Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:09:46 -0400 en-gb Police cautions community to be alert due to an increase in armed robberies of scooters and Robberies committed using a scooter

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - The Special Unit Robbery is investigating an armed robbery with a firearm that took place on Grapefruit road in St. Peters, police said on Friday in a statement.

On the scene, the police patrol learned that five men all dressed in dark clothing, one of the men armed with a handgun, approached a scooter rider who was parked on the side of road.

Under the threat of the weapon they forced the rider to hand over his scooter.

After robbing the young victim of his scooter, the suspects fled all in different directions.

The police force is asking the community of Sint Maarten to be vigilant, since there is a slight increase in armed robberies of scooters owners and robberies being done with scooters over the last few weeks, police said on Friday.

We are urging the community to come forward with information concerning these crimes. Only together we can stop these types of combat crimes, the police stated in their Friday police report.

The detectives investigating this armed robbery case is asking anyone who has information about this robbery to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

You can also visit the website at to report crime anonymously via the tip contact form, or you can leave a Private Message via their Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect something. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:10:10 -0400
SHTA launches business survey to assess economic impact Covid19

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In order to assess the economic damage for country St Maarten in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) over the past 24 hours launched a business survey.

The assessment is meant to make as accurate as possible an estimate of economic damage done by the pandemic. Contributions are welcomed from both member and non-member companies, as the association sees any contribution as help to our collective economic wellbeing and national interest.

In conjunction with the other business associations, the SHTA has directly started working on assessing what the economic fallout could be over both a 3- and 6-month timeframe.  It welcomes additional associations like those of tour and taxi operators, (para)medical associations and others to join and fill out this enquiry. 

The survey (website address: is accessible for any business that has not yet contributed to the research. Submissions are anonymous and will be only used in amalgamated settings per (broad) sector.  

Together, SHTA and its fellow associations represent 70% of the employed in the private sector. The associations stress the more accurate the analysis will be, the better the country will be able to prepare befitting solutions.

The SHTA and its partner associations call on members and non-members to share the link with all their business contacts.  The research will be updated daily, and results will be shared by the web page as well as Facebook

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:31:26 -0400
Prime Minister Jacobs receives COVID-19 update from Prefet Feucher

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday, March 23, met with Prefet of Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin Sylvie Feucher, as part of their weekly COVID-19 consultations.

Jacobs was informed about the latest COVID-19 preparedness and response actions taking place on French Saint-Martin, and the Prefet also received an update about Sint Maarten’s preparedness, response and mitigation measures. 

“The cooperation of working together to synchronize our islands (Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin) fight against the coronavirus disease COVID-19, has been an on-going effort since it was declared by the World Health Organization as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

“This cooperation continues on a daily basis as part of our joint preparedness, response and mitigation measures where various entities exchange information of on-going developments, and this is essential in preventing community transmission on the island.

“As Prime Minister, I would like to assure the general public that the Governments of both sides of the island have taken measures to protect public health and safety, and will continue to work together to get through this global crisis,” Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs said on Wednesday.

The Prefet said that the French side is still in a position with local resources to deal with COVID-19, and the tracing of persons is being carried out when necessary. Both the Prefet and the Prime Minister agreed to maintain open communication where it concerns the confirmation of new COVID-19 positive cases.

Both Governments will work towards establishing a protocol of cooperation that would lead to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications would also be included when formulating the MOU.

Representatives of the Police Forces from Sint Maarten and Saint-Martin will be meeting to discuss current COVID-19 procedures that have been implemented.

The Republic of France is at a Level 3 (the highest level), but Saint Martin is at Level 2.  The current measures will continue to be evaluated and adjusted as needed. 

Restrictions on French Saint-Martin will continue for a two-week period. Regarding air travel, restricted charter flights are allowed as well as cargo.

Air Antilles airline is providing limited essential air travel service between Saint-Martin (Grand Case), St. Barths and Guadeloupe for the following reasons: urgent health related matters (dialysis, urgent surgeries, chemotherapy treatment); an essential family member can accompany the patient; and professional travel for crisis management officials. 

A similar arrangement is in place with our national airline Winair with respect to limited services between Sint Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius and Curacao (emergency medical evacuations, health professionals and technical assistants).

Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Wash Hands Frequently for 20 seconds; Don’t Touch Your Face; maintain Social Distancing of up to six feet; Avoid Groups of People; Don’t Share Items between Each Other such as cell phones etc.; Practice Respiratory Hygiene if you Cough (in your elbow), Sneeze in a tissue and throw it in the bin; & Stay Healthy!

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information, and news updates or visit the Government website: or and Facebook Page:  

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 25 Mar 2020 22:29:29 -0400

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the operations of Social & Health Insurances SZV has made an advanced transition to online services as a response to contribute to the public health and safety of residents. SZV has been able to implement temporary measures to remove the need of customers having to visit SZV offices and make services flexible to maintain access to health care and other benefits.

To support the exchange of transparent information to customers and the public, today, SZV has launched a dedicated COVID-19 web page on providing an overview of all the adjusted procedures of SZV as per March 17. The COVID-19 web page can be found on the main menu of or by clicking here:

“These are unprecedented times. We are placing the health and safety of our customers and staff as high priority, while adjusting to new effective ways of working to secure access to health insurance for our customers in the midst of this global crisis.

For now, you may not be able to physically visit us, but we are ‘open online’ and working for you. I encourage everyone to visit the web page for updated SZV procedures, send us a message on Facebook or call us during opening hours. Stay safe, continue to practice preventative measures and follow government guidelines.” – Director of SZV, Glen A. Carty.

On the SZV COVID-19 web page (, customers can contact SZV, find information on adjusted procedures such as doctor control, medical insurance status, first time applications for medical insurance, prescription authorizations, declarations and payments of premiums by employers, AOV pension and more. The web page will be updated on a regular basis, continue to check for the latest updates.

While SZV’s offices may be closed for visitors and customers, operations continue in the background offering online, drop-off box and phone services Monday – Friday 7:30am – 2:00pm daily. When original documents are required for a service, customers can submit these in the designated Drop-Off boxes at the SZV offices. These are checked on a daily basis and confirmations are e-mailed or called in by SZV staff to the customers.

SZV would like to thank its dedicated staff and stakeholders such as health care service providers, banks and government departments, which have made it possible to fast track the implementation of many online procedures. SZV would also like to thank its customers for making good use of the online and phone services. Updates on adjusted procedures will continue to be communicated via the website of SZV, SZV Facebook page and press release to local media.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 24 Mar 2020 18:00:10 -0400
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Responds to Impacts of Covid19 on Dutch Caribbean Protected Areas. To Feature Dutch Caribbean Animals and Wildlife During Lockdown Phase

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - The Board and Secretariat of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) are taking measures to ensure the continuity of conservation and park management in the Dutch Caribbean amidst the international health crisis caused by the Novel Coronavirus Covid19 Pandemic.

“As the world is hunkering down to stop the spread of the pandemic, we are already anticipating a significant financial strain to non-governmental organizations that are tasked with protected area and conservation management on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean. This will be an additional challenge for organizations who protect vital protected areas and species with very little resources,” commented DCNA Interim-director Tadzio Bervoets.

“Considering this we are already exploring ways in which we can ensure the continuity in terms of capacity support for the protected area management organizations on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten. As parks see a drop in visitors and as Governments tighten their belts amidst the current and forecasted economic slowdown we must ensure that our crucial natural resources, and their associated goods and services, are maintained and managed and adequate environmental protection is put in place,” continued Bervoets.

 Additionally, as millions of people remain at home while in quarantine, DCNA will be increasing its online presence, highlighting the unique species and natural areas which make the Dutch Caribbean the biodiversity hotspot in the Kingdom.

“Using our online presence, we will be highlighting the species and areas which makes the Dutch Caribbean one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. We will also be showcasing the work the Protected Area Organizations; FPNA on Aruba, STINAPA on Bonaire, CARMABI on Curacao, the Saba Conservation Foundation on Saba, STENAPA on St. Eustatius and the Nature Foundation on Sint Maarten are doing in order to conserve our critical natural resources.

“In these unusual times it is important that we recognize the important role our nature plays in ensuring national well-being and economic resiliency. We therefore ask the population to follow DCNA on Facebook and DCNANature on Instagram for updates and highlights of nature conservation in the Dutch Caribbean,” concluded Bervoets.

The Board and Staff of DCNA is urging everyone to maintain social distancing and self-quarantining protocols, follow the official instructions and recommendations and to practice sound hygiene protocols. If persons are allowed to venture out for a walk, they are urged to do so in nature responsibly, acknowledging that spending time in nature is beneficial for health and well-being.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 24 Mar 2020 14:50:52 -0400
K1 Britannia Volunteers to Become Foster Youth Mentors

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - K1 Britannia Foundation in collaboration with The Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten (SJIS) recently completed its Mentors Training which qualifies adults to become certified mentors to foster children and teenagers on the island. Over the years, K1 and SJIS have completed multiple mentors training and this was the first for 2020.

Seventeen K1 Britannia volunteers who signed up to assist or mentor foster children completed the course and were very keen and engaged in discussions on the well-being of these disadvantaged youth. “Foster children come from all type of vulnerable backgrounds, they could have been abandoned, neglected, or abused. Mentors play a valuable role in the actions that need to be taken to get the children to become productive citizens of society,” elaborated Cynthia Filemon, Acting Director of SJIS.

The 6 session training which was given by psychologist Aisheline Maduro dealt with the foster care system on St. Maarten, self-image & self-worth, social development, types of abuse, various forms of communication and life in foster care. The information and tools given during the training ranged from informative, shocking, sad, useful and thought provoking. A participant shared some feedback stating, “the training was very in depth, exploring all aspects of life, emotions, etc. which contribute to how we react and interact socially. It showed how past experiences can affect how you handle current situations in particular how it influences your thoughts, behaviors and perspective on certain topics.”

Malaika Richards, K1 Program Manager and participants had the opportunity to learn and observe the potential mentors throughout the training.  She saw participants actively wanting to change to be a better person for themselves but also to be the best mentor that they can be for their mentee.
She stated, “having gained vital information, applying it through role plays, interactive discussions, and self-assessment questionnaires, the volunteers are excited to be paired with a foster child or teenager and start their mentor/mentee journey.”

The sessions brought various persons from all walks of life together for a common goal of being a role model and touching one foster child or teenager’s life for the better. “We have children in our foster care system that need mentors. This group was an excellent group, very mature, excited about the program and about learning. All in all, I think this training went really great and I’m hoping for some wonderfulness coming out of it,” added Mentors Training Instructor, Aisheline Maduro.

“The Mentors Training was made possible through sponsorship by The Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten, VNP – Dutch Representation Office in St. Maarten, Foresee Foundation (NPOWER), St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), and the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset. We are grateful that they believed in the importance of the program and the need to get persons in the community trained to be able to mentor foster children and teenagers who need that one on one time, love and attention.” Stated Vice-President, Priya Thirumur.

“The next steps are screening and matching, and from there the beautiful journey begins where they actually open up to each other, where the life of that child and the mentor start to intertwine, change and grow on this journey together,” stated Yasmine Essed, Mentorship Program Manager. One of the participants shared their feelings towards the next steps saying “I’m feeling excited, excited to meet who I will be mentoring , excited to motivate, to be kind and to try my utmost best to make a difference.”

Based on demand, the K1 Britannia Foundation will host another Mentors training in 2020 for persons 21 years and older who are interested in assisting or mentoring foster youth. All are encouraged to sign up as a volunteer online at to participate in making a difference in the lives of youth and other areas on the island. 

For more information about the K1 Britannia Foundation, visit , or email

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sun, 22 Mar 2020 22:35:24 -0400
New Business Measures as of Monday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten hereby announces that, after consultation with French counterparts, it was agreed to synchronize measures as much as possible in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Therefore, the following measures have been implemented in relation to business closures, which will go into effect on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Businesses that are allowed to remain open to the public:

The attachment to the Ministerial Regulation entitled ‘Regeling opening en sluitingstijden dienstverlenende bedrijven ter bestrijding van het coronavirus’ has been adjusted to allow only the following types of businesses to be open to the public until further notice.

These businesses are:

o       Hotels and guest houses, including on-site amenities;

o       Yachting agents;

o       Emergency, Paramedic & Medical laboratory services;

o       Medical practitioners & Dental clinics (for emergencies services);

o       Pharmacies & Pharmaceutical suppliers.

o       Gas stations and Suppliers of fuel (ULG, Diesel etc.) & LPG Distributors (cooking gas);

o       Banks;

o       Insurance companies, limited to back office administration and online/ mobile services;

o       Hardware stores;

o       Shipping & Cargo companies;

o       Grocery stores;

o       Restaurants and food vendors (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Bakeries (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Essential Gov’t services, incl. telecommunication, judicial, utilities and postal services.

o       Notarial services

o       Funeral services

o       Media outlets

o       Cleaning services and garbage collection

o       Laundry services

o       Public transportation operators;

o       Construction of Social Projects may also continue

All other businesses must be closed to the public but may offer online/mobile ordering and delivery services to clients.

Business closing hours:

Contrary to what was announced earlier this weekend, stricter measures have now been enforced. Businesses that are allowed to open in connection with the aforementioned published Ministerial Regulation may only do so until 6.00 pm daily.

The Ministerial Regulation, which will be published on Monday provides the following clarity:

  1. All businesses must be closed on Sundays and holidays, with the exception of pharmacies, retailers of cooking gas, gas stations and hotels/ guesthouses, incl. on-site amenities catered to guests only.
  1. Businesses that are allowed to open, must be closed by 6.00 pm on all other days (Mon-Sat), with the exception of hotels/ guesthouses, which may maintain their regular operating hours.

The above-mentioned operating hours also applies to businesses with permits to open for extended hours or 24 hours.

The above measures are in reference to businesses opening to the public! Work that has to be performed beyond closing hours may continue. This includes but is not limited to night-time employees of news outlets, emergency service operators, SMMC personnel and Cargo workers.

Restocking of supplies after closing is also permissible as long as the business is not open to the public.

Beach Activities

Beaches will remain open and accessible to the public; however, no beach parties/ gatherings are allowed. Beach parties/ gatherings are considered gatherings of more than five (5) persons in one group. Furthermore, the renting of chairs, umbrellas, water sports equipment and the provision of other beach activities is prohibited until further notice.

For more information on this and other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Sint Maarten, please visit

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sun, 22 Mar 2020 22:25:32 -0400
Costa Favolosa Cruise Vessel arrives for Fuel and Food Provisioning

PORT ST. MAARTEN – The Costa Favolosa cruise ship arrived on Saturday morning March 21 in port only for fuel bunkering and food provisioning (container). There are no cruise passengers onboard the vessel and the crew are restricted to the vessel.

The cruise ship is allowed to dock at Port St. Maarten by the Government of St. Maarten based on humanitarian grounds once the vessels maritime health declaration meets the public health screening requirements of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Department of Collective Prevention Services protocols.

Once the vessel completes its bunkering and provisioning operations, it will depart St. Maarten.

Costa Cruises is one of several cruise companies that have suspended their global cruise itinerary operations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Costa Cruises says its global operations have been halted until April 3.

The Costa Crociere Group is Italy’s biggest tour operator. Part of the Carnival Corporation & plc Group, with a fleet of 103 ships (over 11.5 million passengers in 2016), the Costa Crociere Group is parent company of the Costa Cruise Lines and AIDA Cruises brands.

With 27 ships in service for an overall capacity of around 76,000 guests, the Group is headquartered in Genoa and operates at global level, mainly on routes in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, North and Central America, South America, the Arab Emirates, the Indian Ocean, the Far East and Africa.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 21 Mar 2020 12:45:44 -0400
TelEm Group giving new COVID-19 instructions to technicians in the field

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - TelEm Group is putting strict safety measures in place for Outside Plant (OSP) and Technical staff who are coming into contact with customers and members of the public each day to make new installations and effect repairs.

The company will be issuing a safety checklist that all company technicians and subcontractors working in the field are expected to follow each time they enter a home or business to carry out a telecommunication installation or repair.

According to TelEm Group CEO, Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, the safety of persons working in the field is “paramount” and has his personal attention. The safety of homeowners visited by the same technicians also has his attention.

“On Thursday I instructed the Management Team to put a Checklist together that all technicians will be expected to follow outlining all the steps they have to follow to protect themselves from becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus, and to assure customers in the homes they visit, that safety protocols are being followed to protect them also,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

The CEO says the new checklist will outline what the technicians are expected to wear and the sanitation procedures they are expected to follow, including washing of hands, use of disinfecting sprays and wipes and distancing themselves from persons in the homes.

“At this time, with more and more residents working from home, it is vital for the economy for us to provide the connections that are needed to ensure a work from home strategy is properly supported technically,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

He says this means having to send technicians and engineers to make the necessary connections and also requires their entry into homes and offices.

“Understandably some persons are nervous about letting anyone from the outside into their home for fear of infection, however, this is a perfect opportunity, while persons are at home to join them to our State-0f-the-Art Fiber Network, where we have additional capacity and reliability of service,” said the TelEm Group CEO.

Mr. Dupersoay said he will be asking homeowners and businesses to monitor the work of the installers/technicians and confirm that they have accomplished all that is listed on the Checklist so that managers can maintain strict quality control.

“Anyone who does not follow the strict guidelines to the letter will be reprimanded and/or removed from any further involvement in the project until further notice,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

The TelEm Group CEO also informs that technicians will be making visits to homes by appointment ONLY. Customers and homeowners are therefore requested to confirm the ID for visiting technicians and contractors at all times.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 19 Mar 2020 18:53:15 -0400
Coronavirus and children: how to combat anxiety

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – With current concerns about the Coronavirus, children in particular may be experiencing anxiety. Here are some tips to help keep them calm from the experts at the British School of the Netherlands.

Keep conversations open

Listen carefully to your child if they are expressing concerns and show understanding. Their concerns might not seem important from an adult perspective, but they could be having a big impact on them.

Give them the time and space they need to ask plenty of questions.

Ask questions

Start the conversation yourself if your child seems anxious but is struggling to talk about it. Ask open questions like: ‘Is there anything you are worried about?’ ‘You seem worried.

Is there anything you’d like to talk about?’

Stay calm

Speak to them about it in a calm and reassuring way. Try to discuss it with them in a lighthearted way. If you are concerned yourselves, please don’t discuss it in front of your children.

Explain the facts

In an age-appropriate way, explain the key facts about the virus, that you don’t know all the answers but that experts are making decisions to keep everyone safe.

Avoid over-exposure to the news

Even if your child seems to be distracted, they will listen to news on the radio or television if it is on in the background. This could heighten their sense of panic.

Avoid younger children listening to the news altogether. Older children could watch Dutch children’s television programme Jeugdjournal or the BBC’s Newsround coverage.

Focus on what they can control

Explain that the virus is spread through coughing and sneezing and the most important thing they can do is wash their hands regularly, cough or sneeze into their elbow and throw tissues away.

Distract your child

Once you have had the conversation, distract your child with an enjoyable activity. Focusing on it for too long could heighten their anxiety.

Ensure you are informed

Make sure you are up-to-date with official advice from the school and the local authorities so that you can respond and prepare your child in a calm way.

Suggestions and strategies:

Routine: Try to maintain some kind of routine in your day. If your child is old enough to understand, explain that routine at the start of the day. This can be calming and reassuring in times of uncertainty.

Balance: Try to achieve a balance of the following: reading and homework, fresh air and exercise, screen-time, family-time and time alone and moments for creativity or relaxation (without screens).

Bedtime: Calm, bedtime routines will help your child if they are having difficulties sleeping (this is normal with a change of routines and if they are worried). Perhaps a shower or a bath, calming music and time to read would be beneficial. Avoid screen-time an hour before going to bed.

Fostering positive emotions: As our brains are automatically wired to think negatively, research has shown that fostering positive emotions is helpful for emotional wellbeing. Your child could write three things they are grateful for in a Gratitude Journal every day; or do a daily act of kindness for others.

Calm Corner / Calm Box: With your child’s help, create a Calm Corner or Calm Box. Allow your child to choose what helps them to relax. They might include a soft toy, a favourite blanket, photographs that bring back positive memories, calming music with headphones or a favourite book.


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 19 Mar 2020 12:36:56 -0400
Intensive care units ready for surge, as Dutch death toll rises to 76,-as-dutch-death-toll-rises-to-76&Itemid=504,-as-dutch-death-toll-rises-to-76&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch intensive care specialists say they expect between 500 and 1,000 coronavirus patients will have landed in intensive care wards by next week and that most will be in Noord-Brabant province, where the epidemic first took hold.

Last night, 177 people were being treated in intensive care wards, up from 135 on Tuesday. The death toll from coronavirus in the Netherlands rose 18 overnight to 76, according to the latest update from public health institute RIVM on Thursday.

The number of confirmed tests rose by 409 to 2,460, the RIVM said. The actual number of infections is far higher than the positive test results indicate, because only people showing serious symptoms, and healthcare workers, are currently being tested.

Nevertheless, Brabant continues to dominate the statistics, with over 870 cases. To prepare for the expected pressure, patients in IC wards at Brabant hospitals will be moved elsewhere to free up beds, the NVIC said.

Groningen’s UMCG hospital has already accepted two people and hospitals across Brabant are now assessing what needs to be done. There are currently 575 beds available for intensive care corona patients, but this can be boosted to 1,500 or even 2,000 if necessary, officials said earlier.

Earlier on Thursday NVIC chairman Diederik Gommers said that just 14 of the 58 coronavirus patients to die so far were being treated in IC units. The rest were in ordinary wards, nursing homes or at home.

Most were very elderly and had serious underlying health complaints, he told the Volkskrant. ‘If a patient is very old, has a poor heart and has undergone three operations in the past few months, the family and doctor may sometimes decide that there is no point in treating them in intensive care,’ Gommers told the paper.

Some patients are having to be kept on breathing apparatus for two weeks before there is any sign of improvement, Gommers said. ‘Some patients have been there longer. It has a real impact on you.’


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 19 Mar 2020 12:31:44 -0400
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands organizes an IP Workshop at C.O.C.I St. Eustatius & Saba

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (Ministry of EACP) of the Netherlands and the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) partnered together to provide a workshop for the management and staff of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry St. Eustatius & Saba with the objective to increase IP awareness in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES) Islands. The presentation was provided by the Bureau for Intellectual Property (BIP SXM) Director, Mrs. Vincentia Rosen-Sandiford.

The workshop covered topics such as intellectual property, trademarks and copyrights related to the BES islands as well as services rendered by BOIP (Caribie) and BIP SXM.

Management and staff of the C.O.C.I. St. Eustatius & Saba showed enthusiasm and provided positive feedback saying that their increased IP knowledge will aid them as they, as business advisors, encounter entrepreneurs on a daily basis. They look forward to applying their newly gained IP knowledge in their work field.

The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is the official body for trademarks and designs registration in the Benelux. As instructed by the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands, BOIP also implements the Trademarks Act of the BES Islands since October 10th, 2010. This is the trademark legislation applicable in the three special Dutch municipalities BonaireSint-Eustatius and Saba. You can find more information about BOIP on

BIP SXM would like to thank the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands and the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) for the opportunity and collaboration to increase IP awareness in the BES Islands and applauds them for this initiative.

The Bureau looks forward to the upcoming IP Workshop in Bonaire.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 16 Mar 2020 16:26:08 -0400
Fire chiefs meet on Saba

SABA - Fire chiefs of the Caribbean Netherlands, the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten met on Saba on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 to further the cooperation between the fire departments within the Kingdom.

In July 2018, the Ministers of Justice of the four countries in the Kingdom signed a cooperation agreement to exchange knowledge and experience, to offer mutual support, strengthening the quality of the fire departments, disaster management and crisis management.

The individual commanders maintain their own responsibility, while acting as a portfolio holder to carrying out the different aspects of the collaboration agreement. Since the signing of the agreement in Bonaire, the fire commanders are meeting four times a year to discuss the progress. The venue of these meetings alternates. Once per year, the fire commanders meet in the Netherlands, when the meeting is combined the annual Fire Departments Congress.

The previous meeting was in St. Maarten late November 2019. This time it was the turn of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department BKCN to host the meeting, and it was unanimously decided to gather on Saba. This was the first time that the meeting took place on Saba since the intensifying of the collaboration mid-2018.

On the first day of the meeting on Saba, the delegation had a meet and greet with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson. Discussed during the two-day meeting were, among other things, the Judicial Four-Day Consultation JVO which took place in Curaçao in January this year; the state-of-affairs regarding the different portfolios of the collaboration agreement including mutual support, mobility, safety and expertise/knowledge; the possible participation at the World Police and Fire Games in Rotterdam in July/August 2021; the Fire Department Academy. The two-day meeting also included an outside activity.

Regular meetings between the fire commanders are important, also because of the increased safety risks in the Caribbean region such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Solid preparation is essential and cooperation between the fire departments, but also with the other stakeholders, is a key element in this.

The Fire Departments within the Kingdom need each other during times of crisis or a disaster, and providing mutual assistance when this is needed is cardinal. In that sense, it is important that the Fire Departments know each other well. That is why the Fire Departments are investing in intensifying the cooperation in areas such as joint training, joint education and helping each other in cases of large incidents. 

The combined staff of the Fire Departments in the Dutch Caribbean stands at 400. The Fire Departments of Aruba and Curaçao each have a staff of more than 100. St. Maarten has about 80, and the Caribbean Netherlands more than 90, divided over Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The number of BKCN employees will be increasing to 100.

Present at the meeting on Saba were: St. Maarten Commander Clive Richardson, who chaired the meeting, Disaster Coordinator and secretary of the meeting Paul Martens, Aruba Commander

Dido de Cuba, Curaçao Commander Elvin Regina, BKCN Commander Albert Gieling, Julio Every BKCN Saba Commander, Chairman of the Netherlands Fire Department Stephan Wevers and Strategic Advisor of the Netherlands Fire Department Harold Menning. The two-day meeting took place at the fire station in The Bottom.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 14 Mar 2020 02:04:24 -0400
Ministry of TEATT meets with Major Food Wholesalers regarding Supply Chain

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Ministry of Tourism Economic Affairs Telecommunication and Transportation (TEATT), met with the major wholesalers and suppliers of food on St. Maarten to discuss supply and demand amidst the challenges faced relating to the COVID -19 threat.

On March 12, 2020 representatives of ESF-10 namely the Secretary General of the Ministry of TEATT - Mr. Miguel de Weever, Head of the Department of Economy, Transportation & Telecommunication - Mrs. Valya Pantophlet, Senior Policy Advisor - Mr. Shervin Frederick and Mr. Mark Schloss of the Ministry of VSA met with the major wholesalers & suppliers of food on St Maarten. Present at the meeting was Mr. Umesh of Prime Distributors, Mr. Larson of Cost-U-Less and Mr. Huang of Sunny Food.

During the meeting, several topics were discussed and these included the following:

  • merchandise/stock levels;
  • pricing i.e. maximum prices, and steps taken to avoid price gouging;
  • the importance of maintaining high stock levels;
  • challenges experienced with the supply of products and transportation.

The Wholesalers made it very clear that there was sufficient stock of food items and that the main challenges faced related to goods that were in high demand globally such as Hand Sanitizers and hygiene products.

As previously mentioned, the discussions included stock levels and the main types of food which needed to be maintained at sufficient levels. These food items such as rice, pasta, canned goods/food, etc which were previously identified as key items during the hurricane season, are expected to be maintained at high levels.

With regards to supply and transportation, enquiries were made into challenges faced with the re-ordering of goods and the transportation/shipping of the aforementioned goods. We do recognize that this is a global problem and many countries are buying the same items. As an alternative to address this problem, some of the wholesalers are looking at purchasing in countries where the problem has not affected them such as South America.

Linked to the supply of goods is the pricing of the goods as it is imperative that we try and maintain prices at an affordable and reasonable level. To ensure this, adherence to the established maximum prices was also emphasized of which they understood and agreed.

As we recognize that the pricing violations were happening on the retailer level (i.e. smaller grocery stores); we have encouraged the wholesalers to inform their retailers to adhere and not take advantage of the situation.

Additionally, as of March 11th, the maximum prices of goods related to basic necessities and those related to COVID-19, have been formally and legally established. This means that the control will start immediately and businesses not adhering to these prices will be penalized according to the Law (i.e. 4 years in Jail or fine of up to Naf 10,000). The public is advised to report any violations by calling 542-4511.

Lastly, the wholesalers and the government representatives concluded that there was no need to panic, nor to stockpile grocery items. While there is a global challenge, there is no need to panic and purchase more than necessary.

The General public is encouraged to purchase and save as they would normally do, by consuming conservatively and to be reasonable. Otherwise the business will take measures in their own hands and begin to ration items to ensure that each household can have their basic needs met without any problems.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 13 Mar 2020 01:22:13 -0400
Prime Minister Jacobs postpones Carnival 2020 and Meets with MPs

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs, has made the decision to postpone Carnival 2020 after emergency meetings held with the EOC and Members of Parliament on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

The emergency EOC meeting was called due to the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that COVID-19 is considered a pandemic as of March 11, 2020. PM Jacobs had also invited the MPs to be updated and give feedback on the current state of affairs. A meeting was then promptly called with the President of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) Alston Lourens and Treasurer Michael Granger in to inform them of the decision taken.

The decision to postpone Carnival was taken in keeping with the WHO recommendations which advises persons to avoid large crowds. Carnival involves the gathering of large crowds over a long period of time, involving close contact between persons. This is a scenario which would pose a threat to the safety and well-being of the staff, participants and the community at large.

Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “While St. Maarten currently has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, we continue making all necessary preparations to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as to prepare for the possibility of an outbreak. Government is taking all necessary precautions to ensure public health.”

In the interest of safety and security of the community, Government has also put a hold on the issuance of permits for events catering to large crowds. The maximum number of persons allowed to gather during this critical period will also be established. This decision can also impact gatherings which do not require a permit, and the general-public will be informed once other such gatherings have been identified. These measures together with travel restrictions are being encouraged to prevent exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Further information will be forthcoming.  

“As government, we understand that some may be affected by the decision taken, however the health and safety of the population outweighed the postponement of our largest cultural event, and we will look forward to a time when the threat has been minimized enough for us to return to normalcy,” Prime Minister Jacobs stated in an invited comment.


Members of Parliament in a meeting on Thursday with the Council of Ministers and representatives from the EOC.


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 12 Mar 2020 20:42:38 -0400
Travel restrictions to the destination stepped-up from 14 to 21 days. EOC to Meet Thursday and MPs to be Informed

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The travel restrictions which were issued by the Government of Sint Maarten have now been increased from 14 to 21-days, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs disclosed on Wednesday.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting on Thursday and a meeting will be held with Members of Parliament (MPs) to provide them with an update on national preparations for COVID-19.

Jacobs said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared that the coronavirus COVID-19 is now an international pandemic.  Such a declaration calls on all countries to speed up their response and containment measures and to be prepared to take any additional measures that are required to protect public health.

The Government continues to work closely with the Government of French Saint-Martin and Kingdom counterparts in order to prepare and plan to mitigate the spread.

Prime Minister Jacobs added that the business community as well as Government will have to look at ways of allowing workers to work remotely from home, especially for persons who have traveled to COVID-19 hotspots including those who are not mentioned in the country’s travel restriction lists.

Persons should self- isolate for 14-days at home; contact their family physician (GP) and provide a list of their flu-like symptoms to their GP if they develop any.  The family physician will determine if the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) should be contacted. For more information you can call the 914-hot line during business hours.

Children with flu-like symptoms should remain home; self-isolation is the best way to contain communicable diseases.  Special attention should be paid to senior citizens, especially those with pre-existing health (respiratory) conditions.

Passengers and airline crew who have been in China (People’s Republic), Hong Kong (SAR China), Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Macao (SAR China) or Singapore in the past 21 days, are not allowed to transit or enter Sint Maarten.

This does not apply to nationals of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (being from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Netherlands, St. Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten); and this does not apply to residents of Sint Maarten.

All passengers must fill in the embarkation card in order to know where the passengers are coming from before the aircraft/ship arrives in Sint Maarten.

There are zero cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 on Dutch Sint Maarten at this time.  Our screening processes at our ports of entry have been stepped up in cooperation with the airlines who are also following their own screening protocols based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. 

There is no reason to panic; stay calm and take preventative hygiene measures at home, on the job, in school that have been promoted by the Ministry of Public Health for the past several weeks via the Government’s Department of Communication.

Persons should refrain from hugging and touching each other when visiting family or friends.  We have to get back to the ‘No touch rule’ in order to protect ourselves at this point in time with the global COVID-19 outbreak.  

The Government continues to work diligently to increase capacity within the public health sector, but this will take some time.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information, statements and news updates or visit the Government website: or and Facebook Page: 

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 12 Mar 2020 00:33:38 -0400

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication, hereby announces that the Ministerial Regulation establishing the maximum prices on items in connection with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been approved and will go into effect on Thursday March 12, 2020 until further notice.

The Ministerial Regulation with the attachment to the Maximum Price Regulation in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the website of the government of Sint Maarten:

Details on the Ministerial Regulation

The Ministerial Regulation establishing the maximum prices on items in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Sint Maarten includes general consumer goods as well as the following, which have been deemed necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Latex and silicone gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • N95 masks
  • Disinfecting wipes and sprays
  • Rubbing alcohol (70%)

Given the volatility of global prices on the above-mentioned items, the intention is to review the list periodically with stakeholders to ensure that these essential items remain available to the population of Sint Maarten as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.


Sellers will be forbidden from offering and selling the listed items higher than the maximum prices stipulated.

Monitoring & Control

The department of Control and Inspection of the Ministry of TEATT will be responsible for controlling the business community’s adherence to the established maximum prices.

The public is advised to contact the aforementioned department at 542-4511, if violations are found. Additionally, in order for the department to effectively address any violations, the public is asked when purchasing items from the list(s) to take a picture of the item and to request a receipt, which should include the price of the item, the date of purchase and the name and address of the business where the item was purchased.


Businesses who fail to adhere to the established maximum prices risk imprisonment for up to 4 years or a maximum fine of Naf 10,000, in accordance with article 8 of the Price Ordinance (“Landsverordening houdende regels op het gebied van de prijzen van goederen en diensten”).

Legal Basis

Article 2, sub 1 and article 8 of the Price Ordinance (“Landsverordening houdende regels op het gebied van de prijzen van goederen en diensten”).

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 11 Mar 2020 18:58:36 -0400
CANTO Welcomes Deeper Consultation on Regional Roaming Rates

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO), of which TelEm Group is a member, is making the region aware of a need to reform roaming rates for mobile consumers.

CANTO is a trade association which represents 25 CARICOM-based telecoms operators and 20 non-CARICOM-based operators who also operate in the Caribbean.

The organization’s leaders say CANTO recognizes that the issue of lower roaming rates is key to achieving regional aspirations of a Single ICT Space and takes seriously, “the crucial role played by the telecoms industry in the development of our people and region”.

In a prepared release sent via its membership affiliates, CANTO says these members look forward to a constructive partnership with CARICOM to reform roaming rates and wish to assure Heads of Government of the collective commitment of all CANTO members to work collaboratively to achieve this shared objective.

Since 2016, CANTO has been working with the Caribbean Telecommunication Union (“CTU”) and the ICT agency created by the Heads of CARICOM, on three (3) policy issues which will impact the creation of a Single ICT Space. These policy issues are:

1. Reduction of roaming rates;

2. Regulatory harmonisation between Over-the -Top (OTT) providers and traditional providers with respect to the equal payment of taxes and regulatory fees to government, as well as contributions to the development of sustainable infrastructure; and

3. Increasing broadband access.

CANTO states in its release: “While CANTO will continue to participate in the CTU process, it also looks forward to deeper consultation on the requirements for successful realization of the Single ICT Space. In the context of such collaboration, CANTO notes several key matters for discussion. One issue is the inherent difficulty involved in setting a modest, fixed single roaming rate, given the significant differences in underlying costs of operation between CARICOM countries, and the attendant disparities in pricing of services which obtain as a result. Also of concern, is how to treat with single-state operators, such as

CANTO members in Suriname, Belize, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago, given their inability to charge customers a fixed single rate in other CARICOM countries where they do not have networks. CANTO members are also concerned about the potential for fraud and arbitrage on their networks, and about the continued lack of equity in the treatment of telecoms operators as compared to Over-the-Top players in regional markets.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, CANTO is confident that these and other issues can be addressed through careful and deliberate collaboration with CARICOM, and looks forward to partnering with Heads of Government to take the collective decisions necessary to make reform of roaming rates, a reality.


CANTO is the trade association of telecommunications operators in the Caribbean region. CANTO is a non-profit association made up of operators, organizations, companies and individuals in the ICT (telecommunications) sector. The Association has a Caribbean focus as it relates to ICT issues for the region with a global perspective. The Annual Conference and Trade Show offers the only stage on which global ICT issues are discussed by business, government and civil society. Learn more at and Twankin@canto.or

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 11 Mar 2020 11:35:04 -0400
Minor in custody after allegedly shooting a man and a woman. Male dies at hospital

SINT MAARTEN (SUCKER GARDEN) - On Monday evening March 9th approximately 07.50 pm, the dispatch center received several calls concerning a shooting that took place on the Pendent Cactus drive in Sucker Garden area, police announced on Monday night.

In a house on the on the Pendent Cactus drive the police patrol and the personnel of the Ambulance department encountered a male and a female victim who were both suffering from gunshot wounds.

The patrol noticed that male victim had sustained a gunshot wound to his chest while the female victim was shot in her upper body. The victims with the initials J.J.B and A.M.S were stabilized on the scene by the paramedics and rushed to the Sint Maarten Medical Center in critical condition.

Shortly after this shooting incident, a male suspect with initials J.A.B who is a minor appeared at the police station and turned himself in. He told the officers that he was involved in the shooting that had taken place in Sucker Garden earlier.

The suspect was immediately arrested and handed over to the detective department for further investigation.

Later in the evening the police were notified by the personnel of the Sint Maarten Medical Center that the victim J.J.B. had died from the injuries he received.

The Sint Maarten Police Force would like to express its condolence to the family of the deceased. (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 09 Mar 2020 23:27:48 -0400
Island-Sightseeing says it has heightened its sanitization requirements

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - NV announces that their Open Top Double Decker Buses island tour, and their Trolley Trains in Philipsburg are always disinfected and sanitized and provides a threefold protection: for passengers, employees and for the community, Island-Sightseeing said in a press statement on Monday.

The statement was made in connection with the coronavirus disease COVID-19 that is currently spreading across the globe.

The Open Top Double Decker Buses island tour and The Trolley Trains in Philipsburg are often seen in the community and provide a unique way for visitors to get a positive impression of the island. “For us security and safety prevail," says Gabriel Amado of NV.

“We want our passengers to have a unique pleasant experience, and we want the community feel comfortable to welcome them ashore,” the press statement concludes.

Sightseeing Tours White Red in Front Street side by side


]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 09 Mar 2020 18:26:55 -0400
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs International Women's Day Message

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Today, March 8th is celebrated as International Women’s Day, and I want to take this opportunity to wish all women, but in particularly our daughters of the soil, A Happy International Women’s Day. The very first women’s day was celebrated in 1975, and by 1977 the UN had adopted the 8th of March as an official day to celebrate women and promote women’s right. This International Women’s Day is themed “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights” by the United Nations. All over the world, women are fighting for equality, but this is a fight we should all participate in, both women and men. This is because our daughters, mothers and sisters are all impacted. This is the core message of the #EachforEqual campaign that also centers this year’s International Women’s Day.

St. Maarten, we are making leaps as we see the number of women grow in parliament, in our government, in our courtrooms, in entrepreneurship, in construction and in many senior positions in the public and private sectors. I, myself, have defied statistics as I serve as Prime Minister of this great tiny nation along with a number of strong women before me. However, there is more work to be done. Women play a significant role in our communities, in our homes and even in our economy. They are our leaders, preachers, teachers and so much more.

This day brings awareness to a number of issues that we face as women, and reminds us of the strength we have in numbers and moreover the strength we have as women. It is also the opportunity to reflect and connect with women around the world. In our reflection, let us remember that St. Maarten had been once known as Oualichi, meaning the land of strong women. A heritage that I am extremely proud of, and one that every St. Maartener should be proud of. We exhibit that strength.

This International Women Day, I want to inspire and encourage women everywhere to uplift each other and help each other because remarkable things happen when women help one another women. Let’s make every day International Women’s day. As our fight continues, let us remember the famous quote of Ntozake Shange, “Where there is a woman, there is magic!”

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sun, 08 Mar 2020 19:30:16 -0400
Prime Minister gives update on COVID-19 preparations

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On Friday afternoon the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) met to discuss national preparations with respect to COVID-19. Thereafter the Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs gave a national address giving an update.

“People of St. Maarten, I hereby address you, as Prime Minister and Chair of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center), in this official update concerning the COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, mitigation and response of the Government of St. Maarten. Our priority remains educating the population and ensuring protection and awareness of our front liners who are in constant contact with the public.

“COVID-19 is a global health crisis, which is affecting countries around the world. As such, St. Maarten, although, having no probable or confirmed cases as of today March 6th, 2020, is continuously assessing, and addressing our levels of preparedness in order to be able to contain the spread should a case be identified on St. Maarten.

“The EOC meetings which have taken place this week, were held on Wednesday March 4, and today Friday March 6, 2020. I can hereby update that there have been no new cases of COVID-19 identified on French St. Martin and that the two diagnosed patients remain in isolation at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital. Any reports to the contrary has been deemed as incorrect.

“Taking St. Maarten’s size and capacity into account, and in order to further mitigate St. Maarten’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus, after consultation with EOC members, it has been determined that implementing travel restrictions is an appropriate measure at this time. As such travel restrictions have been communicated via TIMATIC, which gives notifications to airlines pertaining to restrictions for travel.

“As such, all ‘passengers and crew members’ traveling to St. Maarten who have been in the last 14 days visiting the cities and or countries of China (People's Rep.), Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, are not allowed to transit or enter Sint Maarten.

“Let me be clear. This travel restriction does not apply to nationals of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes The Netherlands, St. Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba and Sint Eustatius. This also does not apply to residents of St. Maarten. This allows for a first level of screening of passengers prior to check in to travel to St. Maarten.

“The St. Maarten Immigration Department will be executing a second check upon arrival. They will be utilizing key questions to ascertain if visitors or residents have traveled to areas within the high rates of infection within the past 14 days. Passengers identified as having travelled from these areas within 14 days, will receive a bookmark with key information on what to do in the event they could start to experience/develop symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus.

“Established protocols as related to cruise travel will also continue to be strictly enforced in order to safeguard safety and security of our residents. As well as maintain our good reputation as a safe and viable destination for our visitors, which is serious about the prevention, mitigation and response to the COVID-19 virus. These measures are deemed necessary even as we work to increase our capacity to effectively deal with the challenges which would arise should cases be identified.

“In addressing our capacity.

Due to limited capacity at our St. Maarten Medical Centre, more options for quarantine and isolation spaces have been identified in order to increase capacity to be able to provide good medical services in a safe and controlled environment in advance of a potential outbreak.

“Through the department of BAK (Department of Interior & Kingdom Relations), under the Ministry of General Affairs, international assistance in the form of technical support for our health officials is being arranged through PAHO, UNDAC, as well as our colleagues in the kingdom. Other streams are also coming up onboard. Our cooperation with French St. Martin is also ongoing and we have committed to meet once per week to update and cement any new agreements necessary to collectively mitigate the spread of this virus our lovely island.

“To update on our Department of CPS (Collective Prevention Services): Trainings have continued during this week at Princess Juliana International Airport, Heineken Regatta volunteers and workers, schoolboards and an information session will be planned for parents in the coming weeks. The red cross will be providing training sessions on proper hygiene and handwashing techniques at schools in the next week. The Heineken Regatta has been inspected and is adhering to the protocols established and laid down by the health department. Controls will continue for the duration of the festival and will be evaluated thereafter.

“As Prime Minister, I would like to encourage our citizens and visitors to remain calm, stay informed and be prepared as countries all around the world are currently either already affected or expect to be within the near future. St. Maarten is no exception, and as such we must continue to be prepared and take all necessary measures to be ready to deal with the covid-19 virus.

“The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) hereby reminds the general population that we should step-up our handwashing, cough and sneeze etiquettes in order to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. The general public as well as our visitors are encouraged to follow regular updates via recognized and credible news sources. Public announcements will continue on all radio stations. Digital billboards will have messages as well as the print media. For more information, call the following emergency hotline number 914 of the Collective Prevention Service (CPS).

“Follow our Government Radio station – 107.9FM. For official information, statements and news updates or visit the Government website at and our Facebook Page: Government of Sint Maarten.

“As Prime Minister of St. Maarten, I wish to encourage all of us to remain steadfast in preparing for what is to come. Just as we prepare for Hurricane seasons every year. Knowledge is power! Stay informed and prepared. Ensure you have a disaster preparedness kit which can sustain your family for atleast 14 days. We are strong, resilient and faithful people and trust that this too shall pass.

God bless St. Maarten and her people and God protect her shores!”

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 07 Mar 2020 09:19:35 -0400
Peridot Foundation Commemorates International Women’s Day ‘#EACHforEQUAL’

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Peridot Foundation states: “Happy International Women’s day to everyone in general and in particular to all Women in Sint Maarten and around the world.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day commissioned by the United Nations Secretary General is #EachforEqual. According to the UN notification, theme aims to shine more light on the role each one of us (female or male) can play in making a significant difference in increasing gender equality. Most importantly, we must understand that gender Inequality is Not a women’s issue only.  It is an economic issue.  It is critically important to continue to strive for increased and equal women’s participation in key areas of an economy. The UN elaboration on this year’s theme manifests the objective that gender equality is Quote: “Essential for economies and communities to thrive” Unquote.

Gracita said: “Several key areas still remain underrepresented by women including in business board rooms, in the media and top government departments according to the UN statement. Question, to what extent does this apply to Sint Maarten? It would be interesting to know how many qualified females are represented in top business positions across the board in both the private and public sector.  At least at one high profile area of the public sector, which is Parliament, women remain noticeable under- represented with recent only four (4) females of the fifteen (15) members represented”.

“Raising awareness and making a significant difference at both corporate and governmental level in terms of increased participation can be achieved. To that extend it is very important to establish a Research and Development (R&D) institution in Public Private partnership.  This is one way in creating much needed credible data base of statistics which allows for unbiased policy proposals and concrete concrete actions in implementing gender equal policies.

Arrindell continues:  Peridot Foundation takes this opportunity to salute all businesswomen at all levels of our community. Women who have been at the helm of their businesses (appointed or created no matter the size of the company or establishment. The list include, however is not limited to women such as: Dr. Judith Arndel, Zaida Urvina, May Li , Rhina Mcsood, Anne- Marie Brooks, Dr. Leonie Bryson, Eleonore Astier-Petin, Ingrid Bosnie,  Dr. Ruth Douglas, Meredith Boekhoudt, Valeska Luckert, Marlene Mingo, Beverly Wilson, Nada & Rolah Andraous, Janice Balborda, Debbie Lindt, Zahira Marchena, Sheila Sorton,  Altagracia Williams, Maayke Martina, Beverly Hyman, Brenda Wathey- Meyers, Cadula Rombly,  Maqueda Jackson, 

“All women who owns and operates their company, U are the backbone of our society”

“Peridot Foundation concludes:  We salute all women and all men who supports and celebrates our achievements thereby making our communities thrive and strong #EachforEqual is a yearlong endeavor. Individually and together let us continue to make the difference. “Happy International Women’s Day March 8, 2020” 

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 06 Mar 2020 21:24:21 -0400
Reconstruction of SXM Airport gets go-ahead

SINT MAARTEN/WASHINGTON, USA - The Sint Maarten Trust Fund steering committee gave the final go-ahead to start the reconstruction of the Princess Juliana Airport on Sint Maarten. USD$72 million from the Trust Fund, financed by the Netherlands, is allocated for the reconstruction. The European Investment Bank is also contributing with a loan of USD$50 million.

“I am very pleased that we were able to approve the governance conditions for the airport. Now the reconstruction of the airport can start and we can ensure that the resources are spent responsibly and sustainably”, said Frans Weekers, the representative of the Netherlands of the Trust Fund steering committee.

The plans for the reconstruction are ready, and the necessary financing agreements were signed at the end of 2019. A number of conditions aimed to strengthen the management of the airport were attached to this plan. This includes actions to improve the corporate governance of the airport and put focus on ‘building back better’ so that it is guaranteed that the resources for the repair of the terminal are used transparently and effectively.

Parallel to the financing process started in 2018, preparations for the reconstruction of the airport terminal had begun. As a result, remediation works at the airport can commence. After tendering, it is expected that the extensive repairs will start by the end of the third quarter of this year. The full reconstruction of the airport will be executed in phases, with a total time span of 18-22 months.

The Sint Maarten Trust Fund is financed by the Government of The Netherlands, managed by The World Bank, and implemented by Sint Maarten. More information on activities related to the Trust Fund can be found on

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 06 Mar 2020 10:51:31 -0400
Cruise Ship Aida Diva Not Allowed to Berth in St. Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Honorable Prime Minister and Chairlady of the EOC of St. Maarten, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, would like to inform the General Public & Stakeholders in particular, that the Cruise line Aida Diva was denied permission to berth at St. Maarten due to lack of proper procedures being followed during the course of the last 24 hours, as per agreed upon protocols.

The Aida Diva was expected to make a call on Port of St. Maarten today, March 5th, 2020, however, proper and existing protocol was not followed. The relevant Government department, namely CPS (Collective Prevention Service) was not provided with the relevant Health Declaration forms in a timely manner, and what had been provided was incomplete.

Up to 11:40p.m., last evening, the usual & complete Health Declarations were not received. Consequently, CPS informed all relevant parties, (i.e. the Agent of the Ship) that the Aida Diva would NOT be allowed to berth in St. Maarten, upon directive of Prime Minister Jacobs.

It was not until 2 hours later, at 2:06 a.m. that all the relevant information was sent. Naturally, this hour of the day/morning, it certainly considered highly inappropriate to allow for providing the regular, required and pertinent information in order to provide a decision for the ship to come into St. Maarten. The last update should be no later than 6 hours ahead of berthing time.

“Considering the decision of the email correspondence of 11:40pm, whereby my decision as Prime Minister was already communicated, I was completely taken aback to understand that the ship still continued to berth in St. Maarten,” said Prime Minister Jacobs.

Prime Minister Jacobs contacted the CPS department and the Port to obtain clarity as to why her decision to deny berthing was ignored and how this breach of protocol occurred. Consequently, the Ministry of TEATT was informed and communication was exchanged to understand where, how and why the decision of the Prime Minister was not executed. After clarity was given, the Ministry of TEATT, sent an email to the Port of St. Maarten informing them that the execution of the decision of the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs would take place with immediate effect and without further delay. Management of the port confirmed via private communication to the Prime Minister and in writing to the Ministry of TEATT that this would be executed forthwith. Later a request was made via the handler/agent for the ship to be able to refuel before departing, which permission has been granted by the Prime Minister Jacobs.

“As Prime Minister of St. Maarten, I would like to inform the general public that the decision was taken based on advice from professionals, and based on the existing protocols of due and timely notice, to provide information - in this case, the Health Declarations. This was not followed nor was my decision executed as was communicated to ALL relevant parties including the Ship,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.

She further continued, “To illustrate the seriousness and position of the Government, I would even inform the public and stakeholders that the information needed for decision was only sent at 2:06 am, after decision making had already been rendered. This information shows the Ship’s Health Declaration has a clean bill of health. Meaning there were no sick passengers on board. Additionally, it is also our understanding that the ship docked in the BVI yesterday and there were no reported problems. The ship did have some passengers that were sick earlier in their voyage, however, according to their Health Declaration, they do not currently have sick persons on board.”

Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “Despite the foregoing, as Prime Minister and Chairlady of EOC of St. Maarten, I’d like to send a clear message to our public and partners that we must adhere to- and follow the existing protocols/procedures first and foremost. These have been put in place for citizens’ protection. We value our partnership with the Industry, however, given the developments taking place in the world with Coronavirus COVID-19, it is imperative that information is provided according to the established protocol. The Government requires sufficient and timely information in order to make its decision as we cannot afford to make hasty decisions at the last moment which can have devastating consequences for our island. Our country is small, and our capacity and resources are limited, which makes us extremely vulnerable, therefore we must err on the side of caution before making our decisions.”

As Prime Minister, I hope that the general public and our partners, locally as well as internationally, can understand and respect the caution and decision taken in the interest of St. Maarten and her people,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 05 Mar 2020 16:43:13 -0400
Prime Minister decides not to allow vessel to birth at Port

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) — Reports reaching local media outlets indicate that Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs made a decision not to allow the disembarkation of passengers from Cruise Ship MS Aida Diva today Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the SXM Harbor.

Her decision is based on the failure of the local Agent for the Cruise Ship to provide a Health Declaration for the vessel before its arrival and within a specified timeframe. It is a standard procedure for Agents for Cruise Ships to send the relevant Health Declarations for ships they handle at least 48-hours before the specific ship arrives in port. They have a second and third option of delivering the Health Declaration 24-hours or 12-hours before reaching their destination.

The stipulated time allows the Cruise Ships to assess the health condition of the passengers on board before entering any port so they can alert the local health authorities in the unlikely event of an emergency. In the case of MS Aida Diva, there were no reported cases of health risks. However, the Cruise Ship was penalized based on the Agent's apparent failure to provide the documents to the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) within the stipulated deadlines.

Under normal circumstances, the CPS through the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA), would have given the all-clear for the vessel to berth and the disembarkation of the 2629 passengers and crew would have been allowed.

Reports indicate that since the vessel was also in need of fueling and St. Maarten was its next scheduled fueling port, MS Aida Diva was allowed to refuel before leaving for its next destination. Unconfirmed reports are that Port St. Maarten is in discussions with the Agency for MS Aida to assess the situation and determine corrective action to avoid future reoccurrence.

Meanwhile, many local tour operators have expressed concern over the significant loss of business and the negative impact of the decision to refuse the disembarkation of MS Aida's passengers. Some speculations are that the loss to the island is more than three-quarters of a million dollars.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 05 Mar 2020 16:39:55 -0400
GEBE starts project to replace Boardwalk lights

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The project to replace the current light and fixtures on the Boardwalk has commenced, according to a press release from the cabinet of the Minister of VROMI.

On Monday GEBE workers could be seen on the Boardwalk replacing the current light poles and installing the light fixtures on the new poles.

There are some 76 new light poles along the Boardwalk on which the new light fixtures will be placed.

The new LED lights, though brighter, are much more efficient and weather resistant.

The new lights are part of a project from the ministry of VROMI to enhance safety on the Boardwalk.

In collaboration with the local authorities some of the lights will be equipped with cameras which is part of the Community Safety Streetlight program.

Next, the ministry will place garbage bins along the Boardwalk, in an effort to reduce the garbage on the Boardwalk, while promoting the recycling campaign initiated last year by the ministry.

The light project is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.  

Minister of VROMI, Christopher Wever, Patrick Drijvers, GEBE’s Assistant Distribution Manager, and GEBE CEO Kenrick Chittick were on hand to oversee the installation of the first 10 lights.

gebe boardwalk lights

A GEBE worker securing the electrical connections to the new light poles.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 03 Mar 2020 17:51:57 -0400
Dutch Quarter burn victim in critical condition flown out to Colombia. Police seeking community assistance

SINT MAARTEN (DUTCH QUARTER) - On Saturday afternoon February 29th around 02.30 pm the central dispatched received several calls concerning a woman in Dutch quarter that had been severely burned.

The police and ambulance personnel encountered the victim with the initials J.J.W on the Quilter Drive with burn wounds over 70 % of her body and complaining of pain. While being treated on the scene by the emergency personnel, police patrol tried to ascertain what took place, but the victim could not give an account of what exactly happened to her.

The victim was later rushed to the Sint Maarten Medical Center by ambulance personnel for further treatment. J.J W who is critical condition was flown to Colombia on Sunday morning. The investigation is currently still ongoing.  

The detectives investigating this case are asking witnesses with any information, to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 22 22 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge). (KPSM)

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 02 Mar 2020 16:19:50 -0400
K1 Britannia Foundation and MPC team up for SXM DOET

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - For the sixth year in a row, K1 Britannia Foundation is once again taking part in the annual SXM DOET event. The foundation will be hosting one large project in collaboration with Milton Peters College (MPC), the largest high school on the Dutch side with over 1000 students.

SXM DOET is an initiative that facilitates island-wide volunteering, which encourages altruism and community bonding. This initiative ensures that the community organizations get the help they need, while cultivating a sense of fulfillment for the volunteers.

On Friday, March 13th and Saturday March 14th, K1’s project which is called “Repairing and beautification of bathrooms” at Milton Peters College is in need of 10-15 volunteers for both days.
“The inspiration behind the project is to empower and motivate the students to thrive to be as good as they can be. Over the past years, the bathrooms have not been updated/renovated and the students have been complaining about the state of the restrooms. The reason we choose to work with K1 is that I have worked with K1 in the past, they are professional, take volunteerism and giving back very seriously and I am sure that the job will be done and done well.” explained Laticia Brown, MPC Teacher.

As a school is like a second home for youth K1 finds it important that they have comfortable and functioning restrooms. “We’re really excited to be working with MPC for SXM DOET this year! During the two day project, volunteers will be replacing toilet seats, fixing faucets, installing mirrors and most importantly, beautifying all bathrooms by painting positive affirmations on the bathroom doors.” elaborated Yasmine Essed, SXM DOET Project Coordinator.

K1 Britannia Foundation has a great focus on volunteerism through its local and international volunteer program and strongly believes in SXM DOET’s mission to help encourage volunteerism and community service, by showing how fun, creative, and gratifying volunteering can really be.

“We would like to encourage not only families, friends, colleagues, companies, or alumni’s to sign up but a special focus on handy and artistic volunteers who can help bring this project to life.“ explained SXM DOET Project Coordinator Alan Schet.

To sign up as a volunteer for SXM DOET, please visit and search for K1 Britannia, which will direct you to our projects.

For more information about the K1 Britannia Foundation or this project, visit,, email or call +1-721-543-3332 or +1-721-554-7383. 

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sun, 01 Mar 2020 03:14:45 -0400
A shopper’s delight at Van Dorp: New book signing, poetry reading on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (MADAME ESTATE) - “We’re happy to announce an exclusive book signing event with local author, Lasana M. Sekou, this Saturday, February 29, from 10 AM to 2 PM at Van Dorp, Madame Estate,” posted the bookstore on Facebook this week.           

Van Dorp is inviting customers and the general public to “Meet the author and have your copy (of his new books) signed!” 

Hurricane Protocol by Sekou and Caribbean Counterpoint – The Aesthetics of Salt in Lasana Sekou by Sara Florian, PhD, are the featured books. But “All Lasana M. Sekou books will be available at Vandorp. Buy any 2 books and get 1 FREE gift book! See you there!” announced the bookstore.

Sekou’s popular history book National Symbols of St. Martin, his short story collections, and the French and Spanish translations of his work will be available.

Van Dorp customers, book lovers, and visitors to the island will also be able to “Enjoy a flash recital at 12 noon by Mr. Lasana himself, reading from his poetry and fiction books to celebrate Black History Month!” stated the Facebook post.

“Many thanks to Mrs. Carty of Van Dorp, and the wonderful bookstore personnel for the exciting invitation and hospitality,” said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, Sekou’s publisher.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 28 Feb 2020 20:10:26 -0400
BIP SXM presents at the ‘Grow your business with C.O.C.I. workshop’

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Chamber of Commerce & Industry (C.O.C.I.) launched and hosted a series of workshops for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2019. The workshops have been well attended and participation during the workshops by the attendees has been great. C.O.C.I therefore continued this series in 2020. The second speaker this year was Mrs. Vincentia Rosen-Sandiford, Director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property (BIP SXM).

The highlight of the Director of BIP SXM’s presentation was ‘How to increase your business value with Intellectual Property (IP)’, after covering the basics of IP and IP rights applicable on Sint Maarten, such as trademarks, patents and copyrights. Attendees enthusiastically put their knowledge to the test with the questions and answers game related to IP.

The President of the Board of C.O.C.I. thanked the Director of BIP SXM for her presentation with a token of appreciation. BIP SXM applauds C.O.C.I. for their initiative in providing these essential workshops for the business community which better equips the entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to grow their businesses. BIP SXM looks forward to partnering with C.O.C.I for future workshops and  hopes to see the businesses tap into the use and benefits of IP, as IP is an essential business tool but often an untapped source for economic prosperity.

At the end of the presentation, the Director urged all attendees to utilize the information they had received. “You paid twenty dollars registration. I want to leave you with one thousand dollars’ worth of information and inspire you to innovate and create your million-dollar idea(s)”, says the Director of BIP SXM.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:48:26 -0400
Local Businesses Encouraged to Sign up to attend Business Fair & Exhibition in the Dominican Republic

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT) in collaboration with the Social Economic Council of Sint Maarten (SER) and the Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) encourages the business community of St. Maarten to sign up to attend the multi-sector trade fair entitled ‘Hub Santo Domingo 2020’.

The Business-to-Business matchmaking event and exhibition will be held in The Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo) from March 17 until 19, 2020 by the Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo and the Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD). Participants will be given the opportunity to engage in business meetings with over one thousand (1000) business representatives from Santo Domingo. Approximately three hundred (300) exhibitors from  regional and international markets will display goods and services during the two-day fair.

The CEI-RD announced a ‘Special Incentive program’ for importers that meet a certain profile, which includes  many benefits for local companies such as: free accommodation for two nights at the hotel hosting the event. Free transfers to and from the Las Américas International Airport the conference hotel will be arranged. The CEI-RD will also coordinate business meetings and a personalized agenda with Dominican producers and/ or exporters of the products of interest, and will offer advice and support before, during, and after participation in the event. More information about the trade event can be found on the website or the Chamber of Commerce in Santo Domingo via telephone number +1 (809) 682 2688.

Local businesses that do not qualify for the ‘Special Incentive program’ by CEI-RD are welcome to sign up in order to participate in the Kingdom Pavilion, organized by Dutch Embassy in Santo Domingo together with the St. Maarten delegation.

Business representatives that are not able to attend the fair at this time are also encouraged to submit their company information and business interest. The St. Maarten delegation will meet with potential business partners and exporters from Santo Domingo, on behalf of the companies that requested information from suppliers in Santo Domingo seeking to do business or partner with local companies.     

During the trade exhibition, the St. Maarten delegation will promote St. Maarten as the business hub for the Eastern Caribbean Region and gather information about suppliers and businesses in Santo Domingo seeking to do business with local companies on St. Maarten. The Ministry of TEATT will lead the delegation together with the SER and COCI. The objective of this mission is to strengthen business ties between St. Maarten and Santo Domingo with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of goods on Sint Maarten.

Representatives of local small, medium and large business are therefore encouraged to sign up for a chance to qualify for the ‘Special Incentive program’ in order to grow business, strengthen partnerships and increase import possibilities for economic development.

Further inquiries about the Kingdom Pavilion and matchmaking events can be requested from the Department of Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (ETT), Ministry of TEATT via email: or via telephone number: +1721 542 0349.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 26 Feb 2020 16:43:38 -0400

SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL), working in partnership with St. Maarten port representatives, has taken a significant step in advancing its relationship with the highly rated cruise destination of St. Maarten. As an initial effort, RCL has modified its itineraries by adding 15 port visits to the island in 2020 that will increase the number of cruise arrivals there to more than 68,000 guests.

Traditionally, the St. Maarten vacation destination experiences its peak in visitor arrivals between December and March. Between May and December, there is a reduction in those visitor arrival numbers that impact the island’s tourism-based economy. Additional RCL guest arrivals during the May to December period help moderate the highs and lows of St. Maarten’s tourism season fluctuations.

“In order to grow our partnership, we are taking the proactive step of enhancing our Eastern Caribbean itineraries by replacing a day at sea and adding a coveted visit to St. Maarten,” said Vice President of Port Development, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Joshua Carroll. “It’s part of our culture at Royal Caribbean to focus on continuous improvement and this extends to our relationships with destination partners. It makes perfect sense for us to embrace the win-win opportunities with the additional port calls by Freedom of the Seas that brings not only economic benefit to a great partner like Port St. Maarten, but also offer our guests an amazing travel destination.”

“For an innovative ship like Freedom of the Seas to expand its calls here translates into a significant investment in economic development and tourism jobs,” said Senior Port St. Maarten Manager, Roger Lawrence. “We look forward to working with Royal Caribbean as we continue to improve the port infrastructure to benefit all of our key tourism stakeholders to sustainably build on the numbers of visitors who appreciate our leisure travel offerings.”

Beginning in May 2020 and running through December 2020, St. Maarten tourism officials anticipate that Royal Caribbean vacationers on the newly amplified Freedom of the Seas will have a front row seat to take advantage of its beaches, snorkel and adventure experiences.

“With many of our first-time visitors, the cruise experience to St. Maarten is the window through which they are introduced to the wonders of our island with its dynamic Dutch/French Caribbean culture, its idyllic beaches and engaging tour options,” said Lawrence. “Since Hurricane Irma, we have made tremendous progress with our tourism infrastructure and we welcome Royal Caribbean’s renewed focus and commitment to increase the number of visits to our port. With the thousands of additional Royal Caribbean guests now projected to visit, the potential is there for them to become St. Maarten’s greatest vacation champions.”

Royal Caribbean International has been delivering innovation at sea for more than 50 years. Each successive class of ships is an architectural marvel featuring the latest technology and guest experiences for today’s adventurous traveler. A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping following a $116 million amplification. High-energy features and guest favorites onboard include The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces.

]]> (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 25 Feb 2020 18:20:01 -0400