SSAC placed 300.000 USD to preserve 109 secrete houses across TL in 2021-2022

SSAC placed 300.000 USD to preserve 109 secrete houses across TL in 2021-2022

The National Director of Patrimonies and Cultural, Gil Paulino Dos S. Oliveira (Photo Tatoli/Nelia Fernandes)

DILI, 18 july 2022 (TATOLI)- The Secretary of State for Arts and Culture (SSAC) allocates USD 300,000 to preserve and protect 109 secret houses across Timor-Leste from 2021 to 2022.

“300,000 USD is provided to ensure the effectiveness of the protection and preservation of the secret house across the country. Previously in 2021, we provided a small grant for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the secret house in Timor-Leste worth 200,000 USD while in 2022 the Government provided a fund worth 100,000 USD for this program” the National Director of Cultural Heritage, Gil Paulino Dos S. Oliveira told TATOLI at his office in Pantai Kelapa, this Monday.

Oliveira explained that almost all secret houses were burned during the 24 years of Indonesian occupation and destroyed during natural disasters.

“The secret house is a Timorese identity that reflects two important things, such as giving nature’s blessings to the new generation for a healthy and long life and even protecting Timorese from all dangers, especially during times of conflict or war, therefore it needs to be protected and preserved under the TL law article 4 number 33 and based on this policy the Government is fully responsible for providing the budget to build and rehabilitate all secret houses,” he said.

Olveira added that the SSAC has not recorded the total number of secret houses in Timor-Leste but based on the rehabilitation proposals submitted from the community, the SSAC has recorded a total of 180 secret houses in 2021 while in 2022 it was recorded 82: “So from 2021 -2022 the SSAC recorded a total of 264 secret houses in the municipalities of Lautem, Viqueque, Baucau, Manatuto, Dili, Manufahi, Aileu, Ainaro, Ermera Liquica, Suai, Bobonaro and Oé-Cusse,”

“The support is given based on the proposals submitted by the community to SSAC,” he said.

According to Oliveira, the secret house will be built with original and natural building materials, and the budget will be provided according to construction and rehabilitation standards, including; New construction of the secret house worth 3,500 USD, Rehabilitation of the Secret House worth 2,500 USD, Inauguration of the Secret House worth 1,500 USD.

Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Nelia Borges


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