While the parliamentarians were not able to debate the UHS Bill, they did have a back and forth over the seventeen point five million US dollar loan being obtained by the government from the Republic of China, Taiwan. The loan is being made for Belize Telemedia Limited and parliamentarians were asked to approve a sovereign guarantee. According to the People’s United Party, if BTL is racking up significant revenues as claimed by the Government, then there is no need for a sovereign guarantee.
KAREEM MUSA, AREA REPRESENTATIVE FOR CARIBBEAN SHORES
“This Prime Minister would actually advance such a motion after he has in the past ten years condemned the securing of a loan by way of a sovereign government grantee for a private company and I know the Prime Minister likes to bob and weave and duck and dodge as to whether BTL is a private company or a company owned by the Belizean people and whenever it is politically expedient for him ‘its a private company I cannot tell you how much my son is making.” and then when he wants to come to this house and rile his people up ‘oh it is owned by the Belizean people.’ I don’t know how he continues to bob and weave and what we have before us today if you read the motion it says ‘a private company’. So the same thing that this Prime Minister has condemned in the past he is now asking the Belizean people or asking this house to approve a loan with a sovereign guarantee by the Government.”
WILFRED ELRINGTON, AREA REPRESENTATIVE FOR PICKSTOCK
“Sovereign Guarantee is given when a nation believes that what is is guaranteeing is going to be for the benefit of the people of the country and you ask the very many people who are employed by BTL and you ask the many people who are going to be served by this loan especially the poor people in PG who don’t have internet and who don’t have telephone how do you expect that they will get it. We have got to generate the monies through loans and once the loans are generated it is going to be supplied to them that is how we function because we do not generate on our sufficient capital and surplus to make this capital investment. So that is natural and normal and to hear the two brightest luminaries or almost the two brightest luminaries on that side, take this very regressive and backward position completely and totally confounds me.”
The monies will be used for BTL’s National Broadband Program.