Honorable Patrick Faber, he did not think twice before boasting on the podium that a handful of Petro Caribe money was used to finance a family day trip to Corozal for residents of his constituency and tonight this same revelation has placed him and his government under public scrutiny. Faber made the announcement on Sunday as he addressed the crowd during the endorsement convention for newly appointed U.D.P Standard Bearer for Caribbean Shores Darrel Bradley. Now why this is making headlines is because the Petro Caribe monies should be used for infrastructural and social programs. But apparently GOB is taking its eyes away from the ball and the monies are being spent otherwise in some occasions thus causing public outcry and a call for accountability and transparency.
For context here is a portion of the Minister of Education’s address.
Honorable Patrick Faber- Minister of Education
“I want to start off this afternoon by thanking our government and thanking our Prime Minister who will be with us shortly for Petrocaribe funds. I am just back…I had to rush back cause I promised Darrel I would be back in time to speak at this convention, but my friends we were able in the Collet constituency to roll twenty-two loaded buses to Corozal Town today and we had a wonderful family day courtesy of Petrocaribe and our Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow. We danced to Jorge Ernesto Babb and the Caribbean roots band. We bathe up inna di sea…you know the beautiful Corozal Bay sea weh look turquoise and milky and beautiful…we eat tacos and we eat pibil and we eat BBQ…we had a feast. But most importantly we bonded as the Collet family and we were able as well to share with the constituencies of the North….Corozal North, Corozal Bay, Corozal South-east and Corozal Southwest, and it would not have been possible if we did not have the kind of support from our Prime Minister and Party Leader, but also from the Petrocaribe funds. We made sure the buses left three o’clock and they’re on their way. So if you see some of them come in and they’re kinda tipsy they were having a fine time. But they wanted to be here and I believe some of them will still show up.”
It is not yet known exactly how much money was used on the trip and this is because Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has been in meetings from this morning or at least that is what we were told when we called his office several times. It is not the first time that the use of Petro Caribe funds by Government is being questioned. A few weeks ago a document was exposed which showed that 20 million dollars of Petro Caribe funds were transferred to another account and was used to pay salary for public servants. This was used in the month of March 2014. The document also showed that the same thing happened in March 2015. When questioned by the media Financial Secretary Joseph Waight stated that the transactions were simple reimbursements to GOB for monies which had been reserved for GOB’s general spending but used to cover Petro Caribe expenses.
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