14 April 2021

Revizaun orsamentu estadu tenke justu, igualitáriu no sustentavel.

Link to this blog in English.

Dadaun ne'e, Parlamentu Nasional debate proposta alterasaun ba Orsamentu Jerál Estadu ba tinan 2021 hodi bele enfrenta kalamidade rua husi pandémia Covid-19 no inundasaun semana kotuk. Bele hetan informasaun tan iha ne’e, inklui proposta lei.

Iha loron 12 Abril, La’o Hamutuk haruka submisaun ida ba Deputadu/a sira hotu. Versaun badak tuir mai:

Ami apresia Governu Timor-Leste nia esforsu no servisu maka’as ba medida preventiva hotu-hotu ne’ebé ho objetivu atu hakotu kontaminasaun surtu Covid-19 iha ita nia rain, no atu responde lalais ba dezastre naturais ne’ebé Timor-Leste foin hasoru. Kalamidade inundasaun ida ne’e hatudu frakeza iha ita nia infrastrutura, no hamosu pergunta importante kona ba oinsá mak Timor-Leste bele suporta povu no oinsá atu hamenus impaktu husi dezastre naturais iha futuru.

Atu responde ba situasaun ida ne’e, Governu no Deputadu sira presiza avalia fali proposta alterasaun ba Lei Nu 14/2020 kona ba OJE 2021. Liu husi karta ida ne’e, ami hakarak hato’o ami nia hanoin kona-ba oinsá mak OJE 2021 retifikativu bele haktuir prinsípiu justisa, igualdade no sustentabilidade.

Ami sujere katak Governu bele aplika fali ideia Subsídiu Uma Kain la’ós ho baze ba sira ne’ebé tama iha lista Seguransa Sosiál de’it, maibé halo mudansa balun atu asegura katak ema hotu hetan benefísiu ne’ebé hanesan hodi atinje justisa sosiál iha implementasaun subsídiu estraordináriu, ami sujere atu:

  1. Kalkula montante subsídiu bazeia ba númeru membru uma kain, laho referénsia ba ema nia saláriu ka rejistrasaun ho Seguransa Sosiál.

  2. Konsidera katak cerca sanitária husi Estadu Emerjénsia no dalan nasionál ne’ebé hetan estraga halo susar ba hirak ne’ebé mak presiza halo viajen ba munisípiu seluk atu hetan apoiu husi família, presiza inklui sira ne’ebé hela iha fatin aluga ka fatin ne’ebé independente husi família, hodi bele asesu mós ba subsídiu estraordináriu.

Ami apresia katak iha versaun primeiru husi alterasaun ba OJE 2021 ne’ebé Governu hato’o ona ba Parlamentu, Governu propoin atu muda fundus husi projetu no atividade balu, inklui alokasaun Fundu Infrastrutura nian ba Aeroportu no Projetu Tasi Mane, no alokasaun liu husi Dotasaun ba Governu Tomak ba viajen ba nasaun seluk, atu finansia medidas foun liu-liu atu responde ba situasaun hafoin dezastre naturais.

Hodi bele muda alokasaun ba reparasaun emerjénsia no intervensaun saúde no ekonómiku sira. Posibilidade atu halo levantamentu estraordináriu husi Fundu Petrolíferu mak hanesan opsaun ikus, karik laiha rekursu ne’ebé sufisiente husi fatin seluk.

Ami sujere atu maximiza transferénsia husi projetu sira ne’ebé atu finansia projetu ba iha atividade no prevensaun urjente sira, inklui haforsa no hakbiit liu tan koordenasaun di’ak iha liña Ministériu sira no parseiru dezenvolvimentu sira atu bele minimiza duplikasaun iha despeza atu apoiu povu no hadi’ak infrastrutura.

Ami hein katak Governu no Parlamentu Timor-Leste sei foti medida no desizaun ne’ebé matenek hodi garante katak povu hotu, inklui povu ki’ik sira, bele kontinua moris iha kondisaun lahó preokupasaun no mós la monu ba kondisaun grave ne’ebé rezulta husi pandemia no inundasaun ida ne’e.

Ba ita-boot nia atensaun, ami nafatin hato’o obrigadu barak. 

13 April 2021

Budget revision should be just, equitable and sustainable.

Liga ba artigu ne'e iha Tetum

Parliament is currently discussing a proposed revision to the already-enacted General State Budget for 2021 to address the simultaneous calamities of the Covid-19 pandemic and the widespread flooding in Timor-Leste last week. More information, including the proposed law, is available here

On 12 April, La’o Hamutuk sent every Member of Parliament a submission (Tetum original), of which the following is an abridged translation:

We appreciate the Timor-Leste Government’s efforts to prevent and eradicate the Covid-19 virus, and its rapid response to the recent natural disaster. These floods show how weak our infrastructure is, and raise important questions about how to support our people and reduce impacts from such disasters in the future.

To respond to this situation, Government and Parliament should re-evaluate the proposed revision to the 2021 State Budget. We suggest the following ways the rectified budget can implement principles of justice, equality and sustainability.

La’o Hamutuk supports the proposal to provide an extraordinary subsidy to the population. However, we believe it would be better not to use Social Security System data as the basis for distributing this subsidy, because:

  1. The Social Security System does not include many vulnerable people, and the current situation makes it very difficult for them to register.

  2. It would be unjust to increase inequality by giving greater support to people who already have more money than to people who do not yet participate in the formal economy.

Timor-Leste has a large gap between those who receive salaries and most “little” people who support themselves in the informal sector or are unemployed. This subsidy is intended to ensure that everyone can sustain their lives during these difficult times. We don’t think the state should distribute different amounts to different people before we can assess the impacts of flooding and the state of emergency on each household. People who used to receive large salaries don’t deserve more support than those with lower incomes – their basic needs and human rights are the same.

To achieve social justice, we recommend using concepts from last year’s Household Subsidy, adapted to ensure that everyone receives the same benefits:

  1. Calculate the amount of the subsidy based on the number of people in each household, without regard to their salaries or Social Security registration.

  2. Considering that it is difficult to travel to other municipalities, the system should also include people who live in rented housing away from their families.

We appreciate that the proposed revision sent to Parliament last month would finance the new emergency measures by reallocating funds from other budget lines, including airports, the Tasi Mane Project and international travel.

Now that the situation has become more challenging, we suggest re-assessing the budget to see what else can be delayed or cancelled. If these is not enough to meet increased spending needs, an extraordinary withdrawal from the Petroleum Fund could be done as a last resort.

We all know that Timor-Leste may not be able to pay for basic services by 2030, when the Petroleum Fund could be empty. Therefore, we need to use the Fund’s limited resources wisely and carefully for essential needs.

We also suggest better coordination between line ministries and development partners to minimize duplication of emergency spending.

We hope that Timor-Leste’s Government and Parliament will take strong measures and make wise decisions to guarantee that all our people, including the “little” ones, can continue their lives without worrying about falling deeper into peril from the pandemic and the flooding.

Thank you for your attention.

18 March 2021

New Budget Framework Law under discussion

Proposta Lei Enkuadramentu Orsamentu foun iha hela diskusaun
Tetum tuir mai
In December 2020 and January 2021, the Council of Ministers approved a proposed new Law on the Framework for the General State Budget and Public Financial Management (also Portuguese). In early February, they sent it to Parliament for enactment. The proposed new law would replace Law No 13/2009 on Budget and Financial Management (as amended in 2011 and 2013) (also Portuguese) which spells out the processes for developing, enacting, executing and auditing the General State Budget.

The proposed law learns lessons from years of experience with the current system, as well as outside critiques by PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment), the Open Budget Survey and others.

National Parliament's Committee C (Public Finances) is holding hearings on the proposal beginning on 24 March, and they have invited the NGO Forum to a hearing on 9 April. These hearings are for initial appreciation of the proposed law in generality, and it is unclear when it will be debated in plenary. The proposed law says it will be enacted in time to apply to the processes of executing the 2021 State Budget and developing the 2022 State Budget (which begins before May 2021), but this seems unrealistic.

La'o Hamutuk will continue to analyze the proposal and welcomes suggestions and comments from all sources.  We will update this blog article as more information and documents become available.


Fulan Dezembru 2020 no Janeiru 2021 Konsellu Ministru aprova proposta lei foun ida, kona-ba Enkuadramentu Orsamentu Jerál Estadu no Jestaun Finansa Públiku (Ingles ka Portugés). Inísiu Fevreiru sira haruka ba Parlamentu Nasional atu aprova. Proposta lei ida ne’e sei substitui Lei Nu. 13/2009 (hanesan altera iha 2011 no 2013) (Ingles ka Portugés), ida ne’ebé deskreve prosesu atu kria, aprova, ezekuta no halo audit ba Orsamentu Jerál Estadu (OJE).

Proposta lei ne’e aprende husi esperiénsia tinan barak ho sistema atuál, nomos komentáriu sira husi PEFA (Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Assessment), Open Budget Survey no sira seluk. 

Komisaun C Parlamentu Nasional (Komisaun Finansa Públiku) sei realiza audiénsia kona-ba proposta lei ida ne’e, hahú iha dia 24 Marsu, sira konvida ona NGO Forum atu aprezenta iha audiénsia iha dia 9 Abril 2021. Audiénsia sira ne’e nudár apresiasaun inisiál ba proposta lei ne’e iha jeneralidade, no ita seidauk hatene bainhira mak sei diskute iha plenária. Proposta lei ne’e hateten, sei aprova kedas atu uza durante ezekusaun Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2021 no dezenvolve ba elaborasaun Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2022 (atu komesa antes Maiu 2021), maibé karik la realistíku. 

La’o Hamutuk sei kontinua analiza ba proposta lei ida ne’e no simu sujestaun sira husi parte hotu. Ami sei atualiza artigu blog ho informasaun no dokumentu sira bainhira iha.

14 March 2021

Identidade Úniku (UID) hahú halo konsultasaun

  Link to this blog in English  

 Iha Janeiru 2021, ekipa tékniku husi Instituisaun Públiku Teknolojia no Informasaun Timor-Leste “TIC Timor” fahe ezbosu Planu estratéjia kona-ba sistema Identidade Úniku (UID) ho konsultasaun limitadu.  Maske La’o Hamutuk hola parte iha prosesu konsultasaun ne’e, TIC husu ami atu labele fahe ezbosu planu ba públiku. Presidensia Konsellu Ministru konvida La’o Hamutuk no organizasaun seluk hodi partisipa konsultasaun públiku iha loron 19 Fevreiru, no ami kontinua ho hakerek submisaun.  TIC responde ho karta detalladu, maibé sira husu ami atu la publika sira nia resposta iha internet.

Pontu importante husi La’o Hamutuk nia submisaun mak: 

  • Kualkér sistema identifikasaun tenke respeita privasidade, liberdade espresaun no informasaun, inklui direitu sira seluk ne’ebé garantia husi Konstituisaun RDTL no tratadu internasionál direitu umanus. Tenke sér iha konsultasaun públiku ne’ebé luan, no sistema ne’e (sei iha) tenkesér estabelese liuhosi Lei Parlamentár.

  • Medidas efetivu tenke asegura katak kolesaun dadus hotu seguru, ne’e katak hacker no mós ema seluk ne’ebé laiha autorizasaun sei labele lee no modifika dadus sira ne’e. Tenke respeita ema nia privasidade, dadus biometriku, no dadus sira seluk iha sistema UID labele liga ho informasaun husi posting iha Facebook, atividade telemovel, GPS ou fonte seluk hodi viola ema nia privasidade no fornese lukru ba kompañia sira.

  • Relembra dezafiu atu mantén rede internet no sistema dadus iha Timor-Leste, ami preokupa katak asesu ba servisu sira ligadu ba iha sistema ne’e bele problema sei kuandu sistema UID ne’e rasik hasoru fallansu iha nia ekipamentu, software erru, falta eletrisidade ou internet ou interrupsaun sira seluk. Sistema ID ho teknolojia mínimu, hanesan kartaun eleitorál, ne’e sei konfiavel liu iha kontextu atuál Timor-Leste nian.

  • Povu Timor-Leste hatene husi sira nia esperiénsia pesoál oinsá moris iha regime koloniál no okupasaun nia okos ne’ebé oprime nia povu. Ohin loron, povu Timor-Leste moris iha sistema demokrasia nia laran ho respeita direitu umanus no lideransa sira iha intensaun di’ak ukun tuir estadu de direitu. Maske nune’e, hanesan esperiénsia Myanmar agora ne’ebé hatudu hela, sei la hanesan ne’e beibeik. Ami preokupa katak sistema hanesan ne’e bele fó oportunidade ba represaun ne’ebé fasil no efetivu liu.

  • Povu barak, espesífiku iha area rural, seidauk iha koñesimentu di’ak kona-ba liafuan no konseitu tékniku no jurídiku ne’ebé sai baze ba implementasaun sistema UID. Sira nia direitu ba privasidade no konsentimentu voluntáriu tenke hetan protesaun.

  • Bainhira povu hatene katak estadu iha kapasidade atu liga sira nia komportamentu personal ho asesu ba servisu públiku, bele hamenus sira nia vontade atu koopera no onestu ba census no survey sira seluk ne’ebé bele ajuda autoridade sira rekolla faktu hodi orienta formula polítika.

  • Konkluzaun, ami fiar katak risku husi projetu boot liu duke nia benefísiu ba povu no husu Governu atu buka forma seluk hodi hadi’ak jestaun dadus ne’ebé laiha poténsia atu ameasa direitu no nesesidade povu nian.

Consultations begin on Unique Identity System (UID)

 Liga ba blog ida ne'e iha Tetum

In January 2021, a technical team from Timor-Leste's Information and Communications Technology Agency "TIC Timor" circulated a draft Strategic Plan for a Unique Identifier (UID) system for limited consultation. Although La'o Hamutuk was included in this process, TIC has asked us not to circulate the draft plan more widely. The Presidency of the Council of Ministers invited La'o Hamutuk and others to a public consultation on 19 February, and we followed up with a written submission (Tetum). TIC replied with a detailed written response, but they have asked us not to put it online.

The main points of La'o Hamutuk's submission are:

  • Any identification system must respect privacy, freedom of expression and information, and other rights guaranteed by Timor-Leste's Constitution and international human rights conventions. There should be wide public consultation, and the system (if any) should be established by Parliamentary law.

  • Effective measures must ensure that all data collected is secure, and that hackers and other unauthorized people will not be able to read or modify it. People's privacy must be respected, and the biometric and other data in the UID system should not be combined with information from Facebook postings, telemobile activities, GPS or other sources to violate people's privacy or provide profits for companies.

  • Given the challenges of maintaining reliable internet and data systems in Timor-Leste, we are concerned that access to services linked to this system may be problematic when the UID system itself experiences equipment failure, software errors, power or internet outages or other disruptions. A lower-tech ID system, such as physical electoral cards, may be more reliable in Timor-Leste's current context.

  • Timor-Leste's people know from personal experience what it is like to live under colonial and occupation regimes that oppress its people. Today, people in Timor-Leste live under a democratic system which respects human rights and where well-intentioned leaders govern under the rule of law. However, as Myanmar's current experience demonstrates, this may not always be the case. We are concerned that a system like this could make oppression easier and more effective.

  • Many people, especially in rural areas, do not yet have good understanding of technical and legal words and concepts underlying the implementation of the UID system. Their rights of privacy and voluntary consent must be protected.

  • When people know that the state has the capacity to link their personal behavior with access to public services, they may be less willing to cooperate fully and honestly with the Census and other surveys which help authorities gather facts to guide policy-making.

  • In conclusion, we believe that the risks of this project outweigh its benefits for our people, and ask the Government to find other ways to improve its data management which do not potentially threaten people's rights and needs.

24 February 2021

Relatóriu peskiza Indústria Transformadora produtu Agrikultura iha Timor-Leste

Research report on Agriculture Processing Industry in Timor-Leste (English follows below)
Indústria transformadora produtu agrikultura iha poténsia boot atu hadi’ak povu nia moris no ekonomia iha Timor-Leste. Nasaun ho karakterístika sosiál no ekonomia hanesan Timor-Leste, indústria transformadora sai hanesan xave hodi dudu kreximentu iha setór agrikultura no estimula kreximentu iha setór sira seluk. Infelizmente, to’o oras ne’e indústria transformadór sira seidauk dezenvolve ho di’ak. Nune’e efeitu husi dezenvolvimentu setór agrikultura nian limita de’it ba benefísiu ne’ebé hetan ba konsumu no tranzasaun produtu primária. Atu hadi’ak problema ne’e, governu no ajénsia dezenvolvimentu sira seluk presiza sériu hodi responde ba fatór sira ne'ebé to’o oras ne’e sai obstákulu ba dezenvolvimentu indústria transformadora iha rai laran. 

Timor-Leste iha ona grupu lubuk ida ne’ebé halo atividade transformasaun ba produtu husi agrikultura sira ba produtu sekundáriu oin-oin. Grupu hirak ne’e hamosu ona fonte rendimentu foun ba ninia membru sira no mós kontribui ba sosa produtu primária husi agrikultór sira. Atividade ne'ebé grupu sira ne’e hala’o, sei ki’ik en termu de produsaun no mós rendimentu kada tinan, maibé sira nia produtu kompete ona ho produtu importadu sira no fa’an ona iha supermerkadu barak iha Dili laran no balun esporta mós ba rai li’ur. Realidade ne’e fó vantajen ba governu tanba iha oportunidade atu aprende husi esperiénsia grupu sira ne’e hodi sai referénsia ba kriasaun polítika nasionál no enkuadramentu legal sira hodi promove no hadi’ak liután indústria transformadór iha rai laran.

Rezultadu peskiza iha relatóriu nee, haktuir buat boot rua importante. Parte primeiru kona-ba karakterístika indústria iha Timor-Leste, haktuir iha PEDN kona-ba indústria mikro, kiik no médiu, produsaun domina ho produtu husi toos, oinsá envolvimentu ONG nian (organizasaun naun governamentál) no maioria grupu sira domina husi feto (93%). Parte segundu iha relatóriu nee espesífiku liu haktuir kona-ba dezafiu grupu sira (indústria transformadora) iha faze estabelesimentu, oinsá dezafiu sira iha faze de produsaun, oinsá dezafiu iha faze hafoin de produsaun no ikus liu mak kona-ba oinsá poténsia ne’ebé seidauk maximiza ho di’ak. Maluk sira bele lee informasaun kompletu iha relatóriu peskiza ne’ebé foin lansa (aprezentasaun) iha dia 17 Fevereiru liu ba. 


Research report on Agriculture Processing Industry in Timor-Leste

The agriculture processing industry has great potential to improve people's lives and Timor-Leste's economy. In a country with Timor-Leste‘s characteristics, agricultural processing could become a key driver of growth in the agriculture sector and stimulate growth in non-agriculture sectors. Unfortunately, Timor-Leste still lacks a reliable secondary industry in the agriculture sector. Consequently, the benefits of agricultural development have been limited to the consumption and trading of raw agricultural products. To improve on this, the government and development partners need to work on fundamental challenges that hinder the development of the agricultural processing industry.  

Several groups in the country are already processing farm products into secondary products. From these activities, they have created an alternative source of income for their group members, and contribute to other farmers’ income by buying their raw products. They are mostly small groups with low annual production and revenue. Nevertheless, their products have been circulating in the Timor-Leste market, in the supermarkets in Dili, and some for export. The government could take advantage of the existing groups' experience when designing national industry policy and its legal framework. 

The research report (Tetum) includes two major parts. The first is on the characteristics of the processing industry in Timor-Leste, reflecting on the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises in the SDP and global practices, the focus on plant-based products, the role of the NGOs in the industry, and women’s engagement (which reaches up to 93%). The second part concentrates on the challenges encountered by these groups during the establishment stage, production stage and post-production stage, potentials that have not been optimized, and interventions needed from the Government side.