$5.050B cleared for Region Three
GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, December 15, 2016
The National Assembly just after midday today passed the $5.050 Billion allocation for Region Three, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara.
Covered under the region’s 2017 funding are the following spending:
- Regional Administration and Finance-$222.109M
- Public Works-$172.116Million
- Educational Delivery-$2.866Billion
- Health Services-$1.407Billion
Among the projects that will be executed are:
- extension of the regional administration building at Vreed-en-Hoop.
- construction of revetment at Goed Intent and control structures at Schoonard, Zeelugt and Endeavour.
- upgrading of sluice at Maria Johanna.
- construction of bridges at Richmond Hill, Leonora and Meten-Meer-Zorg.
- rehabilitation and upgrading of roads in La Grange, Uitvlugt and Parika
- completion of the Department of Education’s building.
- construction of cold storage at the Department of Education, boat house at Parika and ramps and revetment at Northern Hogg Island and Upper Bonasika primary schools.
- construction of a special needs school for Schoonard.
- construction and enclosure of living quarters at Great Troolie, Northern Hogg Island, Caria Caria, Upper Bonasika and Western Hogg Island.
- extension of health centres at Upper Bonasika, Morashee, Lanaballi and Den Amstel.
- extension of building at Leonora Diagnostic Centre.
- construction of incinerators at De Kendren, Morashee, Caria Caria and Viva-La- Force health centres.
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan defended the region’s allocation with support from Permanent Secretary (PS) Emile McGarrel and Region Three’s Regional Executive Officer (REO) Denis Jaikaran. He fielded questions from Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) Bheri Ramsaran, Dharamkumar Seeraj, Komal Chand, Ganga Persaud, and Colin Croal.
Minister Bulkan in response to Seeraj’s call for more information as to the education buildings that will be maintained under a provision of $80Million, explained that the allocation covers interventions to a number of schools including those in Plantain Walk, Belle West, Stewartville, La Grange, Canal Number Two, Leonora, Meten-Meer-Zorg, Cornelia Ida and Tuschen.
He, also, in response to Persaud’s call for clarification on the movement from $57.655Million to $100Million for an allocation listed as “Others” under the region’s current educational programme, explained that the provision funds payment for examination supervision, as well as sweeper/cleaners at the regional educational facilities. Bulkan explained that the reason for the rise is due to the increase for examination supervision, as well as the salaries being paid to the sweeper/cleaners. Minister Bulkan noted that the latter, who number a total of 42, are now receiving a sum of $41,200, when it was formerly $29,000.
Minister Bulkan also explained that an increase from $11Million to $44.8Million for water charges under the education, current programme is a result of the metering of all the schools in the region. According to Minister Bulkan in 2016, only 36 of the schools were metered. He said that as a result of the metering programme, of all of the region’s 71 schools, adjustment was made to the line item allocation.
Minister Bulkan in response to Ramsaran confirmed that there is indeed no provision in the estimates for payment of gratuity in the ensuing year for those medical doctors under the fixed establishment in the regions. He said that those benefits would now be obtainable at the time of these officers’ retirement.
He also confirmed to Persaud that a provision of $359.649Million will be sufficient to cater for the region’s pharmaceutical needs for 2017 and that $6Million is catered for the Leonora Diagnostic Centre, for works on the Dental, X-ray, Emergency and Out-patient units.
By: Macalia Santos