Soualiga Newsday Latest News https://www.soualiganewsday.com Mon, 21 Sep 2020 03:11:45 -0400 en-gb TPI has launched TPI Prep for Teachers https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33584:tpi-has-launched-tpi-prep-for-teachers&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33584:tpi-has-launched-tpi-prep-for-teachers&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - TPI has launched TPI Prep for Teachers to equip participants with the training and tools to transition to online learning models, necessitated by the ongoing Covid19 pandemic concerns for health and safety in classroom settings.

“We are training teachers in necessary skills such as classroom management, improving parental involvement, and multi-tasking skills, but fully adapted for online facilitation via Zoom,” said Dr. Natasha J. Gittens, President & CEO at TPI Firm.  Dr. Gittens added that all the TPI courses are facilitated by herself, Lead Facilitator Catherine Burns, and by certified instructors.  The courses are fully accredited, and the teachers will receive a certificate for each course completed.

All the courses are delivered in an online format and are designed to help the participants to use the Zoom online platform to establish best online teaching practices.  TPI will also provide the teachers with additional proprietary resources and manuals that will seamlessly allow them to take the lessons learned from theory to application. 

Effective Teamwork for Teachers, Peer to Peer Teacher Coaching, and Keep Students on Task are some of the additional featured courses.  TPI Prep for Teachers will also prioritize the feedback received in real time to maximize the benefit to the participants.  TPI Firm is currently training teachers from several local schools, including the Charlotte Brooks Academy School of the Arts (CBA) and Excellence Learning Academy.  The teacher’s reviews of the TPI training have been positive overall.

From Terry-Ann Williams, CBA Teacher of English Language, and Student Care Coordinator: “Providing numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth are vital in promoting effectiveness in any given organization. It has been a tremendous experience thus far with TPI FIRM whereby educators are provided with an engaging platform to identify, discuss and hopefully utilize best practices in the process of pedagogy and communication.”  

Nicole Rogers, the School Operations Manager for Excellence Learning Academy stated: “After completing the 4 business training sessions I took part in, I can truly say I've gotten a new perspective on how to better handle my day to day situations. Dr. Gittens was very interactive in each session, there was never a bored moment." Excellence Learning Academy teacher Laniva Frederick added: "As a growing teacher, I understand there is still a lot for me to learn. We are never done learning even when teaching students. These training sessions gave me insight on how to look at certain situations differently within my classroom. The calming techniques session was most beneficial to me."

TPI Firm was founded in 2016 by Dr. Gittens with a humanitarian goal of providing individuals with the opportunities to advance their education and careers at an affordable price. 

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 17 Sep 2020 03:38:31 -0400
APS and Government to host webinar on impact of pension reform September 29 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33568:aps-and-government-to-host-webinar-on-impact-of-pension-reform-september-29&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33568:aps-and-government-to-host-webinar-on-impact-of-pension-reform-september-29&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - On September 29th, Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten (APS) and the Government will facilitate its third webinar to inform APS participants about the pension reform, which became effective July 1, 2020.

During a ZOOM video meeting, the most important changes will be addressed and subsequently attendees are welcome to ask any questions they may have. All persons interested can register for the webinar via https://www.apsxm.org/webinars/ until September 25th. Registration is required to attend the session.

Changes to the pension scheme that became effective in July 2020 include increasing the retirement age from 62 to 65, calculating pensions based on average pay instead of final pay, pension accrual from age 18 instead of 25, and conditions for indexation. APS and Government jointly prepared a video presentation about the pension reform in which these changes are explained. Major adjustments are also clarified on the APS website at https://www.apsxm.org/pensionreform2020/.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 17 Sep 2020 19:50:45 -0400
Mentally ill woman leads police on high-speed chase and then pulls gun on officers https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33526:mentally-ill-woman-leads-police-on-high-speed-chase-and-then-pulls-gun-on-officers&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33526:mentally-ill-woman-leads-police-on-high-speed-chase-and-then-pulls-gun-on-officers&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) patrols were kept busy yesterday, Monday, September 14th, 2020 with two separate incidents involving individuals suffering from various mental health issues.

The lady involved in the first incident, with initials D.M., is now facing serious charges after leading officers on a short high-speed chase, while they attempted to conduct a traffic control at approximately 11:30 am Monday.

The driver, who was being cited for reckless driving refused to stop but instead lead officers on a chase to her residence in the Cole Bay area where she then pulled a firearm on the officers.

The daughter of the driver quickly appeared from inside of the house to explain to the officers that her mom was not well and was suffering from a mental illness. Officers on the scene were able to quickly deescalate the situation by disarming the driver of her weapon before arresting her.

Fortunately, no one was harmed during this incident. After being treated by the personnel of Mental Health Foundation, D.M. is being held at the police station pending further investigation into the firearm.

Second mental illness incident in one day. Mental health cases on the increase

In a separate incident on the same day at around 12:30 pm the police dispatch Center directed the patrol to Kudu drive to assist the staff of the Mental Health Foundation with a patient with initials B.R.

According to the health staff, B.R. was non-compliant when asked to take his medications and became very aggressive.

When the police, who arrived on the scene, tried to approach him he threatened to inflict physical harm to them. During the shuffle with the patient, one of the officers sustained a small laceration to his face which was tended to.

After a fierce resistance, the officers managed to subdue him and place him under arrest. Once in police custody, he was treated by the mental health staff and he will be remanded pending further investigation. 

Since December 10th, 2018, the Sint Maarten Police Force and the Mental Health Foundation has established a protocol on the best plan of action for us to be able to assist the Foundation.

The number of crises such as these continues to rise and the need for some type of structure to deal with these situations is definitely a necessity. This protocol that was written was to safeguard the safety of that person and to make sure that these persons get the proper treatment and care he or she needs, the police statement said. 

We will continue to assist the best we can with the resources provided as we also follow the COVID-19 protocols set in place to protect the officers as well as the community. (KPSM)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 15 Sep 2020 19:44:29 -0400
Exporting vehicles: New safety protocols set in place by the KPSM Traffic Department https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33504:exporting-vehicles-new-safety-protocols-set-in-place-by-the-kpsm-traffic-department&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33504:exporting-vehicles-new-safety-protocols-set-in-place-by-the-kpsm-traffic-department&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Following the rapid increase in the number of infected persons due to the COVID-19 virus in Sint Maarten, the new safety protocol have been adapted by the Traffic Department in an effort to make sure we all remain Covid-19 free.

Effective immediately, the Traffic Department will be working by appointment only. They can be reached by e-mail: traffic@policesxm.sx and by telephone number 542 22 22, with extensions 241/ 239.

Services handled by the Traffic Department include but are not limited to: the export of motor vehicles, hit and run (driving-on after a collision), inspection of vehicles at events and in traffic accidents, for interviewing witnesses and suspects as well as going to the site in the case of ore serious road accidents.

Steps for the export of motor vehicles:

1.Persons must send an e-mail with the following documents attached to: traffic@policesxm.sx:

          Bill of Sale or proof of ownership

          Inspection card (old/expired) of intended vehicle

          Proof of insurance of intended vehicle (if insured)

          Copy of identification card of the seller of the vehicle

          Copy of identification card of the purchaser of the vehicle

          A letter stating that said vehicle will be exported or that the vehicle will be registered in Saint Martin.

2.The applicant shall receive a reply from the Traffic Department within 3 working days by email, with a scheduled appointment for the control of the motor vehicle.

3.This appointment schedule always takes place on Wednesday mornings at the Simpson Bay Police Station, excluding Public holidays.

4.On the day of the appointment, you will report to Simpson Bay police station, with the motor vehicle to be exported, for the inspection and the following documents:

A letter stating that the vehicle will be exported or that the vehicle will be registered in Saint Martin.

Two stamps worth Naf. 5,-

Once everything is checked and found to be in good order, you will be given the stamped documents on the same day as the inspection.

Please note when coming to your scheduled appointment it is mandatory to have on a mask or you will not be attended to.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 14 Sep 2020 18:40:08 -0400
Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Develops Pandemic Response Management Letter for Protected Areas in the Dutch Caribbean https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33503:dutch-caribbean-nature-alliance-develops-pandemic-response-management-letter-for-protected-areas-in-the-dutch-caribbean&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33503:dutch-caribbean-nature-alliance-develops-pandemic-response-management-letter-for-protected-areas-in-the-dutch-caribbean&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) has just released a Pandemic Response Management Letter which will serve as a blueprint for the Dutch Caribbean Park Management Organizations to recognize, respond to and protect their staff and visitors to protected areas against current and potential pandemic outbreaks.  The Management Letter outlines suggested protocols for social distancing, sanitation and other ways to respond to emergency situations related to health emergencies. 

2020 has been an interesting year, with the world facing unprecedented challenges between the affects of climate change and the global pandemic caused by the Novel Corona Virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes. These issues have brought to light the need for a rigorous emergency response plan which Park Management Organizations can use in order to safeguard their staff and visitors which may visit the protected areas they manage.  With this in mind DCNA has  just released its Pandemic Response Management Letter to serve as a framework for each Park Management Organization to design their own, tailored emergency response plan. 

COVID-19 has been unique in how widespread and devastating the infection has been. The uncertainty surrounding this virus has led to the need for social distancing and minimization of travel.  This drop in tourism has been difficult, especially for the Dutch Caribbean.  Interactions between the public and staff of Park Management Organizations varies between the six  Dutch Caribbean islands, however, with the implementation of safety protocols and procedures, risks can be minimized. 

The Pandemic Response Management Letter will provide each island with the tools needed to properly recognize and respond in emergency situations.  Each outbreak will have its own unique set of conditions, so the guidelines provided will need to be tailored appropriately.  The key to an effective response is for a timely acknowledgment of the problem and to react as swiftly and efficiently as possible. 

The objective of creating an emergency response plan is to ensure that Park Management Organizations on all six Dutch Caribbean islands are comfortable recognizing issues and reacting appropriately, especially under pressure. With pandemics, time is often the most important factor with an immediate response potentially saving lives and limiting the spread of a contagion. The blueprints of a pandemic response can also be useful in a variety of other emergency situations so having clear, well thought out protocols can be an important asset in both current and future emergency response.  

Exchanging knowledge and experiences between the nature parks of the Dutch Caribbean is very valuable and one of the ways DCNA is assisting to strengthen their activities. Together as a network Park Management Organizations are stronger in the common goal of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. Lessons learned by the parks have been incorporated within Pandemic Response Management. 

It is recommended that each Park Management Organization take these recommendations into consideration and use them to draft a plan more specific to their situation. Pandemic preparedness is not a quick process as it will require careful planning between all stakeholders and will involve community buy in.  Therefore, it is also important to promote community involvement to optimize local knowledge, expertise, resources and networks. 

To stay up to date on this and various other activities related to nature conservation in the Dutch Caribbean please follow along on the websites and social media accounts for your local national park authorities as well as DCNA. When in doubt, please don’t hesitate to contact your local park authority for the latest updates.  

For more information, please find the full report here: https://www.dcnanature.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/DCNA-PandemicResponse.pdf

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:45:43 -0400
Caribbean Wellness Day 2020 Statement https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33490:caribbean-wellness-day-2020-statement&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33490:caribbean-wellness-day-2020-statement&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - This year, the people of the Caribbean Region will celebrate 12 years since the 2007 landmark summit, ‘Declaration of Port of Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases’ under a new theme, ‘Power Through Collective Action’ with the sub theme - “Stronger Together 2020” .

This year the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is pleased to align the Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) sub theme with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) mental health awareness campaign. Worldwide, mental disorders are now recognised as the 5th major non-communicable disease and a major public health threat to economic development in the 21st century.

According to the World Health Organization one in four persons globally will be affected by a mental disorder or neurological disorder in their lifetime and 450 million are affected by these disorders, such as, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia and substance (e.g. alcohol, nicotine) dependency.

1 In the Caribbean, mental health disorders are a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to of the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Caribbean region. In Jamaica the burden of mental illness is predicted to cause US$2.76 billion in lost economic output from 2015-2030.

2 The current COVID-19 pandemic is also affecting different people in different ways, and is having a major impact on persons’ mental health and well-being including those persons who have existing mental illnesses.

3 Persons with mental disorders often face stigma and discrimination, limitation of human rights, abuse, neglect and inadequate access to community-based treatment, care and support services. Addressing stigma and discrimination are important strategies in programmes for mental health disorders. Investing in interventions designed to improve health can help reduce the burden of these illnesses.

There are cost-effective interventions that Caribbean countries can implement to prevent and control mental illnesses. Scaled up treatment for mental health disorders are likely to increase healthy life years, thus avoiding significant economic losses and social costs.

A recent study in Jamaica reported that by scaling up treatment for mental health disorders over 15 years, for every $1 Jamaican dollar spent there is a $4.2 Jamaican dollar return on investment.

4 On Saturday 12th September 2020, countries across the Region will celebrate Caribbean Wellness Day. The annual event is geared at increasing awareness and promoting activities to address non-communicable diseases including mental ill health.

We encourage everyone to engage in healthy lifestyles like being physical active, engaging in healthy eating; if you smoke, please quit, reduce consumption of alcohol to the recommended safe quantities, get annual health checks, improve your personal relationships with family and friends and take care of your mental health.

During the pandemic be calm, be safe, and seek help if unable to cope. As a Caribbean Region let us recommit to the 2007 ‘Declaration of Port of Spain: Uniting to Stop the Epidemic of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases’ and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.4 ‘to reduce, by 2030, premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third, through prevention and treatment and the promotion of mental health and well-being’.

5 We must work together in order to prevent and control mental disorders and other NCDs. No one person, organisation or government can do this alone. All members of society need to play their role.

A ‘whole of society approach’ is essential for success. CARPHA will continue to work closely with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Institutions of the Community, Member States and its public health partners to create the needed alliances between governments, academia, civil society and others, to help to shape regional and country-level policy and programmes that address the issues of mental health disorders and to promote mental wellbeing.

There is power through collective action and each and every one of us can play a significant role in this response.

For more information visit CARPHA’s website and search • CARPHA Mental Health information • Caribbean Wellness Day • Stronger Together Campaign

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 12 Sep 2020 22:42:17 -0400
STATIA IMPLEMENTS CURFEW TO HALT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33448:statia-implements-curfew-to-halt-the-spread-of-covid-19&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33448:statia-implements-curfew-to-halt-the-spread-of-covid-19&Itemid=504

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Public Entity of St. Eustatius will implement additional measures to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the island. All residents are required to remain indoors between sunset (6.30 PM) and sunrise (06.00 AM). During this time only employees of vital services will get an exemption to be on the streets. Social gatherings of any number of persons are not allowed anymore.

Essential businesses such as the supermarkets, the pharmacy, the hospital, the airport, the harbor, GTI, construction sites etc., are allowed to be open between 07.00 am and 06.00 pm. Supermarkets may only allow 10 persons each time and only 1 person per household can enter the supermarket.

Restaurants can only be open for delivery between 07.00 am and 06.00 pm. Take-out is not possible anymore. Within these hours, also convenient stores, bakeries, and butchers can be open.

Exempted from curfew are the police, fire brigade, medical staff, security staff, members of the government crisis team, airport staff, and employees of STUCO and EUTEL in case of a breakdown in their services.

The additional measures were discussed and agreed upon within the Island Support Team (Eilandelijk Bijstands Team, EBT).

Social distancing of 1.5 meter should be strictly adhered to, and the Public Entity strongly advises everyone to wear a facemask at all times. As a large employer, the government makes wearing a face-mask mandatory for their employees. By implementing this measure, the Government hopes to see that other employers will follow this example.

The Public Entity, the hospital and the auxiliary home have requested immediate medical support, material, and medical staff from the hospital in St. Maarten and Bonaire. Support and material were also requested from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS) in the Netherlands. Preparations to have support and material available on a short notice are in full progress.

All efforts of the Public Health Department are now focused on contact tracing and contact sourcing of the positive tested persons. There are no additional positive cases at this time. (Statia GIS)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 09 Sep 2020 00:14:45 -0400
Rotary St Martin Sunrise donates Five internet subscriptions to students of MPC and Sundial https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33425:rotary-st-martin-sunrise-donates-five-internet-subscriptions-to-students-of-mpc-and-sundial&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33425:rotary-st-martin-sunrise-donates-five-internet-subscriptions-to-students-of-mpc-and-sundial&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - With online education extended for one (1) month and with at least 44 SVOBE students lacking internet connections, Rotary St Martin Sunrise came to the rescue, Saskia Kliphuis, innovation coordinator at the SVOBE Schools said in a statement on Wednesday.

“They donated TELEM internet subscriptions for 1 year to various schools on the island, of which 3 were designated to MPC students and 2 to Sundial students. Department heads at hand praised the initiative.

“Students with school going siblings were selected and thus not only 5 but 16 students can profit from this donation.”

saskia INS1 internet donated to mpc 3 students

In the picture: MPC Department head TKL/CXC Raymond Romney, MPC Department Head PBL-PKL Vital Carty, and from Rotary St Martin Sunrise president Dolly Satarangani-Ahuja, Tamali Bryson and Marcellia Henry.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 09 Sep 2020 14:52:41 -0400
Three Medical Staff Members Tests Positive for COVID-19. Statia seeks medical resources from Sint Maarten and Bonaire, and the Netherlands https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33412:three-medical-staff-members-tests-positive-for-covid-19-statia-seeks-medical-resources-from-sint-maarten-and-bonaire,-and-the-netherlands&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33412:three-medical-staff-members-tests-positive-for-covid-19-statia-seeks-medical-resources-from-sint-maarten-and-bonaire,-and-the-netherlands&Itemid=504

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - In total three (3) persons, two (2) employees from the laboratory of the St. Eustatius Health Care Foundation and (one) 1 nurse from the auxiliary home have been tested positive for COVID-19 today, September 8th, 2020.

The Public Entity of St. Eustatius has requested immediate medical support from the hospital in St. Maarten and Bonaire and from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (WVS) in the Netherlands.

The Island Assistance Team will meet on Wednesday morning September 10th to discuss additional measures, including a possible curfew and other restrictions. All persons who have tested positive were placed in isolation immediately.

Everyone who came into direct close contact with these three workers will be tested for Covid-19. If tested positive, then also these contacts will be put in isolation.

The Public Health Department will soon have the results of the contact tracing and contact sourcing of the positive tested persons. The community will be informed on the results of this.

The local government assures Statian residents that this matter is taken very seriously and that the safety of the people of St Eustatius is our highest priority. Further measures to prevent spreading of the virus will be taken if required. (Statia GIS)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 08 Sep 2020 23:38:23 -0400
Governor Holiday’s Parliamentary Address on the Opening of the 2020-2021 Parliamentary Year https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33402%3Agovernor-holiday%E2%80%99s-parliamentary-address-on-the-opening-of-the-2020-2021-parliamentary-year%26amp%3BItemid%3D504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33402%3Agovernor-holiday%E2%80%99s-parliamentary-address-on-the-opening-of-the-2020-2021-parliamentary-year%26amp%3BItemid%3D504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday delivered the following speech at the opening of the 2020-2021 parliamentary year. His speech is as follows:

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Good Morning,

And very special greetings to the people of Sint Maarten.

Today September 8th, 2020, we are gathered in this unusual virtual setting to mark the start of the new parliamentary year 2020-2021. It is a sign of the exceptional circumstances in which we live.

 

It is against that background that I appear before you, in my capacity as Governor, to present Parliament – and thus the people of Sint Maarten – with an outline of the policy plans of government for the coming year.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

As a country, as a people, each of us, our families, our neighbors, our businesses, our civil organizations, and our government are experiencing and are called upon to respond to the unprecedented impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus commonly referred to as COVID-19 has affected our way of life and our livelihood in many ways.

Our health, our social interactions, our way of worship, our jobs, our economy, are under threat. Since March 17, 2020, the coronavirus, has infected 511 persons, hospitalized 70 persons, and taken the lives of 19 persons.

The outbreak of the pandemic has led to a virtual halt of international travel due to the lock down of countries and the fear of infection around the world.

That has resulted in and continues to lead to financial fallout in our tourism businesses and economy. Tourism arrivals are estimated to drop by up to 70% while GDP is projected to decline by 25.0% in 2020. The contraction in 2020 is expected to be significantly worse than the economic fallout from the effects of Hurricane Irma. Unemployment is expected to increase from 9.3% to 16.2%, as many among us lose jobs and face cuts in working hours and/or pay. Already cash strapped, the public finances have been hard hit, as the government faces a further increase of its deficit to NAf.350 million in 2020.

Over the past 6 months many of our people have as a result experienced and continue to experience tough times.

I therefore pray for the recovery of everyone who is suffering with the coronavirus and for those whose livelihoods are at risk. And my sympathy goes out to the families who have lost loved ones.

 

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

As we endure the impact of this public health and social economic crisis, we must come together to turn this crisis into a common purpose. That is, we must work together to find a workable balance between safeguarding the health of our people and the health of our economy.

 

Government’s agenda has as a result been dominated by the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. That without losing sight for the long-term development needs of our country.

Confronted with the coronavirus outbreak, and the resulting significant loss of income, government’s immediate priorities are:

  • First, to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus;
  • Second, to support school and business continuity, prevent layoffs and protect the most vulnerable among us;
  • Third, to jump start the economy and implement the required reforms;
  • And fourth, to raise the required financing to offset the loss in revenues and cover budget deficits for the remainder of 2020 and fiscal year 2021.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Government is as such committed to working with social partners, businesses, and labor unions, to realize these priorities and put Sint Maarten on a path of sustainable social economic recovery and growth. A path which is to reflect the objectives of the National Development Vision 2030.

The National Development Vision 2030 aims to anchor our country’s development goals and mission for the coming 10 years. Government will take steps to diversify and create a multi-pillar economy. One that affords maximum growth for all, where opportunities exist to empower each citizen to progress to the next level through their determination, strength of mind and actions. The key underlying objective of the National Development Vision 2030 is to transform Sint Maarten into an economically resilient, compassionate, strong, and decisive country.

The ongoing community consultations to obtain input from the various partners, is a critical part of the preparation process. There is no limit to the progress that we can realize when we work together to address our challenges and seize opportunities. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

During the initial outbreak of the coronavirus government activated its emergency operating center. To contain the outbreak government declared a State of Emergency and locked down the country by instituting a curfew and restricting international travel. A decision which was not taken lightly.

In doing so, Government worked and continues to work closely with medical professionals, at Collective Prevention Services, at the laboratories, and at the Hospital as well as with our partners in the Kingdom. The development of COVID-19 testing capabilities was an important step in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

During and since the lifting of the lock down government has and continues to focus on a combination of measures aimed at prevention, detection, and treatment of COVID-19 infections. These measures include:

  • One, a national COVID-19 information campaign, in various languages via mainstream and online media, via digital boards and via community campaigns, to reduce the risks to the population. This also includes the introduction of the 914 hotline;
  • Two, establishing and issuing guidelines for social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands;
  • Three, strengthening the capacity of Collective Prevention Services, to conduct testing, perform contact tracing and monitor those in isolation or quarantine;
  • Four, investing in PPE for medical professionals;
  • And five, decreeing the temporary closure of businesses and organizations where necessary.

From our experience we know that these measures worked to flatten the curve during the period April through June. We can therefore draw inspiration from the knowledge that we can contain the spread of the virus.

The resurgence and spread of the virus since July, however, have taught us that we cannot be complacent or let our guards down. To the con-tra-ry, we must remain vigilant and steadfast. This is a must because we will remain at risk, for as long as there is no vaccine or cure. We must continue to look out for each other by practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands. 

Moreover, government is committed to continue working with the Sint Maarten medical Center to increase ICU beds, ventilators, and staffing capacity to meet the demand for care. Noteworthy is that 41 additional medical staff as well as extra ICU and ventilator capacity was arranged with assistance from the Netherlands.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

In keeping with its priorities Government, facing the economic fallout of these exceptional circumstances, decided to introduce a three months Stimulus and Relief program, the SSRP, for the period April through June of this year. The program was designed to keep money flowing to workers and businesses and to protect the most vulnerable among us. The SSRP consists of payroll support for impacted businesses and income support for sole proprietors and unemployed persons. The program, somewhat scaled down, was funded with liquidity support from the Netherlands following complex discussions and disagreements regarding conditions for financing.

In addition, government has and continues to take measures to improve the living conditions of our elderly and vulnerable population. Having increased the general pension age to 65 and the pension amount to NAf.1240 in 2020, the government will now focus on a targeted approach for groups who need assistance the most. Groups, such as, those without a second-tier pension and those with a partial AOV.

Looking ahead government is as a result also working on the development and implementation of the Social Registry System funded by the Trust Fund at the World Bank. The social registry system will provide for the mapping of the most vulnerable in our society. This with the objective of improving the delivery and quality of services. It will help plan new projects and programs and play an important role in disaster risk preparedness, such as dealing with crises, like COVID-19.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Given the limited financial resources of government, investing in this and other social development programs to meet the needs of our population will depend on the availability and accessibility of funding.

 

For as long as the global economy and international travel remain depressed, finding ways to generate or access funds to preserve the wellbeing of our citizens is the key challenge for Government. This is an urgent task faced by our country as well as by many countries around the world.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation government has as a result decided to jump start the economy by gradually reopening the airport for international flights, subject to compliance with required safety measures.

Government has, in addition, identified several focal areas that will generate economic activity now and better prepare our critical infrastructure for when the global economy recovers. Specifically, government is directing its attention on:

  1. investments in our digital infrastructure;
  2. investments in our education infrastructure;
  3. investments in our health care infrastructure;
  4. investments in our transport and hospitality infrastructure; and
  5. investments in our energy infrastructure;

This considering the importance of these sectors for the performance and recovery of our economy and given that private and World bank financing has been secured for most of the investment projects.

These investments will secure work for our people, generate future foreign exchange, and pay for themselves. Government will therefore continue to work with stakeholders and Parliament towards the effective execution of these projects.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Looking ahead, Government deems it critical to act now to seize the opportunities of the rapid digitization of society. The need to do so has been further underscored by the realities of COVID-19, as the demand to use technology in everyday life, such as, buying groceries, distance learning, telemedicine, and remote working increased. The ongoing crisis has also highlighted the need for government to interact with citizens online in a secure environment as well as the need for in office or remote working options for civil servants.

Recognizing the rapid use of technology government is committed to facilitating investments in a secure, and efficient digital infrastructure. Government will therefore continue to work with telecom provider TelEm, to facilitate the realization of the island wide fiber-optic network. This ongoing investment of approximately NAf.40 million, is essential to better support the online platforms of our schools, of our health care sector, of our banks, and of our hospitality sector such as hotels, Airbnb, restaurants, and car rentals. Its implementation is as such providing jobs now and providing the backbone to power our social and economic development in the digital age.

Government is therefore working on the implementation of its Digital Transformation Project. Activities implemented under this project will increase the productivity and efficiency of the organization and transform how citizens interact with the Government and vice-versa. The digitization initiatives include:

  1. One, the introduction of a Digital Identity for citizens to allow for accurate identification when conducting business with Government;
  2. Two, the introduction of a new financial management system, including online billing and payment services;
  3. Three, automation of the building permits process, including online applications;
  4. And four, the retrofitting of the Public Service Centers with the installation of kiosks and other technological advancements to increase the number of transactions possible at those locations.

Under the World Bank managed Trust Fund a budget of USD.12 million has been allotted towards government’s digital transformation project which is to be implemented over a period of four years. The project is expected to be approved by September 30, 2020.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

In navigating these challenging times, it is imperative to continue to invest in our human resources as the driver of our development and growth. The education of our children therefore forms a key part of government’s policy agenda, as outlined in the Education Master Plan.

Considering the challenges faced because of COVID-19 government has developed and established several policies to guide the safe delivery of quality education during the various phases of the pandemic. Specifically, government is implementing its Education Continuity Plan, to ensure the continuity of education during this crisis.

An important element of government’s plan is its ongoing work to improve the delivery of education through distance learning. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the challenges of technology in education as schools resorted to remote learning. Challenges due to inequities between schools and households because of, among others, access to computers and to the internet. The distance learning policy is therefore directed at improving access to technology for all in education. That in support of improving the delivery and quality of distance learning.

Government is at the same time working with the World Bank to prioritize schools for emergency repairs. This aimed at activating the USD.35 million allocated in the Trust Fund towards the Education Master Plan. In that regard government expects to start with the first repairs of the identified schools this year.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

With respect to investments in the health care infrastructure government will continue to work on reforming and upgrading the health care system. The objective is to further improve the quality and increase the availability and accessibility of health and mental health services for the people of Sint Maarten.

The planned health care reform is geared at upgrading the regulation and registration of all medical practitioners, improving communication between care providers via a Health Information Management System (HIMS), controlling cost for pharmaceuticals and improving the medical referral system.

A central element of the government’s health care program in the coming period will therefore be the construction of the new hospital, while also increasing the number of available specialties. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of the realization of the new hospital facilities. The new hospital will increase in-patient bed capacity to 110, add operating theaters, create out-patient clusters, and include a 30-patient Dialysis center. The larger hospital will increase the quality and quantity of treatments on-island, thereby reducing overseas referrals and thus costs. The importance of reducing overseas referrals has been magnified with the current COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Based on the current planning, the delivery of the New Hospital is scheduled for the end of 2024. With the financing already secured Government is therefore committed to supporting the Medical Center with the realization of the construction.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

In charting our path for recovery, government is focusing on the improvement of our transport and hospitality infrastructure. That with an emphasis on product development, diversification, and legislative reforms. Government considers the restoration of the airport terminal building critical to the improvement and functioning of our transport and hospitality infrastructure. With the financing already secured, this project offers a good opportunity to generate economic activity and create jobs.

In addition, government as part of its product development policy has issued a building permit and is working with the developer to facilitate the construction of a new 452 rooms resort in the Great Bay area. The construction will create jobs now, offer future employment and help boost our economy.

The corona virus has also highlighted the need for Sint Maarten to reduce its import bill. Government will therefore work to reduce Sint Maarten’s dependence on fossil fuels. Government will, to that effect, pursue an energy policy anchored on solar energy. This will reduce the electricity bill for businesses and households and save foreign exchange to meet other needs of our population.

Likewise, the government will stimulate the development of the agricultural sector as a means, to reduce our dependence on the import of food. The goal is to promote the “grow what you eat, eat what you grow” movement towards greater self-reliance and food security. The development of this sector should help lessen imports and save foreign exchange.

 

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Government is, notwithstanding its scarce financial resources, committed to investing in the strengthening of law enforcement. This with the objective of maintaining law and order to protect the safety and security of our residents and visitors. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has created additional challenges in terms of capacity in meeting these objectives. This due to the increased need for manpower to monitor and enforce government’s measures and the need to protect law enforcement personnel against the virus.

Confronted with these challenges’ government has placed the formalization of the function books and the legal position of all employees of the justice ministry high on its agenda. Government is, at the same time, working on the further (re) structuring and strengthening of the executing departments in the justice ministry.

Government as part of its law enforcement agenda is also focusing on:

  1. One, implementing structural improvements in the prison system, including the construction of a new prison with support of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS);
  2. Two, ensuring a more effective enforcement of immigration legislation, including the use of information technology systems;
  3. And three, introducing a more realistic licensing and fees policy based on the actual costs of the justice products.

Government has, at the same time, considering our shared borders with the Northern side of the island continued to work with French authorities to better coordinate island-wide judicial cooperation to combat cross border crime.

 

In addition, Government will continue to hold talks with authorities in Saint Martin towards effective collaboration in regard to addressing the challenges of COVID-19.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

On a Kingdom level, relations have and are expected to be dominated by the COVID-19 crisis. During the past months, government has engaged in extensive four country and bilateral discussions with our partners in the Kingdom. Sint Maarten has as a result received valued technical assistance in terms of health care and military assistance for law enforcement as well as liquidity support from the Netherlands. Government will continue to work closely with its Kingdom partners to address existing capacity and liquidity challenges.

Meanwhile government’s financial strategy is aimed at implementing measures to reduce expenses, increase revenues and source funding to address the projected NAf.350 million deficit budgeted for this year.

Government has, in that regard, already implemented a reform of the civil service pension fund to improve the sustainability of the fund while at the same time reducing the costs of government.

Government also plans to introduce Public Financial Management reform. The reforms are aimed at improved public expenditure management, increasing the efficiency of the tax administration, and broadening of the tax base. Efficiency initiatives include the introduction of online processing of tax returns and the improvement of tax compliance. With respect to the broadening of the tax base government is developing plans to tap into the income opportunities created by the rapid increase in activities in the digital economy, such as online shopping and Airbnb.

Meanwhile, discussions with the Netherlands, to secure funding to bridge government financial shortfalls, have and continue to be strained over disagreements about the terms.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Government, considering its policy agenda and taking the challenging circumstances of COVID-19 into account, is completing the amended 2020 budget and the draft 2021 budget for presentation to and handling by parliament. In doing so government will, in keeping with the Kingdom law on financial supervision, request the Kingdom Government to apply an article 25 deviation, based on the extraordinary financial impact of the Global COVID-19 crisis. And given the urgency government intends to move forward and issue bonds to raise the funds necessary to meet its obligations.

 

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

On the eve of our tenth anniversary of country status, we must act with a sense of urgency and common purpose.

One based on the conviction that together we can and will rise to meet the challenges of COVID-19. A conviction anchored on the courageous men and women out there risking their own health to save lives and to keep us safe. Courageous health care professionals, law enforcement officers, firefighters, other frontline employees, and volunteers, who remind us every day that the protection of our wellbeing and our country is our common purpose. The common purpose of protecting our health, our economy, and our future as a people.

Let us, all of us, businesses, labor unions, other civil society, and government, therefore draw inspiration from our courageous men and women to rise to the task that has fallen on us. A task which calls for effective collaboration across the board. Collaboration, which recognizes the value of unity, the imperative of sacrifice and the virtue of humanity in moments of crisis. (I REPEAT)

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

In this new parliamentary year, government will reach out to you with various legislative initiatives towards the execution of its agenda on behalf of our people. As you review and debate the business of our people - in these exceptional and challenging times - it is essential to keep in mind that our people are counting on parliament and government to rise to the task and lead us out of this crisis.

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament,

Thus, as you deliberate and decide on the issues that will come before you in the period ahead, I wish you an abundance of wisdom, strength, and God’s speed.

Stay safe, God bless you and May God bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast.

Thank you

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 08 Sep 2020 14:32:23 -0400
SMMC launches video on its Auxiliary Care Facility https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33382:smmc-launches-video-on-its-auxiliary-care-facility&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33382:smmc-launches-video-on-its-auxiliary-care-facility&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - In an effort to weather any possible storms, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has made arrangements for its COVID care facilities that are located outside SMMC, to be made more storm resilient. The new care facilities are referred to as SMMC’s Auxiliary Care Facility (ACF) and the construction has been documented in a video that SMMC’s Outbreak Management Team recently launched.

SMMC states: “In the first phase of the COVID pandemic, SMMC had to act swiftly to get additional COVID care facilities realized in order to deal with the rapidly increasing number of admitted COVID patients. Thanks to our very hard working and dedicated team and with the help of the Government of St. Maarten, the Dutch Government and The World Bank, we got that accomplished in a record-breaking time.”

“The next phase was to make our COVID care facilities that are located off-premises, more storm resilient. This is not only with the present hurricane season in mind but also taking into account that we do not know for how long we will need the extra capacity as COVID could be around for the foreseeable future”.

“As such, a storm resilient Auxiliary Care Facility has been created in which special medically outfitted containers (so-called “hospitainers”), donated by the Dutch Ministry of Health, have been welded together and securely anchored to a solid concrete foundation. Each container is outfitted with airco units and the cluster of containers will be covered by one roof as additional temperature control.”

The ACF will have 16 beds of which 4 are ICU beds which include having dedicated ventilator capability. SMMC aims to keep all COVID care outside of the hospital but in case of a surge in admissions, also has COVID capacity inside SMMC with another 17 positions available for COVID treatment, all of which are in isolation.

Patients will not be kept at the ACF once a storm poses a direct threat to St. Maarten and will be transported to SMMC. In case of storm threat, high risk, non-COVID-19 patients may be evacuated to an approved nearby evacuation facility, or airlifted to a hospital within the Dutch Kingdom if needed.

“The project to make the COVID care facilities more storm resilient is made possible in part by funds from the St. Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund that is funded by The Netherlands and managed by The World Bank for which SMMC expresses its sincere gratitude”, SMMC concludes.

The video URL is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKIE6jMoXUw&t=2s

 

 

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 07 Sep 2020 14:03:18 -0400
USM welcomes intern, daughter of the soil https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33381:usm-welcomes-intern,-daughter-of-the-soil&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33381:usm-welcomes-intern,-daughter-of-the-soil&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - After two full years of restoring its academic programming and securing accreditation for its degree programmes, the University of St. Martin (USM) finally opened its doors to student internships from abroad to help push research in the community.

The first student intern arrived this week from the Netherlands to start a study on the feasibility of inserting agroecology and nutrition into Sint Maarten’s system of education. Daughter of the soil Lynn Martina returned to the island from Europe for a four-month stay to work with USM and ECO Sint Maarten Agriculture Research and Development Centre (ECO-SXM), in hopes of designing a draft national plan for the schools with the help of school boards, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, teachers and local farmers.

Lynn Martina (23) is a graduate of Milton Peters College who, after completing her HAVO-level studies, lived and worked in France and the Netherlands in order to get job experience before commencing her tertiary educational trajectory. Currently, she is completing her Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology at the HAS Hogeschool of Den Bosch in Brabant, the Netherlands. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Martina had plans of going to Peru to conduct field work with spider monkeys in the South American country’s Amazon forest. However, after seeing the impact of the pandemic upon her native land, she thought it might be time to come back and contribute.

“Having been in lockdown, I found the opportunity to think about what I really want to do with my life. No one knows what is going to happen from here to next year, so I decided to come back for a spell, to see what I can do for my own country. It’s been a while and I really value this opportunity to get to know Sint Maarten again”, said Martina.

HAS Hogeschool and USM arranged the internship upon official agreement, ensuring that the work Lynn Martina does in Sint Maarten corresponds to the requisites for the completion of her studies.

“I am very excited about this chance to make a significant contribution. I’m in love with the idea of making an impact in children’s lives and influencing education. I can apply what I have learned so far in the Netherlands to Sint Maarten. Imagine, such important topics as agriculture, nutrition and education. Now more than ever, the time is now.”  

The student intern will be working with USM science instructor of biology and agroecology Tanisha Guy and ECO-SXM founder Mr. Denicio Wyatte, a long-time advocate for community centred agriculture and education. Furthermore, Martina will meet with government officials, teachers and school board representatives to get a feel of what already exists, the press release stated. A draft plan for inserting agriculture into the education system, based on a feasibility study, is scheduled to be completed by 15 December -Lynn Martina’s last day of work at USM.  

USM hopes to create more on-island internships possibilities in the coming year, especially for those St. Martin students studying abroad and who might want to spend a summer or semester back home.

“What we hope to encourage is a culture of giving back to the community through research and hands-on projects. It is an opportunity for young St. Martiners to spend time at home and apply what they have learned so far. By putting college and university students to work in key areas of interest, we are sharing knowledge and building bridges to allow for brain gain instead of brain drain,” said USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 07 Sep 2020 13:55:20 -0400
As of September 2 Parliament has been showcasing paintings created by Tessel Verheij https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33363:as-of-september-2-parliament-has-been-showcasing-paintings-created-by-tessel-verheij&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33363:as-of-september-2-parliament-has-been-showcasing-paintings-created-by-tessel-verheij&Itemid=504

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Tessel, born in Zandvoort, The Netherlands became fascinated with art and its history at a very young age. She was inspired by Surrealism and the Arts and Crafts movement (art nouveau, Jugendstil) and artists such as Gustav Klimt and Mucha.

It was always a dream of Tessel to become an artist and share her skills with others by becoming an art teacher. Tessel obtained a Foundation Art Diploma for Secondary Education in drawing in 1992 and continued studying for an additional 3 years gaining her Art degree in 1995. She taught art classes to students of various ages in Primary and Secondary schools in the Netherlands. 

Whilst teaching in Holland Tessel also created her own work, exhibited with a group of like-minded artists in Zandvoort aan Zee, on a regular basis and privately sold her work. She mainly paints figurative compositions in oils and acrylics on canvas, pastels on paper, inks on paper, mosaics and experiments with Tie dye on canvas.

She creates her own mystical, spiritual pieces, based on her own dreams and experiences, and is also an accomplished portrait artist of both humans and animals. She also creates and paints designs for murals, signs and furniture pieces for both indoors and outdoors.

After 4 years Tessel left the Art Craft Café behind to start a new life. In September 2008 she started traveling with her two daughters, visiting Europe and Egypt to explore other inspiring artists and art movements and to spend all time with her two girls.

After completing her travels Tessel moved to Sint Maarten where she currently resides. She began teaching art at primary schools however, after 3 years she decided to open her own art gallery where she displayed her artwork with locals and tourists and also taught art classes daily.

Unfortunately, the Art Cafe Gallery was recently forced to shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the entire world. 

Five beautiful paintings of this talented inspired artist and art teacher are prominently displayed in the lobby area, conference room and the library of the Parliament building. These paintings are Vitrail “Glass paint” on canvas. The five pieces being featured are titled: Hibiscus, Tree in Gold, Pelican Rock, Flamboyant Beauty and Bright in its Color”. 

The Parliament of Sint Maarten exhibits the work of different local artist approximately every 6months. Previously the work of artists: Students of the Art Cafe Foundation, Ms. Beverly Mae Nisbeth, Ms. Leola Cotton, Lucinda "La Rich" Audain, Roberto Arrindell and Sir Roland Richardson were displayed.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 05 Sep 2020 13:49:16 -0400
The Prefecture clarifies the position of the State after the Collectivite’s position on the border closure issue https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33347%3Athe-prefecture-clarifies-the-position-of-the-state-after-the-collectivite%E2%80%99s-position-on-the-border-closure-issue%26amp%3BItemid%3D504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33347%3Athe-prefecture-clarifies-the-position-of-the-state-after-the-collectivite%E2%80%99s-position-on-the-border-closure-issue%26amp%3BItemid%3D504

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) – On Friday morning, the Prefecture issued a statement to clarify the position of the French State as a response to a press statement made by the President of the Collectivite of Saint-Martin Daniel Gibbs earlier in the week.

The Prefecture says in its statement that the decree of 10 July 2020 provides that the active-circulating territories of the Covid virus be included in its Annex 2. The territory of Saint-Martin in view of the evolution of its degraded health situation has been on this list since 27 August 2020.

This registration has several legal consequences, including additional resources granted to the prefects to fight the epidemic, protect the populations, and promote the conditions for recovery. It was in this context that a meeting "State of the scene of the Covid situation in the territory of Saint-Martin" mobilized on 1 September at the premises of the Prefecture, the Collectivite of Saint-Martin, its president Mr. Gibbs, the first vice-president, Mrs. Damazeau, the local representative of the ARS acting, Mr. Godefroy, the director of the hospital Mrs. Lampis, the commander Basso of the Gendarmerie.

The first objective of the meeting was to share the health situation of the territory. Mr Godefroy, acting director of the LRA, provided the figures. There are 153 active cases in the territory. Of these 153 people, 18 are hospitalized, three (3) of them in resuscitation in Guadeloupe, 135 people are confined to their homes. The number of people who died from the Covid in Saint Martin is now 7, including (one) 1 this week.

These figures have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the de-conference and place the territory of Saint-Martin proportionally among the most affected at the national level. Ms. Lampis, director of the hospital, says that the entire medical department is currently reserved for Covid cases.

Half of the resuscitation beds at the Guadeloupe hospital are occupied by Saint-Martinois. In this context, if the prefecture is associated with the desire of the elected representatives of the Collectivite to quickly regain conditions specific to a normalized social and economic life, through the cessation of border controls, it recalls that this objective is underpinned by a positive development of the health situation.

Any relaxation in the face of the epidemic would erase the efforts made so far by all health actors and the population and delay the ebb of the epidemic, a prerequisite for a gradual lifting of health prevention measures. Thus, in view of the figures observed in Covid cases on Saint-Martin, the situation also observed on the Dutch side, border controls and the control of establishments open to the public, in particular bars and restaurants to which the highest level of vigilance is required in the application of public health measures, are, at this time, maintained.

The prefecture reiterates that with the limitation of population displacement, barrier gestures are the best protection we currently know. The prefecture encourages everyone to implement them and strongly invites the use of the mask. It is through a common civic commitment against the virus that we can overcome this epidemic and revive the territory's economy.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 04 Sep 2020 13:10:52 -0400
COCI establishes Soualiga Employers Association and ready to submit names to Prime Minister for SER https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33346:coci-establishes-soualiga-employers-association-and-ready-to-submit-names-to-prime-minister-for-ser&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33346:coci-establishes-soualiga-employers-association-and-ready-to-submit-names-to-prime-minister-for-ser&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) is in the final phase after steering the process leading to the establishment of the “Soualiga Employer Association (SEA).”

The establishment of the SEA is part of the process of nominating various representatives to the high council of state the Social Economic Council (SER). A list of names will be submitted to the Prime Minister hopefully by the end of the week of September 7.

President of the COCI Supervisory Board Benjamin Ortega, said on Friday that COCI was mandated by the Prime Minister back in April and given the task to follow a legally and sound process where names would be submitted to fill the positions on the SER based on the establishment of an umbrella employer organization to ensure a better representation of employers’ organizations on the board of the SER.

The appointment of the 2020-2023 board was put on hold until a new structure was put in place.

“We have read in the media several times press releases and statements made from another Employer Council that according to the aforementioned, are made up of four Associations that are known to the island. Members of one of these Associations has been on the board of SER for a number of years and is aware of the request of the Prime Minister with regards to the establishment of SEA through COCI.

“We took a holistic approach regarding this very important process that we were tasked with to carry out on behalf of the Government. We consulted with a number of broad-based stakeholders and worked in unisom according to the procedures of good corporate governance to reach the final stage of this process.

“We have ensured that the right process has been followed and that all major employers have had the opportunity to be included and ultimately be a part of the SER,” Benjamin Ortega, President of the COCI Supervisory Board said.

Consultation sessions took place with the Banker’s Association, the Sint Maarten Insurance Brokers Association, the Taxi Association, the Chinese Merchants Association as well as with small and medium hotel sector representatives.

In addition, letters were sent to Government-owned companies to inform them and request if they would be interested in joining the SEA.

Ortega added: “Although we are still in the process of engaging with as much relative businesses and associations to ensure we have a balanced representation in the names that we will put forward to the Prime Ministers office, we are extremely surprised and disappointed in the lack of inclusion and respect that the Employer Council has shown towards the country by disregarding the SER and the mandated request from the Prime Minister.

“The SER is not a pressure group, and hijacking the process of the request of the countries government without acknowledging nor contacting or including COCI or SER or any other business and associations can be considered presumptuous and disrespectful.

“It is important that the country has a SER board with a variety of businesses and government owned companies that represent a large group of persons. The SER as an independent advisory body, is comprised of independent experts, employee representatives (unions) and employer representative (various companies/business owners through the SEA).

“The combination of employer, employees and independent experts in the SER, is the only official tri-part constellation which is in line with international best practices and the international United Nations Charter standard for organizations such as the SER.

“Through the mandate given by the Honorable Prime Minister, the SEA is required to present three permanent members and three substitute members for the appointment on the SER board.

“We are now in the final stage at this juncture. The SER needs to be up and running as soon as possible due to our current socio-economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Broad-based representation is needed in order to deal with the uncertainties that our country is currently facing for the foreseeable future.

“The SEA remains open to all businesses and Associations who would require their voice being heard at the level of the SER to ensure a balanced representation across the board. Interested in participating, contact should be made with COCI for details and confirmation,” Ortega concluded.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 05 Sep 2020 13:08:46 -0400
President Gibbs challenges the Prefecture on Border control measures https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33314:president-gibbs-challenges-the-prefecture-on-border-control-measures&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33314:president-gibbs-challenges-the-prefecture-on-border-control-measures&Itemid=504

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) - The President of the Collectivite of St. Martin, Daniel Gibbs, the 1stère Vice-President Valérie Damaseau and the 4the Vice-President Steven Patrick, participated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, in a meeting with the Prefecture regarding the COVID-19 health situation of the territory and the measures currently in force, according to a statement from the Collectivity on Wednesday.

The meeting was led by the Secretary General, the Prefect Mickael Doré, in the presence of the Director of the Saint-Martin Hospital Center, Marie Lampis, the local representative of the Regional Health Agency, Pascal Godefroy and the Commander of the Gendarmerie of the Northern islands, Stephan Basso.

President Gibbs once again sounded the alarm about the socio-economic consequences of extending border control measures.

First of all, the President alerted the State representatives to the situation of students attending school on the French side, currently stuck on the Dutch side. The President asked the Secretary-General to study the situation of the Saint-Martin families who have come forward to allow their children access to school.. The Secretary-General is committed to addressing these situations on a case-by-case basis.

On the economic side, the President recalled the typical position of the territory, which, unlike other islands in the French West Indies, lives 90% from tourism. The President asked the State representative to take into account the situation of socio-professionals and their employees, whose difficulties have increased since the establishment of border control between the north and south sides of the island.

The Chair requested that a date for the reopening of the border be communicated to them as soon as possible so that they could consider the upcoming tourism season and that reservations could be made by potential travelers to the destination.

In the medium term, the President asked the Secretary-General about the economic situation of Saint-Martin and the importance of planning for a wider reopening of the destination for the next tourist season.

President Gibbs also indicated that, in preparation for the upcoming season, the Collectivite will consider the possibility of requesting a waiver from the State in order to welcome American nationals (USA) on its soil, as well as the Collectivite of Saint-Barthélemy whose economy is also tourism dependent.

This waiver envisioned provides that a specific health protocol is established, to which the socio-professionals of the territory will have to contribute and fully adhere too.

Concerned about the recent deterioration of the health situation and aware of the need to protect the inhabitants, the Territorial Executive Government is seeking appropriate socio-economic solutions to enable Saint-Martin to recover from this unprecedented health crisis, while continuing to raise public awareness about the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

With this in mind, the Territorial elected representatives have called for tighter field controls. They agreed that the territorial police should join the gendarmerie's arrangements in order to increase prevention and control, particularly at bars and leisure establishments. The aim is to limit gatherings and enforce social distancing guidelines.

President Gibbs and his executive are once again calling for joint health protocols to be put in place as soon as possible between the French State and the Government of Sint Maarten, the two parties who are responsible for health and border management -with joint health protocols to reopen the borders and gradually resume general functioning of socio-economic activities between both sides of the island. President Gibbs has been calling for this essential health cooperation for several months now, a Wednesday statement from the Collectivite said.

The prefecture has committed to study the proposals put forward by the Collectivite and its elected representatives.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 04 Sep 2020 17:13:30 -0400
13 New COVID-19 Positive Cases. Active cases continue to decrease and now stands at 174. 61 Recover https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33304:13-new-covid-19-positive-cases-active-cases-continue-to-decrease-and-now-stands-at-174-61-recover&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33304:13-new-covid-19-positive-cases-active-cases-continue-to-decrease-and-now-stands-at-174-61-recover&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 2nd, St. Maarten has confirmed thirteen new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19), however there was a recovery of 61 persons; reducing the total active cases to 174. The new total of confirmed cases now stands at 495.

Of the active cases, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring 168 people in home isolation. Six patients are currently hospitalized and the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 19.

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to 302. One hundred and sixty-three (163) people are now in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS of persons who may have been in contact with any of the active cases.

To further control the spread of the virus, CPS has tested 820 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIA) and 1615 people throughout the community. As the number of cases continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Please remain at home and contact your family doctor immediately if you have been exposed to someone with the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Minister Panneflek advises all to continue to wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize your hands as frequently as possible, wash your hands with soap, and refrain from mass gatherings.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of September 1st, St. Maarten has confirmed six new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19).

41 persons recovered; however, CPS reported two additional deaths today.  One person unfortunately died on July 30th and the second case died on August 26th.  Both were living on the French side; however, they were registered as Dutch side residents. 

Uncertainty in their official residency status led to a delay in reporting.  The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour extends his deepest condolences to the families concerned. This brings the total active cases to 222 and confirmed cases now stand at 482.

Of the active cases, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring 216 people in home isolation. Six patients are currently hospitalized and the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 has increased to 19.

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to 241. Two hundred and eight (208) people are now in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS of persons who may have been in contact with any of the active cases.

To further control the spread of the virus, CPS has tested 786 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIA) and 1597 people throughout the community. As the numbers of positive cases continue to increase, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures. We would hereby like to make it clear that the figures will change as we receive lab confirmation from SLS/HCLS, this is due to lab results pending.

To protect yourself and other’s around you, please remain at home and contact your family doctor immediately if you have been exposed to someone with the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Minister Panneflek continues to urge all to wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize your hands as frequently as possible, wash your hands with soap, and refrain from mass gatherings.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 02 Sep 2020 20:12:16 -0400
13 New Positive COVID-19 Cases. 21 Recovered. Total Active Cases Decreases to 259 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33285:13-new-positive-covid-19-cases-21-recovered-total-active-cases-decreases-to-259&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33285:13-new-positive-covid-19-cases-21-recovered-total-active-cases-decreases-to-259&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of August 31st, St. Maarten has confirmed thirteen new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19), however there was a recovery of 21 persons; reducing the total active cases to 259. The new total of confirmed cases now stands at 476.

Of the active cases, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring 254 people in home isolation. Five patients are currently hospitalized and the total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at 17.

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to 200. Two hundred and eighty-six (286) people are now in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS of persons who may have been in contact with any of the active cases.

To further control the spread of the virus, CPS has tested 762 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIA) and 1591 people throughout the community. As the numbers of positive cases continue to increase, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures. We would hereby like to make it clear that the figures will change as we receive lab confirmation from SLS/HCLS, this is due to lab results pending.

For the safety of yourself, your loved ones and the community, please remain at home and contact your family doctor immediately if you have been exposed to someone with the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms.

With the increase in positive cases, Minister Panneflek reminds all to do your part and wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize your hands as frequently as possible, wash your hands with soap, and refrain from mass gatherings.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 31 Aug 2020 22:23:55 -0400
WTN LAUNCHES IPTV WITH INTERNET SERVICE & MYWTN.COM https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33265:wtn-launches-iptv-with-internet-service-mywtn-com&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33265:wtn-launches-iptv-with-internet-service-mywtn-com&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Wireless Television Network (WTN), is pleased to announce the launch of the brand-new IPTV with internet service as of September 1, 2020. 

WTN´s IPTV with Internet starts at US$89.99 with +64 digital channels and a basic speed of 5Mbps. Customer will have several choices to upgrade the internet speed as well as to add movies, sports and adult channel to their subscription. 

The new IPTV with internet service is geared towards improving the service to WTN´s customers and expanding the range of entertainment and communication options. IPTV (Internet Protocol television) is a service that provides major TV channels combined with internet that has unlimited data usage. Mr. Gregory Obersi, Managing Director of WTN, explained that, for limited time, WTN is offering the first month free for new customers and current DVB-T2 customers who changes to IPTV with internet. 

More details are available at www.mywtn.com, a just launched trilingual (English, Spanish and Haitian Creole) website with mobile compatibility and quite easy navigation to came closer to WTN customers.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 01 Sep 2020 12:43:42 -0400
UPDATED: Three new COVID-19 positive cases as of Sunday. Total active cases: 267 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33260:updated-three-new-covid-19-positive-cases-as-of-sunday-total-active-cases-267&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33260:updated-three-new-covid-19-positive-cases-as-of-sunday-total-active-cases-267&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of August 30th, St. Maarten has confirmed three new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19). The new total of positive cases now stands at 463.

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten remains at 179. Minister Panneflek advises all to remain persistent with practicing the guidelines implemented, to reduce the spike. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains steady at 17.

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As of August 29th St. Maarten has confirmed sixteen new cases of persons who have tested positive for the Corona Virus (COVID-19). The new total of positive cases now stands at 460.

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten remains at 179. Minister Panneflek urges all to remain vigilant and continue to adhere to the guidelines implemented so that we can flatten the curve of the virus. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains steady at 17.

If you have been exposed to someone with the virus or experiencing flu-like symptoms, please remain at home and contact your family doctor immediately. For any questions or concerns, call CPS at emergency number 914.

In a continued effort to control the spread of the virus, wear your masks, practice social distancing, avoid greeting by hugging and kissing, sanitize your hands as frequently as possible, wash your hands with soap, and refrain from mass gatherings.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 29 Aug 2020 22:05:55 -0400
Two additional police officers test positive for the Covid-19 virus https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33238:two-additional-police-officers-test-positive-for-the-covid-19-virus&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33238:two-additional-police-officers-test-positive-for-the-covid-19-virus&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In an effort to continuously maintain transparency with the community, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) would like to inform the community of St.Maarten that two more officers have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. The colleagues have since been isolated and members of their team, who were in close contact, have been placed in self-quarantine.

The KPSM protocols previously set in place have been followed and the building where the officers were working was immediately disinfected/sanitized. Both colleagues who tested positive are doing reasonably well considering the circumstances in which they find themselves at the moment.

The colleagues who were in close contact with the two officers who tested positive were promptly informed and swiftly quarantined, according to the CPS protocols. They have been asked to monitor themselves for the upcoming two weeks and call CPS should any symptoms develop. 

The colleague who previously tested positive on August 17th, 2020 is still currently in the final isolation stages. The officers who worked closely with him, who were also quarantined, according to the CPS protocols, fortunately, are not showing any symptoms and will be back at work shortly. The health of KPSM staff is the number one priority, as we need to be in good health to continue to serve the community, the police said in their Friday statement.

The management team of the KPSM would like to reiterate to the general public that it is imperative they continue to be vigilant, no one is immune from contracting the virus. Please adhere to the social distancing measures set in place, your health, as well as the health of others around you are at stake. (KPSM)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 28 Aug 2020 18:23:59 -0400
Diesel Price to be adjusted on Saturday https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33236:diesel-price-to-be-adjusted-on-saturday&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33236:diesel-price-to-be-adjusted-on-saturday&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Saturday, August 29th, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for diesel. 

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.195 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.222 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Fri, 28 Aug 2020 17:23:17 -0400
IB Conducts Results Review Increasing the St. Dominic High School IB Diploma Pass Rate to 93% https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33203:ib-conducts-results-review-increasing-the-st-dominic-high-school-ib-diploma-pass-rate-to-93&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33203:ib-conducts-results-review-increasing-the-st-dominic-high-school-ib-diploma-pass-rate-to-93&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (REWARD) - On August 17, 2020, IB released adjusted grades for the May 2020 examination session. This resulted in changes being made to the marks previously released at the beginning of July. With this review, nearly all students of the St Dominic High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme had total point increases from 1 to 5 points. With this increase, 14 of the 15 diploma candidates will now receive the internationally recognized IB Diploma.

The written examinations of May 2020 were cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus. The IB Organization worked with assessment specialists and independent experts in the education field to design a method to award grades to candidates.

The method used the student coursework called internal assessments, teacher-predicted grades and the accuracy of teacher-predicted grades in relation to student coursework and final results. This year IB graded over 920,000 internal assessments (student coursework) instead of just moderating samples of that work. This meant that each student had the opportunity to have his or her work individually evaluated.

When the results were released to schools, grades were lower than expected and not in line with the students’ performance over the two years of the Diploma Programme.  Those concerns were communicated to the IB organization. In response, IB conducted an additional review which resulted in it recommending grades be adjusted.

With this second review, the school continues its trend of strong performances in the group 3 subject Business Management and group 4 subjects Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Significant improvement was shown in the group 5 subjects Mathematics SL and Mathematical Studies SL. The average points achieved by students in both subjects surpassed the world-wide average grade.

Added to the list of noteworthy performances are Naomi Jankee and Srishti Rajani. Both achieved a grade 7 for Business Management HL and received the highest diploma points (35 out of a possible 45) awarded to the school’s candidates. The St. Dominic High School candidates who qualified for the diploma had an average score of 32 points.

Mr. and Mrs. Dharamraj whose second child successfully completed the programme and will receive the IB diploma stated: “[We] believe that the IB programme at St. Dominic High prepares our children well in the broadest possible way. It is not by any means an easy road, but when given the opportunity, discipline, hard work and dedication pays off.”

St Dominic High is one of 3,421 schools worldwide offering the Diploma Programme. The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and academically challenging pre-university curriculum where students select and study six subjects from six groups – literature, foreign language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics and the arts.

In order to qualify for the diploma, students must complete the following core requirements: a 4,000-word Extended Essay (EE), the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course which examines how knowledge is acquired and the various kinds of knowledge that exists, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) requiring students to engage in the arts, sports and the community.

The Diploma Programme was designed to not only address the academic needs of each student, but also to target the students’ social, emotional and physical well-being in order to give them the skills to be successful contributive citizens and members of our global community. For more information about the Diploma Programme, visit www.ibo.org.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 26 Aug 2020 23:50:42 -0400
Police investigating several robberies that took place on Monday evening. Customer hit on the hit with the gun https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33159:police-investigating-several-robberies-that-took-place-on-monday-evening-customer-hit-on-the-hit-with-the-gun&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33159:police-investigating-several-robberies-that-took-place-on-monday-evening-customer-hit-on-the-hit-with-the-gun&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - The Sint Maarten Police Force was kept busy yesterday, August 24th, 2020 with an armed robbery of an individual in the Cay Hill area as well as an attempted robbery on a lottery booth on the L.B Scott Road. 

The robbery took place in the Cay Hill area at around 4:00 pm in the vicinity of Kooyman as the victim explained to the officers on the scene. According to the information received, two young men dressed in all black with hooded jackets, and brandishing a firearm robbed her of her cell phone. 

The robbers fled on foot in an unknown direction after taking the victims' belongings.   

At about 8:00 pm on that same evening, the police were called to an attempted armed robbery that took place on the on a lottery booth on the L.B Scott road.

According to the information gathered, two young men also dressed in black clothing entered the establishment armed with handguns and attempt to rob the cashier.

During the attempt, one of the suspects injured a customer by hitting him on his head with his weapon. The suspect did not manage to get any money from the cashier. The Special Unit Robbery is busy investigating these two cases. (KPSM)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 25 Aug 2020 19:52:31 -0400
The Nature Foundation St. Maarten Launches its First Junior Ranger Program with Five Local Student Participants https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33130:the-nature-foundation-st-maarten-launches-its-first-junior-ranger-program-with-five-local-student-participants&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33130:the-nature-foundation-st-maarten-launches-its-first-junior-ranger-program-with-five-local-student-participants&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation St. Maarten selected five local students to participate in their first Junior Ranger  Year Program with support of the ‘Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds Caribisch gebied’, Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and Ocean Explorers.

On Saturday, August 15th the Nature Foundation held its first meeting with the new Junior Ranger Participants for the 2020-2021 program, last year the Foundation already organized a Junior Ranger Exchange to Bonaire with the support of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

The goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to educate and motivate St. Maarten’s youth to learn more about their natural environment and what they can do to help protect it. Thanks to the generous contributions of both the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Ocean Explorers Dive Center these members will also be able to earn their PADI Junior Open Water Diver Certification.

The course which consists of theory, skills, and open water diving will give members the chance to see St. Maarten’s coral reefs firsthand. Yacht Club Port de Plaisance funded the position of Educational Outreach Officer at the Nature Foundation, the AUC supported toward the Save St. Maarten Corals projects which will be a leading part in the Junior Ranger Program. 

“The Junior Rangers Program is an amazing opportunity for students to be introduced to several aspects of our local environment and the ecological threats the island is facing. The only way to make lasting change for St. Maarten is to educate the next generation to regard our natural resources with respect and instil a sense of responsibility to protect these resources,” says Nature Foundation Educational Outreach Officer Leslie Hickerson, “Including the Junior Open Water Diver Certification is an outstanding addition as it is a lifetime certification that these students will be able to apply either recreationally or in their future careers.” 

The selected 2020-2021 Nature Foundation Junior Rangers are Florianthe Boasman (K-12 International Academy), Stéfanie Frederiks (CIA), Seybian Ortega (LU), Jai Shahani (St. Dominic High), and Nubia Stomp (St. Dominic High).  Local students ages 12 to 14 applied to join the program over the summer by submitting essays about what we can do to help the island’s natural resources. In the student’s essays they highlighted local issues like the use of the landfill, plastic pollution, and lack of recycling. 

Applicant Stéfanie Frederiks said, “The environment of Sint Maarten (and actually the environment of the planet) is something we really must protect, as if it is a golden nugget. Because if you own a golden nugget, you will take very good care of it, you would not want it to become dirty and you would not want it to break. This is how we must treat this planet and our island. If we protect the environment, we are ensuring that we can breathe clean air. Also, it is important that our island remains clean and that it stays like that. A messy island is not a nice island. Not for the people living here but also not for the tourists.” 

The Rangers took to their first meeting to discuss the environmental threats they think have the most impact on St. Maarten and what residents and the Nature Foundation can do to combat them. Members will focus on these threats in monthly meetings and activities throughout the year. Each meeting will cover a different aspect of conservation or St. Maarten’s terrestrial and marine environment.

“I am very excited to learn about ways I can help protect the environment as a young child. I want to be able to make my ideas become real and be a role model,” said Junior Ranger Florianthe Boasman, “I hope to learn more about the animals on St. Maarten. I find a lot of joy in helping animals and learning about plants.” 

“I am so happy that I was chosen to become a Junior Ranger because I love nature and I would like to learn more about the natural environment of Sint Maarten, especially the underwater life. I was born and raised in Sint Maarten and I think it is very important for young persons like myself to learn more about the nature and the environment so that we can help with protecting the nature and the environment of our island. I would love to make new friends who also think the same as I do and who love nature,” said Junior Ranger Stéfanie Frederiks.

Those wishing to contribute to this program or volunteer their time can contact the Nature Foundation at info@naturefoundationsxm.org.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 24 Aug 2020 12:59:55 -0400
Public Prosecutor’s Office reaches settlement with money remitters. Conducting financial services without a license is punishable https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33081%3Apublic-prosecutor%E2%80%99s-office-reaches-settlement-with-money-remitters-conducting-financial-services-without-a-license-is-punishable%26amp%3BItemid%3D504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33081%3Apublic-prosecutor%E2%80%99s-office-reaches-settlement-with-money-remitters-conducting-financial-services-without-a-license-is-punishable%26amp%3BItemid%3D504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In order to avoid further prosecution, the Public Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Curacao, Sint Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (Public Prosecutor’s Office) has offered two former money transaction offices on Sint Maarten, Popular Express and Money Express, a settlement proposal. Money transaction offices are also referred to as money remitters.

These companies conducted – independently of each other – financial services without the required license from the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS). Both companies have accepted the settlement proposal.

Further to a number of signals received by the Public Prosecutor’s Office from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Investigation and Cooperation Team (RST) together with the Anti-Corruption Team (TBO) of Public Prosecutor’s Office, conducted an investigation into the two money transfer services.

Through the criminal investigation it became clear that both money remitters provided financial services without the required authorization from CBCS. Moreover, on a number of occasions one of the money remitters did not report unusual transactions to the FIU, which is mandatory.

The financial services consisted of accepting cash money on Sint Maarten and, subsequently, making that money payable in cash, after deduction of commissions, to beneficiaries in the Dominican Republic.

During the searches carried out in December 2019, one of the money remitters, Money Express, had already stopped providing financial services. The other money transaction office, Popular Express, was still operational at the time of the search but ceased its business activities immediately after.

According to Article 2, section 1 of the National Ordinance on Supervision of Money Transfer Services, it is prohibited to operate a money transaction office without a license from CBCS.

Money transfer offices which operate without the relevant license are unfair competition for money remitters who do comply with legal obligations. In addition, these illegally operating transaction offices easily create money laundering vehicles for the proceeds of criminal activities. This is because the flow of money in the form of cash or cheque is difficult to follow and there is a high risk of non-compliance by unregulated money remitters with the legal obligation to carry out customer due diligence. This compromises the integrity of the financial system of Sint Maarten and Curaçao. It is therefore important that financial services are to a certain extent subject to government control. CBCS is the supervisory and licensing authority in respect ofsuch services.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office sees various grounds for an out-of-court settlement. First of all, both enterprises ceased their money remittance activities and fully cooperated with the criminal investigation.

Furthermore, in the opinion of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the standard for adequate enforcement in these two investigations should not be criminal prosecution but administrative intervention. For no clear reason such administrative intervention has not been effected throughout the past years. The circumstance that it could prevent both enterprises from obtaining the necessary permit in the event that they are convicted through criminal proceedings, as well played a role in the decision to engage in an out-of-court settlement.

As a result of this settlement, both enterprises will pay an amount of money to the country of Sint Maarten. Popular Express will pay an amount of NAf.75,000, Money Express will pay an amount of NAf.50,000. Both amounts are partly conditional. The respective amounts are based on a number of factors, such as the length of the period during which the illegal transfers were being carried out as well as the volume of financial services performed.

In addition, publication of this press release is part of the transaction.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 20 Aug 2020 12:33:48 -0400
LATEST: Tropical Storm Laura: Tropical Storm Warning Discontinued. Continue to be vigilant https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33080:latest-tropical-storm-laura-tropical-storm-warning-discontinued-continue-to-be-vigilant&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33080:latest-tropical-storm-laura-tropical-storm-warning-discontinued-continue-to-be-vigilant&Itemid=504

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 11.00am Saturday morning, the Tropical Storm Warning related to Laura was discontinued, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

Even though Tropical Storm Laura is moving away from Sint Maarten; it is still expected to cause moderate to heavy rainfall which may be accompanied by gusty winds and thunderstorms this afternoon. Sea conditions are expected to gradually subside as the day progresses.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Egbert Doran would like to thank the public and the business community for making the necessary preparations related to the passing of Tropical Storm Laura.

The Deputy Prime Minister Doran urges the public and especially motorists to exercise caution when driving.

Hillside residents are advised to drive with caution and be on alert for possible rock and landslides.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten in its 11.00AM forecast says we can still expect:

RAINFALL: Rainfall totals up to 2 inches are still possible through this evening. There is still the potential for flooding/flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along

hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated.

SEAS: A small craft advisory is now in effect as seas will gradually subside consequently, small craft operators and sea bathers should exercise extreme caution.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

ARCHIVED - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 5.30am Saturday morning, the disorganized Tropical Storm Laura was located 160 miles west of Sint Maarten according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

Tropical Storm Laura is moving away from Sint Maarten; however, it is still expected to cause moderate to heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, storm force wind gusts and rough seas throughout Saturday.

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents and motorists to stay away from flood prone areas and to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides. If you do need to venture out, you should be vigilant and exercise caution while driving.

The Government does not recommend that businesses stay closed today Saturday but should take the forecast into consideration before making a decision to open.

The next official update will be 12.30PM.

The John Larmonie Center, a designated storm shelter, is open for those emergency cases that require a shelter at this time due to the heavy rainfall. The shelter will close at 9.00AM.

Identified flood prone areas are:

L.B. Scot Road - from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House.

Zagersgut - from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church.

Wegelegen Road Cayhill - from Wegelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout.

Beacon Hill Road - from Sunset Bar & Grill until beginning of White Sands Road.

Rhine Road - from the intersection of University Drive until intersection of Rio Grande.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS as of 5.30AM are:

RAINFALL: Laura could produce up to 2 inches of rainfall through the next 24 hours over the local area. Moderate to heavy showers accompanied by thunderstorms are still

possible through today. This rainfall could result in flooding/flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated.

WIND: Storm force gusts are possible across the local area through today.

SEAS: Seas are expected to remain moderate to rough. Small craft operators and sea bathers should avoid open waters until the all clear is given.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Warning.

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Egbert Doran issued the following statement on Friday afternoon in connection with Tropical Storm Laura.

“Good day to the people of St. Maarten, I hereby address you as Deputy Prime Minister in a special national briefing for today, Friday, August 21, 2020, as part of the process to keep the community of St. Maarten informed about the latest developments in regard to Tropical Storm Laura

“Tropical Depression #13 was upgraded earlier this morning to Tropical Storm Laura. Based on this and other developments, a Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for St. Maarten. This means that tropical storm conditions can be expected within the warning area within the next 36 hours. Laura is now moving towards the West at 18 miles per hour. Previously, it was moving on a north westerly track which would have had it passing over 50 miles from St. Maarten.

“Tropical storm force winds extend 150 miles outward from the center of the system. As of 11:00 AM this morning, Tropical Storm Laura was 210 miles east southeast of St. Maarten. Laura, based on the 11:00 AM available forecast and information, will now pass 35 miles to the south of St. Maarten late tonight. Due to these latest changes with this weather system, the following has been forecasted by our Meteorological Department as of 11.30AM:

RAINFALL: Laura could produce up to 4 inches of rainfall through Sunday over the local area. Shower activity associated with rain bands from Laura is already affecting St. Maarten. Moderate to heavy showers accompanied by thunderstorms are expected to continue and intensify as the day progresses with most intense showers expected this evening through Saturday morning. 

This rainfall will result in flooding or flash flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls along hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated. Motorists should therefore refrain from venturing out after heavy rainfall until an assessment has been made by the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of VROMI and until clean-up crews have been able to remove any obstructions along the public roads.

WIND: Storm force winds of 45 mph with higher gusts are expected across the local area from this afternoon through Saturday morning. Storm force winds could result in the breaking of tree branches, signs and blowing down unsecured structures.

SEAS: Sea conditions will continue to deteriorate today peaking near 10 feet overnight. Residents living along the coast should take measures to secure outdoor furniture. A small craft warning is in effect for St. Maarten. Small craft operators and swimmers should stay out of the water until the all clear is given.

“Based on the aforementioned, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) met at midday to re-assess the situation and have taken the following decisions.

“Government services such as the Simpson Bay Public Service Center and other government departments outside the Government Administration Building with the exception of the emergency services, have been closed at 2:00 PM.

“It is recommended to the business community, to allow employees to leave to go home at 4:00 PM. Due to the anticipated rainfall and possibilities of flash floods, all motorists should be off the road by 6:00 PM / 7:00 PM. 

“An assessment will be made regarding the situation on Saturday and this will be communicated early via the various Government communication channels such as Radio and Facebook.

“The John Larmonie Center which is a designated storm shelter, has openned at 2:00 PM only for emergency cases. Persons who feel that their current home is compromised, can make use of the shelter. The person must bring along their own toiletries, food, water etc. and must strictly adhere to COVID-19 preventative measures while staying at the shelter. Those who make use of the shelter will be allowed to stay until the storm has passed and the shelter will be closed thereafter.

“I call on all residents to prepare for tropical storm conditions and to adhere to the aforementioned recommendations and advice.

“The relevant Government departments will continue to keep the general-public informed as additional information becomes available. Continue to monitor the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after the passing of the storm, and visit Facebook.com/SXMGOV.

“For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

“May you and your family be safe during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura. God bless the people of St. Maarten.

“Thank you!”

ARCHIVED - SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Update - The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has upgraded Tropical Depression #13 to Tropical Storm Laura.  Stay tune for additional updates.  The storm is now moving westward instead of West-northwest.  Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

ARCHIVED - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 5.00am Friday morning, Tropical Depression #13 is forecast to pass about 40 miles north of Sint Maarten late tonight and into Saturday.

Weather conditions are likely to start deteriorating from Friday afternoon, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents to pay closely to possible changing weather conditions for Friday afternoon and to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions.

Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property.

Motorists are advised to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides.

Motorists are advised to stay away from flood prone areas during heavy rainfall such as:

LB Scot Road - from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House.

Zagersgut - from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church.

Wegelegen Road Cayhill - from Wegelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout.

Beacon Hill Road - from Sunset Bar & Grill until beginning of White Sands Road.

Rhine Road - from the intersection of University Drive until intersection of Rio Grande.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are:

RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall from this evening through Saturday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in

low-lying areas and rock falls. Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms.

WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by this evening through Saturday.

SEAS: Moderate to rough seas can be expected by tonight with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued later this morning. Small-craft operators and sea-goers

are advised to exercise extreme caution.

The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours.

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM.

ARCHIVED, THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2020 - GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – As of 11.00am on Thursday morning, Sint Maarten is under a Tropical Storm Watch due to the formation of Tropical Depression #13 which as of 11.00am is located approximately 750 miles east-southeast of the country.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours.

The forecast track has the center of the depression passing about 80 miles north of the country late Friday into Saturday, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).

The MDS says that some gradual strengthening if forecast and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today.

The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the community to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions.

Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting Thursday afternoon to assess national preparations and to review the latest forecast and projections related to Tropical Depression #13.

The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are:

RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall through Sunday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls.

Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms. WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by late Friday.

SEAS: Slightly rough seas can be expected by Saturday with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued

The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten.

For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.

ODM reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Sat, 22 Aug 2020 12:29:27 -0400
Community advised to monitor the progress of a developing weather system east of the Lesser Antilles https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33063:community-advised-to-monitor-the-progress-of-a-developing-weather-system-east-of-the-lesser-antilles&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33063:community-advised-to-monitor-the-progress-of-a-developing-weather-system-east-of-the-lesser-antilles&Itemid=504

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson is calling on the community to closely monitor the progress of an area of low pressure located approximately 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS), the low-pressure system could form into a tropical depression within the next couple of days.

The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

Weather forecasters state that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues to set records with the earliest C, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K storms and has been described as extraordinary.

The earliest record “L” (12th named storm) formation was August 29th and that was Luis in 1995. Luis devastated Sint Maarten 25-years ago.

The record earliest “M” (13th storm formation) is September 2nd.

For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.

ODM reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:33:13 -0400
Gregory Damoen reappointed as Cft member upon proposal of Curaçao https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33019%3Agregory-damoen-reappointed-as-cft-member-upon-proposal-of-cura%C3%A7ao%26amp%3BItemid%3D504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D33019%3Agregory-damoen-reappointed-as-cft-member-upon-proposal-of-cura%C3%A7ao%26amp%3BItemid%3D504

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - Gregory Damoen has been reappointed by the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom as of September 1st, 2020 as a member of the Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten, upon proposal of Curaçao. The reappointment is affected by Royal Decree and is valid for a period of three years. 

Damoen has been a member of the Cft as of September 1st, 2017. He is currently interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Development Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (Ontwikkelings Bank Nederlandse Antillen - OBNA).

Previously he was Deputy Director Risk & Compliance at the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and prior to that, amongst others, Director of Finance for the Central Government of the former Netherlands Antilles. Gregory Damoen has a master's degree in accountancy.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 17 Aug 2020 15:50:51 -0400
Caribbean Banks Face Mask Challenge. Customers should be invited to de-mask briefly before entering the bank premises https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33016:caribbean-banks-face-mask-challenge-customers-should-be-invited-to-de-mask-briefly-before-entering-the-bank-premises&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=33016:caribbean-banks-face-mask-challenge-customers-should-be-invited-to-de-mask-briefly-before-entering-the-bank-premises&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN/ST. LUCIA - Caribbean territories have joined the rest of the world in implementing a number of protocols to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months. These include wearing of masks in public, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

But with the mass adoption of masks, business places, including banks and financial institutions, are faced with new challenges. Public health officials view masks as one of the best defenses against the growing novel coronavirus threat, but they can pose a totally different threat to security for businesses.

The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) Inc. has urged members and business interests throughout the region to be more vigilant, and to take on board the necessary measures to keep staff and customers safe, not only from the coronavirus, but from persons of ill intent. Businesses are encouraged to insist that customers wear masks. However, customers should be invited to de-mask briefly before entering the bank premises, for the purpose of identification.

This small step can go a long way.

Banks can add further layers of security by asking for basic information from customers upon entry to verify the identities of masked customers. Staff should be trained to look out for suspicious behaviour, and law enforcement should be contacted immediately whenever there is concern about suspicious individuals on bank premises. Limits can also be placed on the number of customers allowed to enter the premises at any given time.

"Our members simply cannot afford to take the health and safety of their employees for granted," explained Ms. Wendy Delmar, CEO of CAB. "But at the same time, we absolutely must do everything in our power to maintain security and uphold best practices. To that end, I implore banks to be more vigilant and to employ whatever measures may be required by their local health authorities to limit the spread of the virus, whilst doing what needs to be done to protect their assets."

Banks have been providing hand sanitiser dispensers to staff and customers, as well as installing social distancing signs and Plexiglas shields at teller stations. Online banking options and mobile phone apps have also been promoted more heavily in recent months, with some banks expanding the functionality of their online platforms to provide additional services for effecting payments and transfers.

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Mon, 17 Aug 2020 10:04:13 -0400
Two Armed Robbers targets Supermarket on the A.J.C Brouwers road https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=32958:two-armed-robbers-targets-supermarket-on-the-a-j-c-brouwers-road&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=32958:two-armed-robbers-targets-supermarket-on-the-a-j-c-brouwers-road&Itemid=504

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Robbery Unit is currently investigating an armed robbery that took place at a supermarket on the A.J.C Brouwers road on Wednesday night, August 12th, 2020, around 09.40 pm, the police said in a report on Thursday.

On the scene the officers were informed that two male suspects, dressed in dark clothing, entered the establishment brandishing firearms, and demanded the daily earning.

After gathering an undisclosed amount of money, the suspects fled on foot in the direction of L.B Scott road.

The police force is asking the community of Sint Maarten and businesses to be vigilant during this period.

“We are urging the community to come forward with any information that they may have regarding this or any other crime committed. The detectives investigating this armed robbery case are asking anyone with information about this robbery to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force, at +1 721- 542 2222 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

“You can also visit the website at www.policesxm.sx to report crime anonymous via the tip contact form. Or you can leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten -Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect,” the Thursday police statement said. (KPSM)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:16:15 -0400
‘Training Together’ ABC Islands takes off https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D32948%3A%E2%80%98training-together%E2%80%99-abc-islands-takes-off%26amp%3BItemid%3D504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php%3Foption%3Dcom_k2%26amp%3Bview%3Ditem%26amp%3Bid%3D32948%3A%E2%80%98training-together%E2%80%99-abc-islands-takes-off%26amp%3BItemid%3D504

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Ministry of OCW made a subsidy of no less than USD 380,000 available for the school year 2020-2021 for improving teacher training on the ABC Islands. Under the denominator ‘Samen Opleiden’ (Training Together) a first group of students shall be trained.

In the ‘Samen Opleiden’ context the training institutions and school boards are jointly responsible for the training of prospective teachers. Henceforth, a considerable part of the training shall take place at professional development schools where students will teach classes in order to gain practical knowledge and experience.

This way students are prepared optimally for the profession and the local context. The education context on our islands requires a Caribbean teacher of the 21st century: a teacher who disposes of 21st century skills as well as knowledge of the rich Caribbean culture.

The partnership Kibrahacha was set up to give substance to the cooperation between the training institutions and the school boards on the three islands. Various school boards of the ABC Islands are involved and the training institutions University of Curaçao, Instituto Pedagogico Arubano, University of Aruba and University of St. Martin are also part of the partnership.

‘Samen Opleiden’ is the result of an agreement, reached during the ‘Vierlandenoverleg’ (Four Countries Consultation). In February 2019, the Ministers of Curacao, Aruba, St. Maarten and the Netherlands signed a partnership protocol to strengthen teacher training in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:10:59 -0400
Casey Lopes from Statia signed by The Hague Royals https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=32930:casey-lopes-from-statia-signed-by-the-hague-royals&Itemid=504 https://www.soualiganewsday.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=32930:casey-lopes-from-statia-signed-by-the-hague-royals&Itemid=504

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Public Entity of St. Eustatius is very proud that Casey Lopes from St. Eustatius will play for The Hague Royals, the basketball institute in the Haaglanden, during the 2020-2021 season. “I can’t wait to step on the court and represent The Hague, but also the island of St. Eustatius. I’m very grateful for the chance to start my professional career and I will give everything to make a success out of it”, said 23-year-old Casey Lopes.

In the coming weeks several Statian youngsters are heading to The Netherlands to also pursue careers in basketball. According to Director of the Directorate of Social Affairs, Carol Jack-Roosberg, Casey is a role model for many youngsters in Statia. “His achievement will continue to guide him and will help to lead our youngsters to a brighter future through sports. We are very proud that he has been signed to play professional basketball in the Netherlands.”

Casey is looking forward to play for The Hague Royals. “I would like to thank The Hague Royals for giving me the opportunity to play this season with them. I am also thankful to my coach Miguel Merkman for helping me get the contacts to get the chance to try out. But I truly want to give thanks to my parents for always being there for me and helping me through this journey.

They have sacrificed so much to send me to the USA to play the game I love, and doing that has giving me the skills I need to play abroad. My father worked extra hard to support me while I was gone and my mother came to every practice after a long day of work just for “MY DREAM”. They really are the ones who should get the credit. I did the easy part. There are not enough words to let them know how thankful I truly am, said Casey Lopez after he signed with The Hague Royals.

Last week Casey left family and friends behind on St. Euststius to pursue a long awaited dream. He basketball in the United States for Western High School Auburn, until 2015. During the 2015-2016 season he redshirted for Broward College. After this season, he returned home where he played on the highest level possible on the island.

Last season, he played for Statia All Stars on St. Eustatius. Casey decided to pursue his studies in The Hague, which is why he participated in the tryouts for the team of The Hague Royals.

Positive development for Statia

According to his coach Miguel Merkman, everyone is blessed with a gift in life and so is Casey Lopes. “We are a small island and there will be many more success stories to come. Statian youth will stand out in other countries. Give them dreams, work on their dreams, and keep them going on the right path. This development can only bring positivity for our island Statia.”

Diamond in the rough

Coach Samson in The Hague is excited about working with Casey. “During the tryouts, Casey was very impressive as a team player. He is a very hard worker, who will do anything for the team to have success. He brings strength and mental toughness to the guard positions in The Hague, next season. I expect a lot from his leadership, and his versatility will be very useful to our team. He is a diamond in the rough.” The Public Entity of St. Eustatius joins in congratulating Casey Lopes and his support network in this great achievement. (Statia GIS)

]]>
info@soualiganewsday.com (Roddy) Soualiga Newsday Latest News Tue, 11 Aug 2020 18:26:15 -0400