Manatutu, March 18-19, 2024, President J. Ramos-Horta visited communities in the administrative post of Manatutu Villa, Cribas village, as well as the administrative posts of Laklubar and Soibada on Monday and Tuesday this week, to directly provide support and listen to community concerns.

During these visits, the President distributed basic necessities such as rice, cooking oil, blankets, soap, and others directly to people with disabilities and veterans in those areas. He also provided support for community activities, including balls for sports activities, and a piano for the choir at the Cribas Church.

President Ramos-Horta took the opportunity to listen to concerns faced by the communities, such as lack of school meals, insufficient health care services, and poor road conditions. Although acknowledging that infrastructure and social services fall under the government’s responsibility, he said he would convey the people’s concerns to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.

On his personal Facebook page, the President shared some of his concerns, such as the Government being able to repair the Rulalan-Laklubar road, some schools that have gone months without school meals except for those provided by Care International, and the very poor conditions at many schools across Timor-Leste.

Ramos-Horta emphasized that although the Government has many priorities in 2023 to improve systems, sectors such as education, health and agriculture must be top priorities utilizing the 2024 budget approved in December 2023. The President’s visits provided a direct line of engagement between communities and the Head of State regarding local development needs throughout the nation.