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Carnival 2019: Help prevent mosquito-borne diseases. Wear light colored clothing/use mosquito repellent

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the community as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; wear long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito that could possibly be carrying a mosquito-borne disease.

It’s the Carnival season, and visitors and residents are out and about enjoying the Carnival festivities.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as zika, dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted by an infected/diseased female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. CPS wishes residents and visitors a safe, happy Carnival 50. For information about mosquito-borne diseases prevention measures, you can call the hotline 554-2107; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Ombudsman concludes Systemic Investigation regarding Procurement Policy at Airport

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Ombudsman Gwendolien Mossel recently concluded the systemic investigation regarding the Procurement process/Procurement Management Policy of

Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V.  (PJIAE N.V) at the level of the functionally responsible government body for PJIAE, the Shareholder Representative / Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT). 

After providing a Preliminary Findings Report, the Final Report was submitted on 24 April 2019 to the Minister of TEATT, Stuart Johnson, and Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo.  

The Ombudsman concludes in her report that it remains inconclusive whether PJIAE’s Procurement Management Policy (PMP) is in accordance with the fundamental principles of public procurement, due to the limited cooperation received from government/the Minister of TEATT in terms of the unsubstantive answers provided. The Ombudsman observes that the PMP is insufficiently transparent at the level of the functionally responsible government body for PJIAE/government. The evaluation criteria used in the tendering and selection of bidders appear not to be accessible to interested (third) parties and the public in general.

Based on the abovementioned, the Ombudsman has made the following recommendations to government:

  • Government should improve the legal framework for public procurement by enacting legislation or establish standardized procurement guidelines that require civil or social control mechanisms (for example tender boards) to monitor the processes of public contracting;
  • Government should develop a classification of arm’s length bodies (government owned companies/ private entities with public authority (‘ZBO’s’)  etc.) which sets out the legal status of each type and how they are held accountable;
  • Government should provide a copy of PJIAE’s Procurement Management Policy to the Ombudsman for perusal;
  • Government as shareholder should ensure that PJIAE makes its Procurement Management Policy available to stakeholders.

The Final Report was also submitted to Parliament considering the nature and importance of the investigation for the public. The Ombudsman has requested a status report on the recommendations within three (3) months from the date of the report.

The Final Report is available for download via the website: www.ombudsmansxm.com, under the ‘Reports & Articles’ tab. 

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Gasoline and Diesel Prices to be adjusted on Friday

PHILIPSBURG – On Friday, April 26, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for gasoline and diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.2.036 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.2.151 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.654 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.675 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. 

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Down syndrome: be beautiful be yourself

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). “Chromosomes are small packages of genes in our body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth.

“Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21.” “This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby,” the CDC points out.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the ministry, this week’s focus is on Down syndrome and is part of CPSs public awareness initiative about relevant health matters.

CPS recommends that pregnant women consult their family physician to ensure timely prenatal screening; and if you know someone with Down syndrome, to contact your physician who can provide information so you in turn can provide informed support for necessary quality care.

Even though Down syndrome is a lifelong condition, each person with Down syndrome has different talents and the ability to thrive.

Interventions early in life will often help babies and children with Down syndrome to improve their physical and intellectual abilities. Interventions include speech, occupational, and physical therapy, and focus on helping children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential.

Children with Down syndrome may also need extra help or attention in school, although many children are included in regular classes in school systems around the globe.

There is also a growing number of people with Down syndrome participating in college programs, choosing to get married, and living independently or semi-independently in countries around the world.

“Even though people with Down syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different abilities. People with Down syndrome usually have an IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.

“Some common physical features of Down syndrome include: A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose; Almond-shaped eyes that slant up; A short neck; Small ears; A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth; Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye; Small hands and feet; A single line across the palm of the hand (palmar crease); Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb; Poor muscle tone or loose joints; and shorter in height as children and adults,” according to the CDC.

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Three armed and one attempted robbery over Easter Holidays

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Easter Holidays has been a very busy period for the Special Unit Robbery of the Police Force. During this period and namely from Thursday April 18th through Monday April 22nd a total of three armed robberies and one attempted armed robbery took place at businesses on the island.

The first incident took place on Thursday April 18th at 2.3 Supermarket (former Afoo Supermarket in Dutch Quarter) at approximately 11.10 a.m. This is when a lone gunman entered the establishment and attempted to rob one of the cashiers with a gun. The robber however failed in fulfilling his act and fled the scene on foot.

The second robbery took place on Sunday April 21st at approximately 2.30 a.m. at the Texaco Gas Station in Cole bay where the suspect threatened the victim at the station with a stick and robbed the establishment of an undisclosed amount of cash. After committing the suspect fled the scene on foot.

The third robbery took place on Monday April 22nd at approximately 1.50 p.m. at CostPro in Madame Estate. This is when four men arrived at the supermarket, three of which armed with guns stormed into the establishment while the driver waited in the get away vehicle.

In the supermarket the three-armed men stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the establishment along with several cellular telephones belonging to clients who were in the supermarket at the time of the robbery. After committing this act, the robbers fled the scene in the awaiting vehicle. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Prime Minister Romeo Marlin hands over donated packages

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Recently, each of the cleaning staff within the Ministry of General Affairs received a package of donated items from Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin.

The items were donated to the Government of Sint Maarten by Global Medic, which is a registered Canadian charity, whose mandate is to save lives by providing short-term rapid response in the wake of disasters and crisis, both in Canada and abroad.

The Department of Social Services and Community Development Family & Humanitarian Affairs has been giving out the donated boxes of food kits to various foundations and churches on the island. The total amount of kits add up to 123,336 meals.

Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labor Affairs, Emil Lee and the staff of the Ministry also distributed the donated boxes of food kits to other Civil Servants within Government.

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LEGENDARY KASSAV PROMISES EXCLUSIVE CONCERT FOR 50 YEARS CARNIVAL

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Telcell’s Night of the Hit Makers is just a few days away and the surprises just keep coming! The headliners for the seventh Hit Makers production is none other than the masters who transformed zouk and introduced it to the world, KASSAV!

KASSAV turns 40 this year, and as St. Maarten’s carnival turns 50, they are planning a performance that is even more epic than the promoters could have hoped for.

Mr. Rude of Xtratight Entertainment confirmed that he is in close contact with the band who are consistently looking for ways to make this concert exceptional for the Night Of The Hit Makers. “Bringing Kassav was a dream of mine but this is going way beyond my dream; it is becoming something extraordinary and exceptional! I think I am more excited than our fans and supporters at this point. It is going to be a memorable experience.”

KASSAV’s performances are usually over the top. But for Hit Makers, their only performance in the region before heading back to Paris, they are doing it even bigger! They are adding additional players, instrumentalists and engineers to guarantee fans get the very BEST of KASSAV!

You cannot afford to miss this performance! Xtratight is encouraging everyone to come out early as show starts on time with a full experience as soon as the gates open.

Hit Makers Artist Running Order:

7:00 PM – Doors Open

8:45 PM – Youth Waves

10:15 PM – Kassav

12:15 AM – Buleria

01:45 AM – Krosfyah // Farmer Nappy

Advance tickets are currently $40 and available at Telem (Pond Island and Simpson Bay), Adolphus Richardson, Van Dorp (both locations), Domino’s Pizza, Oasis Food, SOS Radio and Levi’s Boutique in Marigot. Tickets on the day of the show will be more!

Telcell’s Night of the Hitmakers is brought to you by TelCell, Heineken, Johnnie Walker Black, SOS Radio, Simpson Bay Resorts, Kooyman, Genesis Music Group and XtraTight Entertainment.

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Minister Johnson announces second Virgin Voyages cruise ship by 2021

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Tourism Affairs Stuart Johnson announced that another cruise line will be visiting the destination within the next two years.

“As Minister of TEATT, I am happy to report that already we have established a full commitment from Virgin Voyages who will be deploying its second Cruise Ship to our Port for the 2021 Tourism Season.

“As we continue to rebuild our Tourism Product and boost economic activity, this news and more of its kind signify that St. Maarten is on the path to recovery. This news means a great deal also in terms of our continued efforts to attract new investors to the island.

“As you know Virgin Voyages has some unique single cabin designs, that combines some of the worlds most advanced technology with sleek Italian styles and offers some of the most famous restaurants on the water.

“Virgin offers the cruising lifestyle that the young and youthful have come to love and expect and attracts a high volume-spending group. We look forward to welcoming the second Virgin Voyages to our rotation,” Minister Johnson concluded in a media statement on Saturday.

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Carnival Season Message from Minister Wycliffe Smith

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – With Carnival 50 to officially kick-off with the opening of Festival Village on Saturday, April 20, Minister of Culture Wycliffe Smith issued the following Carnival Season message on Thursday.

“Following the Easter weekend, we will go directly into the celebrations of the 50th year of Carnival. As these festivities generate much economic activity and tourism, most of its governmental oversight comes from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication. However, Carnival is established as an aspect of our Sint Maarten culture, and for that reason, as Minister with responsibility for culture, I have worked with the Department of Culture to expand the cultural content of these celebrations.

“On Sunday April 28, 2019, the Sint Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will present the Children’s Parade, combined with a Cultural Parade supported by efforts of the Department of Culture. In past exploratory conversations with SCDF on ways in which there can be more collaborations between SCDF and the Department of Culture, it was decided that the department would expand the cultural presence in Carnival.

“Last year, it was established that the Department of Culture would assist with building a cultural showcase in collaboration with the SCDF. This year the collaboration has been broadened to include both a Cultural Parade and Cultural Night showcase. The Children’s Parade has been augmented to include a cultural presentation. Several associations have registered to participate in the cultural parade. These include Indian Merchant Association, The Guyanese Association, Fundación Semana Dominicana, Guadeloupe Jeff Locomotive, and Funtopia.

“It is important for us to showcase our heritage during these weeks of festivities and I look forward to the displays from all the participants in this Cultural Parade. To ensure that we all can enjoy the different events and activities planned, I encourage everyone to practice safety first. Wear seat belts while driving. Do not drive if you are under alcoholic influence. Be mindful of the age limit for events, and do not have minors exposed to adult activities. Parents, safeguard your children. Ensure that proper supervision is in place for all children, whether at home, at the beach or at a parade.

“When the parties are over, and King Momo is burnt, may we all be able to speak of this year’s celebration with gladness, filled with pleasant memories and ready to plan for making the next 50 years of Carnival that much better than before.

“I look forward to continuing to expand the celebrations of our culture and the quality of the Sint Maarten product that more of our local artists can start headlining the shows both at home and abroad. Remember, when we UNITE and FOCUS, together we will reset, rebuild and restore our Friendly Island home.”

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NAGICO INSURANCES ASSUMES SAGICOR LIFE INC. PORTFOLIO IN ST. MAARTEN

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Effective 8 April 2019, NAGICO LIFE INSURANCE N.V. AND NATIONAL GENERAL INSURANCE CO. N. V. (“NAGICO INSURANCES”) assumed a portfolio of business from Sagicor Life Inc.

The transition from Sagicor Life Inc. to NAGICO Insurances will be a smooth one for customers as NAGICO Insurances advises that policyholders should continue to correspond with and remit their premiums to their Agent as they will continue to administer the policies.

However, in the event policyholders wish to contact NAGICO Insurances directly they should send their correspondences to Neetu Lalwani at NAGICO Life Insurance N.V. for Life and Pensions and to Christopher Hunte at National General Insurance Co. N.V. for Health.

The office of NAGICO Insurances is situated at C.A. Cannegieter Street, Philipsburg, St. Maarten and the key contacts referred to above can also be reached via telephone: 1-721-542-2739 and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“NAGICO Insurances prides itself on being fast and responsive and making the customer experience simple, hassle-free and enjoyable. We look forward to welcoming these new policyholders into the NAGICO Family and providing them with a high level of service, security and stability.” said Detlef Hooyboer the Group Chief Executive Officer. 

As is traditional, each policyholder will receive individualized communication from NAGICO Insurances as it relates to their policies.

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