Belize’s Parliamentarians met at the National Assembly in Belmopan today. Coming back to the House were the write-offs initially presented in August 2019. During this morning’s session, the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno rose to speak on the write-off for Joshua Perdomo. The Perdomo write-off along with several others have gone to the Finance and Economic Development committee and came back to the House of Representatives this morning. Briceno asked that he be given the floor to speak on the Perdomo write-off, but his request was denied by the Speaker of the House, Laura Longsworth.
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “Briefly allow us to speak on any of these motions because we had to wait for it to come back from House Committee.”
Speaker of the House: “I think we’ve gone beyond that. I said those were presented for debate.”
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “Sorry ?”
Speaker of the House: “I said no we will not be doing that today.”’
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “But these have already gone to House Committee, now it’s coming back.”
Speaker of the House: “But there was a time for debate at the last meeting nobody picked it up the last time.”
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “Because we were waiting for it to go to House Committee then it comes back that we can debate it.”
Speaker of the House: “No that won’t be happening.”
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “Because it is very important Madam Speaker for us to put on record that on motion number two in the Mr.Perdomo issue that we certainly….”
Speaker of the House: “Yes I understand that very well but it did come and nobody picked it up so that won’t be happening today.”
Later on, Briceno requested that a vote by division be conducted during today’s house meeting regarding the Perdomo write-off. Seventeen divisions voted to have the write-off approved whilst ten votes were against it. There are four parliamentarians absent in today’s meeting. The Perdomo write off has to do with the son of Cabinet Secretary, Carlos Perdomo. The son, Joshua, was given study leave from public service. He went abroad and did his studies and earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Genetics at the University of North Texas. Perdomo’s agreement with the Government was that he would return to the public service for three years after completing his studies. He never returned to do his three years and as a result, owed the government just over forty thousand dollars. According to the government, they exhausted their resources in locating Joshua Perdomo and were forced to terminate his services on September 1, 2011. Fast forward eight years later and the debt is being cancelled.