The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) earlier this month received $4 million, the first release in two years from the People’s Partnership Central Government to fund the Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP).
THA Chief Secretary Orville London said this was an extremely significant development because last year money was approved by Parliament but not released. This year the Parliament approved $8 million.
“This has said to us that we are Tobagonians have got to understand the importance of standing up for what is right and having the strength to do so regardless of the circumstances because I am suggesting that if we had not consistently agitated that there would not have been this response,” he said.
London said the THA was appreciative of the $4 million and whether it got the other $4 million or not it will not allow the Assembly to pay or fund all its expenses in relationship to the CEPEP or the URP. He added that in the case of the CEPEP there would be a shortfall of between $8 million to $10 million and also a significant shortfall in relationship to the URP, but the point about it was that some funding has been given.
He said if the THA was not in a position to fund the two programmes in the past four months and all of last year, Tobagonians would have been in very dire straits at this point in time.
London said the Assembly has been able to fund both CEPEP and URP from the transfer of funds from other Divisions as well as its unspent balances.