Venidora Oliveira – The government of Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MPWTC) has made the commitment to pay companies who completed urgent projects dating back to 2013.
Minister of MPWTC Gastao de Sousa said the National Development Agency (ADN) has submitted survey reports to the ministry and that payments are pending.
The minister added though that the surveys have only been conducted in three municipalities of the 12 municipalities of the country.
"I received the report from ADN and was told that three municipalities have been surveyed. We just have to determine payments now," said Minister Gastao in Kaikoli, Dili.
He added that prior to honouring the payments; his ministry will take the reports to the National Parliament in particular to Commissions E and C and to the Council of Ministers so that contracts can be prepared.
"We want to ensure we only pay work that was completed with quality," added Minister Sousa. He added the emergency projects began in 2013 under the mandate of then Secretary of State for Public Works Luis Vaz Rodrigues.
Emergency requests were sent to companies to fix roads and bridges that had been destroyed by natural disasters in Covalima, Viqueque, Manufahi, Manatuto and Ainaro municipalities and companies worked on a total of 152 projects priced at $74,448,748.11.
However most of the companies worked without proper contracts and as such the State was not able to pay companies even though some completed 100% of their projects.
Member of Commission E (for infrastructure, transport and communication affairs) Member of Parliament Manuel Castro said he appreciated the government's commitment to pay the companies for urgent projects.
The MP added though those payments will have to depend on the government's monitoring of the quality of projects and that those companies that delivered good quality at the end of the project deserve to get paid while those whose quality is not good should not get paid.