Paulina Quintao – Member of Parliament (MP) Brigida Antonia Correira has criticized the Ministry of Tourism's Miss Turismu initiative as a waste of money.
MP Correira said the winner of the inaugural Miss Turismo competition had performed no duties, a year after her election.
The member of Commission D (for economy and development) said a large amount of money had been spent on the program which did not provide any benefits for people. "It has been a year for Miss Turismu but has been no program," she said in Parliament.
MP Correira said most Ministry of Tourism programs were a waste of money. She said Parliament intended to cut funding to tourism related initiatives such as Carnaval in the 2015 General State Budget.
Rede Feto Timor-Leste interim director Filomena Fuca said there had not been adequate socialization of the Miss Turismu initiative prior to its implementation. "Many people don't know Miss Turismu's real function among the communities," she said.
She said while the program was worthwhile, it was ill-timed and did not offer solutions to problems faced by women such as poverty, violence against women and a lack of access to health care.
She said the Ministry of Tourism should spend money improving Timor-Leste tourism sites to encourage people to holiday domestically, rather than investing in the Miss Turismu initiative.
Ministry of Tourism human resources national director Aderito Babo Soares was not available for comment.