Minister of National Security speaks about recent achievements

In the House today, Area representative for the City of Belmopan and Minister of National Security the Hon. John Saldivar got up to address the Leader of the Opposition. Hon. Saldivar spoke firstly about Fonseca’s comments on the Superbond and that the UDP should grant the public officers and teachers their requested pay raise.

Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
SaldivarThe Superbond, Mr Speaker, was not used for the good of this country, but to line the pockets of those who were on the other side.  Ask the Member for Orange Walk Central, because he has sought on numerous occasions for him to bring back the millions.
He’s talking, I’m sure, for political gain again, to say that they are on the side of the Public Officers and the teachers.  Let me remind him that it is they who opposed the increments for teachers and Public Officers in 2005.
It is the United Democratic Party, when it got into Government in 2008, that restored the increments for Public Officers.
Public Officers and teachers will get their raise.  They deserve their raise, and they will get it when this Government and this country is able to responsibly afford to give them a raise.  

Saldivar also added that they have been consulting with social partners and that the statements made by Hon. Fonseca are not so.

Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: 
The Leader of the Opposition started out his presentation this morning by talking again and lamenting about this Government not consulting.  Mr Speaker, why do you think then they broke up the steps of the National Assembly in 2005 and 2007?  How quickly they forget that it is they locked the Unions out of their office.  It is they that refused to talk to the Unions, the Chamber, the Churches, all the Social Partners.  It is they that did that.   And that’s why it got worse that ever in 2008, because they refused to consult, Mr Speaker. And now they come and try to accuse my Government of not consulting.
First of all, when it comes to the Union. what do you think is central to the negotiations, with the Union in terms of the salary increase that they’re asking for? The Budget has been central to those negotiations.

The Hon. John Saldivar then turned to his Ministry; the Ministry of National Security, where he spoke about some of the recent achievements.

Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: 
The Coast Guard recently celebrated its seventh anniversary and has been quickly earning its reputation as a highly staked and well equipped unit policing our territorial waters. In this past year, they intercepted millions of thousands worth of cocaine at sea and led in an effective operation at Ambergris Caye, which uncovered and uprooted all criminal elements operating in that area. I want to publicly congratulate the new admiral of the National Coast Guard – Admiral John Boland.  

He then spoke of the newly built correctional facility in Mountain Pine Ridge which will be utilized to rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: 
The Ministry of National Security, for the past few months have established a new correctional facility for juvenile offenders at the Mountain Pine Ridge that is being upgraded by the BDF. As a matter of fact, at least today or tomorrow, the Chief Magistrate and her Magistrates will be touring the facility to view the conditions and be briefed on the programs will be conducted at the facility, before sentencing juvenile offenders to serve time in that facility.

He also spoke on areas of ballistics and anti narcotics training which personnel of the security forces have been undergoing.

Hon. John Saldivar – Minister of National Security: 
Neighborhood watch and Citizens on Patrol Committees have been formed in various part of the country in conjunction with the Police Department and the Ministry of National Security. We have acquired from the Canadian Government, a two million dollar integrated ballistics imaging system that will help us fight against crime. The Mexican Government has trained Belizeans forensic analyses to operate the system and the United Nations Regional Center for Peace and (inaudible) Development in Latin America and the Caribbean is currently conducting a training course in forensics ballistics. The future looks bright for Belize; the future looks bright for the Ministry of National Security. I want to thank the Prime Minister for the second consecutive year that the budget for the Ministry of National Security has been increased. We are thankful for the additional funds that will help us to get material, help us to get equipment and help us to do more operations as we fight against crime.  

Money allotted for the Ministry of National Security has been increased this year.

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