PHILIPSBURG – United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Maurice Lake, is calling on Government to set up a public awareness campaign for the seven ministries of the government system that is responsible for running the country, as well as the role of parliament and the governor.
MP Lake added that the public has to be educated and aware of their rights, responsibilities and obligations, and that this would go long way in strengthening governance and democracy.
The seven ministries are: Ministry of General Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports.
“I think it is very important that the community is aware of the respective responsibilities of each ministry. This will help the civil service as well as civil society here where it concerns the functioning of government, expectations and obligations, along with the rights of the people.
“At the same time we would be promoting transparency as well as adhere to the rights of the people,” MP Hon. Maurice Lake pointed out on Wednesday.
MP Lake said he will be spearheading an information booklet for the schools that could be updated and contain the who’s who at the Executive and parliamentary levels of government and also who is the country’s Governor and what role that person also plays.
“The information booklet would also be a valuable tool for the private sector so persons know who our government representatives are and the structure of our governmental system,” MP Maurice Lake added.
MP Lake suggested that the Ministry of Justice could hold public meetings in collaboration with Community Councils in the different districts. The Department of Communication (DCOMM) also has a role to play with the development of informative TV and Radio programs and working with local hosts and producers to get the information to the people, the MP suggested.
“As a community-minded person and now a representative of the people, we must educate and continue to inform our people so that they understand the role of all facets of government, the executive branch, and the legislative branch, which is Parliament. By doing so, a shared sense of responsibility will be fostered that will enhance living and well-being on Sint Maarten.
The MP was pleased to learn that in elementary schools, the children are being taught about the organization structure of government and parliament, adding, “To know your destiny in life, you need to know your history,” MP Lake concluded.