Over 2200 Berbicians benefit from inaugural Office of the President Direct
– Almost 200 land titles and dozens of house lots and low-income homes allocated
– Birth certificates fast-tracked, more than 150 sign up for GOAL scholarships
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali’s decision to take his office to the people resulted in over 2200 persons benefitting from the inaugural Office of the President Direct, which concluded in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) Friday afternoon.
The two-day event in New Amsterdam, according to the President, was geared to bring essential services directly to Berbicians.
“Over the last two days, we have listened to, we have helped and supported and counselled to some extent, more than 2200 persons who came to meet with us.”
At the event, almost 200 persons also received their land titles, with nearly 50 house lots and over 50 low-income homes allocations.
The Head of State said that the objective was to ease the hassle and fast-track the process.
“We had almost 200 titles and transports processed and brought for distribution. We advertised overnight for 150 plus persons to uplift their transports. We fast-tracked the regularisation and distribution of titles for one area, one squatter settlement in John. That area is now fully regularised with all the titles completed within 24 hours.”
Outside of housing, Berbicians had their issues and concerns addressed either with immediate solutions or via time-bound resolutions.
“We have been able to deal with more than 100 complaints in relation to roads, drains in various areas across the region, bridges, sea defences, and structures, and as a result of this, we already have engineers on the ground working. Engineers are already designing and preparing tender documents to fix some of the important problems that will bring great relief for the agricultural sector, residential, and commercial sectors.”
Scores of persons also interacted with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, with 70% of their issues being addressed.
More than 70 applications for birth, death and marriage certificates were processed by the Guyana Register Office (GRO), while the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) signed up over 150 new applicants for scholarship opportunities.
The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) dealt with approximately 200 cases, with 70 per cent being promptly resolved and the remainder in the process of being resolved.
Additionally, the President explained that the initiative also resulted in citizens consulting the Government on health issues, medication and medical supply requirements.
Residents were also able to raise their issues with representatives of other agencies, including the Guyana Water Inc. (GWI), the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Police Force (GPF), and the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Education and Natural Resources among others.
The President noted that during the two-day event, more than 75% of persons who presented issues were women, and 90% of them were single parents.
“Many of them have between three to five children, six children. They’re single mums, single women-led households. So, we can understand the type of challenges and difficulties and additional pressure on the women-led households here in the region. This is something I think we need to take in the planning framework and in the work that we’re doing.”
He added that he has seen the tremendous impact that the Government’s job creation programme has had on many families. Many of them, he said, spoke of how transformative it is.
“I’ve heard stories of improvements in many of the sectors, but also some of the challenges that still exist and how we can confront those challenges. We met a number of young persons too, and I think the youth participation in the development of the region is something that is remarkable because there is great activism among the young people.”
The President added that he feels a great sense of pride, “a sense of things happening and a sense of optimism that exists in the region”.
The Office of the President Direct initiative will see the Office of the President and Government ministries and agencies working centrally in a different region two days per month.