By Oscar Mira PUP Standard Bearer for Belmopan
August 27, 2018
Today a committee composed of Hon. John Saldivar as Chairman along with Hon. Elodio Aragon, Hon. Edmund Castro and Hon. Hugo Patt voted YES to forgive $40,500.00 owed by Joshua Perdomo the son of the Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo. The reason given is that Joshua Perdomo cannot be located.
I am so angry. First of all, many, many, young people beg for an opportunity to study, even at the high school level and cannot go because they do not have the money to do so. These children are forced into poverty and have very small chances of getting ahead. So many young people really need scholarships. They, instead, gave it to the son of the Cabinet Secretary of this UDP Government. When he came back from studying Forensic Genetics, he apparently did not return to work. He was let go. The Government asked him to pay back the money at a rate of 1000 dollars a month. He agreed but never paid anything.
The Cabinet then agreed to forgive him the debt. This is nepotism at its worst. A person who did not need a scholarship got it. So many people need and are ignored. Then he came back and refused to work. Then he refused to pay back $1000 a month. He has a Masters, he could pay it back, but he refused.
We all know that this is wrong. It is so wrong especially at this time of the year when so many students are struggling to get back to school. It is so wrong when many of us are struggling to buy school supplies for our children. $40,500 is a lot of money and could help hundreds of students that really, really need it.
Every day parents who are struggling to make ends meet come to ask for help, not for money but for school bags, exercise books, because they know education is the only way out of poverty.
Even when the story came out, everybody was shocked at the open, blatant nepotism displayed. They had a public hearing today. Everybody thought there was no way that it would actually pass.
Yet today, even when the public all opposed this horrible, appalling move, John Saldivar as the Chairman of the committee, calmly voted YES to forgive the debt. Castro voted yes, Hugo Patt voted yes, Aragon voted yes. No reason was given, no explanation. They just said yes, we forgive $40,500 in debt that could have helped hundreds of needy Belizean students.
Saldivar said YES, we will wipe off Joshua Perdomo’s debt. You should be ashamed of yourself Mr. Saldivar. You know it is wrong. The entire country knows it is wrong. It is open, blatant corruption. I shouldn’t have been surprised at John Saldivar since we all know the individual he has become, but, I still was. There is no way I would have voted Yes to such corruption… IF it was me voting.
Ms. Perdomo, his sister co-signed for Mr. Joshua Perdomo, if he did not want to pay, she should have paid. They can afford it.
But, they knew that the decision had been made. Saldivar as the chair of the committee Voted YES.
Ed. Note: The ONE PUP member of the committee, Hon. Kareem Musa voted NO to the write-off. The People of Belize are seething at this one. Hurting!! This one touches the lives of their children directly. The UDP probably thought if they could get away with $400,000.00, twice, then Joshua’s $40,000.00 would be small change. The people will NOT forget this one.