Hon. Patrick Faber’s Comments on National Television on his latest spending of petro caribe sponsored dollars on a few members of his constituency sparked a heat of opposition from sectors of the public including the Belize Chamber of Commerce who openly condemned it as the, “misuse of Caribe Loan Funds.” In his statements aired on June 8th, the Hon. member for Collet said he treated 22 bus loads of people from his constituency to tacos and pibil at a family fun day event held in Corozal Bay all through the courtesy of Petro Caribe. In an exclusive interview today with Plus TV, the Financial Secretary of Belize, Joseph Waight said the member for Collet was well within the guidelines of Petro Caribe spending.
“From my understanding, Minister Faber’s activity was funded from the Mother’s Day Program which in itself was funded by the Petrocaribe money. The Mother’s Day Program, every area representative got a small amount of money to give mothers the appreciation and small gifts to various members in their constituency. I believe they gave not only to their supporters but to people in the constituency itself. What Minister Faber decided to do with it, rather than giving gifts, her tried give a family outing to give the families in the community together; children, mothers and fathers as well and have a dingle outing with it. It fit broadly under the Mother’s Day Program. He used a different technique in doing so. “
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter
“So he did not acquire extra funds to fund this specific event?”
“No. It came under the umbrella of the Mother’s Day Program which in turn was funded by Petrocaribe. “
Joseph Waight noted that the moneys generated from the Petro Caribe program have three main uses: physical infrastructure, community assistance programs and other community projects like the mother’s day cheer, which he pointed out receives the smallest amount attention from Petro Caribe.
“Now the critiques are saying, have been saying, will be saying, the Petrocaribe initiative is better invested in something more long term.”
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This is the way the Cabinet decided to spend money – for the Mothers. It is a small portion of the overall. I respect people’s opinion. I am not going to quarrel with that.”
” So the Honourable member for Collet was well within his right to fun this family event.”
“Under the policies and procedures set up for the program, yes.”
Petrocaribe money that will generally be paid back by the general public…”
“Some people may have a problem with it and I can understand and respect their opinions. As far as expenditures are concerned, there is no problem.It was within the guidelines of the program – it was within the governments regulations. Yes.”