BELIZE CITY, Tues. June 1, 2021– On Tuesday the Cabinet held their weekly meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño. At the meeting presentations were made by the Minister of Infrastructure Development and Housing, Hon. Julius Espat; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining, Hon. Cordel Hyde; and the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Hon. Anthony Mahler.
According to a Cabinet briefing that was subsequently released to the public, Hon. Espat presented to his colleagues a comprehensive Completion Report of Emergency Works which were carried out since the start of the PUP’s term in November 2020 up to May 2021. The report highlighted the completed infrastructural works that were made possible through Cabinet-approved funding following the damages caused by hurricanes Eta and Iota in 2020. These repairs and restorative works were done on roadways and road infrastructure as well as to the streets in the national road network that were “already in a state of disrepair due to years of neglect.”
In his presentation on the challenges being tackled in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum and Mining, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Cordel Hyde, discussed the current “technical challenges” being faced by the country in its efforts to manage “growing volumes of waste”. These include challenges in waste collection services, particularly in Rural Belize, as well as the lack of recycling programs and insufficient management protocol at disposal sites.
As a result, Cabinet reached a consensus to establish and introduce an inter-ministerial committee in order to devise a plan to address the mounting waste management issues.
In the update that was presented to the Cabinet by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Anthony Mahler reported on his visit to the northern border, where he engaged in an exchange with members of the Mexican media. The Minister discussed the recent phased reopening of land and sea borders which started on May 31, 2021. As previously reported, the Santa Elena Northern Border, Benque Viejo Del Carmen Western Border, and San Pedro and Punta Gorda borders are being reopened solely for the entry of foreign tourists who will be visiting the country for recreation/vacation purposes. The Cabinet briefing reiterates that only tourists who are pre-booked at Gold Standard-certified accommodations for a period of no less than three days will be allowed entry into Belize.
Finally, at the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño alerted his Cabinet members of his impending visit to Guatemala City, which took place on that same day, June 1, 2021. The PM would depart on an official visit to President Alejandro Giammattei Falla and is scheduled to return to Belize on Thursday, June 3, 2021. Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Cordel Hyde has been acting as the Prime Minister during his absence.