, proud of many great Timorese who have proved their integrity in doing their job. But some people are sometimes afraid of losing the Dollars and they have become very sensitive.

  7. In many resource-curse afflicted countries, people with the opportunity to skim money from oil and gas activities become a privileged, corrupt class. We do not think this has happened yet in Timor-Leste, and hope it never will. Pay close attention!
    If it is not corrupt, just leave it. Are you trying to plant something here...what is there to pay close attention? Charlie's angels, you pay close attention and don't mislead people.
    Clinton lied under oath...so will you keep reminding Obama's female staff "American President had *** with his female staff...so, pay close attention?" The American President lied to the public, about his affairs, about WMD in Iraq, so,everytime the Amercian Pres talks,pay close attention, he maybe lying!!
    Now, the use of people's money is debatable. Even government salary is people's money. Everything belongs to the public. Public servants are paid inroder to manage things well, public servants have benefits. Why is the Prime Minister going in a car when all Timorese don't even have bicycles? This is debatable, if we see things thru Lao Hamutuk eyes.
    Things have to be seen pro-actively. Health Care and Education are backbone to any country. Govt/ has to step up and improve health care.

    1. Very agreed with this comments, but it is not so good when you pointed to one person, what LaoHamutuk (Though I am not Laohamutuk's staff) thought is that they probably conducted an extensive research and they just published what should be done and not... it is not final decision, as we all know that they are not in the position to make a decision they just let the public know what they think is better?

  8. The comments being published by Lao Hamutuk is really a good sign. I think we need more online forums to discuss public issues.Though I don't agree with a lot of Lao Hamutuk's opinions, a few whistle blowers are required, but sadly si\uch whistles aren't heard as they are outplayed musical horns of Dili's taxis. Here, I refer to attractive Govt propoganda as musical horns...the project in the South Coast,without knowing if the pipeline will come to Timor. Mind you, its a small portion of Sunrise Field that falls into JPDA, not even timor sovereign territory. Now I know all will jump, Australia is stealing our Oil and Gas, that I am an Aus agent, Lao Hamutuk is Woodside....all this is empty noise. See the larger picture.Timorese need jobs, health care,small industries, fishing, farming, schools. The Sunrise issue has put a blanket on all this and govt. has diverted attention of public from basic problems by talking tough on Sunrise and acting like heroes. Time to think. Timor is for people, beyond Mr.Xanana or the Nobel Laureate Mr.Horta and his autobiograpgy crew who travel in his small car!! Don't run behind leaders and parties like herd of sheep, think and vote. Vote for education, health care, water and sanitation...don't listen to Sunrise promises, it dies every sunset and wakes up every morning,but it doesn't change your lives.

  9. I truly agree that we need more open discussion between people from various sectors. Differences should be respected, critics should come with solution. Thanks for Lao Hamutuk for publishing all the comments, even some comments are really out of context and not worthy reading. Keep up your good work Lao Hamutuk!

  10. I guess people had had given very impressive comments but we have to think that probably it is not so good idea, ANP having a private health cover to its staff for time being as Timorese is part of the country that is having a free access to health care so it is unfair and such a waste of resource (Notionally money) to something you can basically get it free. As we all know that ANP is non-profit organisation, it is a public institution that look after and regulate all petroleum activities in Timor Leste and at JPDA. To sum up, we should think that what might Laohamutuk wishes, is that it is not feasible that ANP having a health care to its staff. Something, this policy is a copy and paste from other country, sometimes copy and paste it won't work as in country country most of the time.

  11. ANP must be revised when the new government coming
    congratulate to LH which become leader for advocater on behalf of ET people

  12. Thanks to all who wrote comments, although we wish everyone had the courage to sign their names. In the spirit of free speech, we have published all comments received.

    La'o Hamutuk has written a response to the comments above, which we have posted as a separate entry in this blog: http://laohamutuk.blogspot.com/2012/04/lh-reply-to-comments-on-anphealth-care.html, and we welcome continued discussion.

    -- The La'o Hamutuk collective

  13. Caros amigos
    sem querer intrometer-me em assuntos que dizem respeito ao povo de Timor-Leste, gostaria de lembrar que é prática comum, em muitos países de regime democrático, o uso de seguros de saúde para os trabalhadores de empresas privadas.
    No Estado existem, também, vários sub-sistemas de saúde, para os quais os funcionários descontam.
    Quando o sistema nacional de saúde pública não pode dar resposta de qualidade, em tempo útil, é recorrente este tipo de soluções.
    Nos países com muitos anos de gestão da "coisa pública" os contribuintes descontam, substancialmente, para assegurarem a qualidade da resposta na Saúde.
    A meu ver o essencial é a transparência das acções. Vamos, pois, manter um bom nível de discussão e alargar o âmbito das nossas opiniões ao mais decisivo dos momentos: as eleições.
    Um abraço
    Maria Delcourt

  14. I Think the guy who talk about NGOs go to Bali is from ANP. What he said was to far away from the contact. He was trying to turn people idea from talking about the ANP health care to another topic. But, sorry, many people in East Timor hate the kind of health care ANP wants. ANP people don't have moral. DO you guys know that our people are still poor?Your guys must be changed when the new government arrives. I know who you are?You guys don't have nationalist. Please wait the time to leave

    1. does the poor people is a problem from ANP? I do not think so... this is a TL Government agenda to resolve the poor issues.. you clam yourself nationalist, and look to the poor people, may I ask you? what you have done to poor timorese people????? do you give any material support???? thus please shut up you mounth talking about poor people and start taking part on supporting poors people. I think your are not different with those people in ANP since you are also interesting to work with ANP.. why you are not apply for a job?? why you wait for political decision????? you all are hypocratic and using poor people for your own interest. Please le positive rather than using political accuse. Thanks Joao Soares Lives in Ailklaran Bairo - Pite Dili.

  15. People should know prioritize their health above anything. If this organizations can give healthcare insurance to their employee, then that's good enough. Lucky enough to have employer who's concern is their health especially they are in the oil industry which is dangerous.