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Roberta Ceccareli, Alain Haillant, Yawo Nyuiadzi team win the three persons scramble

SINT MAARTEN (MULLET BAY) - Roberta Ceccareli, Alain Haillant and Yawo Nyuiadzi took top honors during a three person’s team scramble at the Mullet Bay Golf Course. This event organized by the St. Maarten Golf Association (SMGA) drew nine (9) teams of three (3) golfers to the course.

A new format was devised in that whichever player’s ball was chosen for the next shot was not allowed to play. This scramble was called “step away “and proved to be very challenging. Everyone agreed that it was exciting and made for some interesting choices of player shots.

Eventually the Winners shot a stunning 65 stroke net score. Runner’s up was the team comprised of Jenny Marzi, Sam Bashir and Richard Gibson with a score of 67 net. In third place came the team of Andy Holmes, Jan Peter Holtland and Keith Graham with a net score of 69.

The next tournament will be a combined Dutch and French side tournament scheduled for 17th June 2023.

For more information about the SMGA, please contact SMGA at: hhtps://

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Broad prosperity approach to country package Curaçao

CURACAO (WILLEMSTAD) - An official delegation of the Social-Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, together with colleagues from the SERs of Aruba and Sint Maarten, recently participated in an important working visit to the Social-Economic Council of the Netherlands in The Hague during which an introductory lunch was held with Prof. Dr. Kim Putters, who took office last year as the new Chairman of the SER of the Netherlands.

The introductory lunch with Mr. Putters focused on the possible application of the broad welfare approach as a conceptual framework in the further design and implementation of the reform measures as included in the three Country Packages. Since the SER of the Netherlands already has experience with the use of the broad welfare approach, valuable insights and best practices were shared with the delegations of the socio-economic advisory councils of the three Caribbean countries of the Kingdom.

Broad prosperity is about the integral focus on economic growth as well as sustainability, social cohesion and inclusion.

In addition to his role as president of SER Netherlands, Prof. Dr. Kim Putters was appointed as university professor of 'Broad Prosperity' at Tilburg University on September 16 last year. The working visit therefore offered an excellent opportunity to exchange views with him on the feasibility and practicability of approaching the reform themes in the Curaçao Country Package from a broad welfare perspective.

During the introductory lunch there was an extensive discussion on this subject in which Putters showed great interest in the possible application of this approach to welfare to the situation in the three Caribbean countries. He emphasized the importance of this integral approach and also stressed the importance of local involvement and participation in shaping policy.

The official delegation of SER Curaçao was very pleased with the constructive discussions and the exchange of knowledge and experience during the working visit. Director and Secretary General Drs. Raul Henriquez recognized the potential of the broad welfare approach to promote sustainable development and welfare in Curaçao. He indicated that the Curaçao Socio-Economic Advisory Board would like to further cooperate with the SER of the Netherlands to effectively apply this approach within the framework of the Mutual Arrangement Cooperation in Reforms, which was signed April 4, 2023, by the Dutch Secretary of State for Kingdom Relations Ms. Alexandra van Huffelen and the Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Mr. Putters got therefore an official written invitation by the SER Curaçao delegation to make a working visit to the island in the second half of this year, during which he will act as guest of honor during a special event on the theme of broad prosperity in relation to the Curaçao Country Package. This event will provide an excellent opportunity to further discuss the insights and best practices gained and have a broader discussion on the implementation of a broad welfare approach in the context of Curaçao.

According to Henriquez, the working visit further strengthened ties between the two organizations and led to a fruitful exchange of ideas and perspectives. "The Curaçao SER remains committed to promoting sustainable development and well-being in Curaçao, with a specific focus on approaching the reform themes in the Curaçao Country Package from a broad welfare approach”.

In addition to SER Netherlands, working visits were made to the Advisory Council on Migration, the Social-Cultural Planning Office (SCP), the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PLB), the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Welfare (SWZ), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA), the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and SER Brabant/Brabant Advies.

The potential of the broad welfare approach in the further design and implementation of the Country packages was also discussed in detail with these institutions. Of importance was the exchange of views that the Curaçao SER delegation had with the Director of Kingdom Relations/Countries at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Mrs. mr. drs. Saskia de Reuver.


2022 St. Maarten Flavors raises over $ 12,000 for St. Maarten’s Culinary Talent Team to compete in Taste of the Caribbean in Miami in 2023

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - With a symbolic St. Maarten Flavors check of US $ 12,233, National Culinary Team coach Renata de Weever was notified today of the total funds raised by the 2022 St. Maarten Flavors program, to enable a new team of St. Maarten’s culinary talent to participate in the prestigious “Taste of the Caribbean” competition in Miami in 2023.

The amount raised was announced today by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA), in conjunction with main 2022 St. Maarten Flavors supporters, the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB), PDG Supplies and Rainforest Adventure Park.

Throughout the month of November 2022, 49 St. Maarten restaurants, bars and gelaterias designated a “signature dish” of either three courses or one course for both residents and visitors to experience at a highly reduced price of either $49 or $17.50. The goal of the St. Maarten Flavors program is to reconfirm St. Maarten on the map for food lovers around the world, invite visitors and locals to immerse themselves in the dynamic food scene of the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” at an accessible price point and to give local restaurants a platform to showcase their diverse creations.

The event served as a fundraiser to get a national St. Maarten Team to the prestigious “Taste of the Caribbean” competition in Miami. The” Taste of the Caribbean” food show is not just a great learning experience for local culinary talent, but also functions as a platform to put the Caribbean and its destinations in the spotlight in the Miami metropolitan area and throughout the United States, St. Maarten’s core tourism market. The final date for “Taste of the Caribbean” still needs to be announced by its host the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, but it is confirmed to take place in 2023.

Renata de Weever was the team captain of a successful national St. Maarten team participating in 2017. The team returned with nine medals in total. “Having led the 2017 delegation, I know both the benefits and the costs of national presence at this competition. Whereas the benefit of talents competing in this high-end tradeshow is everlasting for St. Maarten culinary talent’s personal growth, the costs of subscription to the event, lodging, travel, and training are considerable. We have a great first start with this fundraiser and I thank all restaurants, sponsors, auction contributors and especially visitors of 2022’s St. Maarten Flavors month, for giving destination St. Maarten a kickstart towards sending a new culinary team to Miami in 2023.” De Weever currently is sous-chef at the renowned SALT restaurant of Morgan Resort, as well as department leader Culinary at the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA). As captain of the most successful St. Maarten culinary team to date, she accepted the offer this January to coach and help select a new team for the first Taste of the Caribbean to take place in four years.

A December 2022 restaurant survey showed that the St. Maarten Flavors program contributed in well over $200,000 worth of signature dishes and accompanying drinks for St. Maarten restaurants. This estimate does not include visitors choosing other dishes than those advertised by the campaign. When asked if the event should be repeated, all 35 survey participants responded positively. Therefore, the SHTA and partner STB launched “Appeteaser Week” to enjoy the St. Maarten Flavors concept for a week-long from June 15 – June 24. New to the concept is the St. Maarten Flavors Feast on June 17th, a one-day food show where participating restaurants will provide “teasers” of their signature dishes served during the week in June.

The funds raised were made possible by a public auction of hotel weeks, activities, and retail products on, as well as sponsorships. Next to key sponsors, STB, PDG Supplies and Rainforest Adventure Park, SHTA thanks the important support of SolGas, Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco (CLT), PRIME, Island 92, VISIT St. Maarten, SXM Talks, Trakx and 104 Radio. In addition, it thanks the following companies contributing to the auction making the amount raised possible: Alicia’s Inn, Amsterdam Cheese and Liquor Store, Aqua Mania Adventures, Awareness in Business, Azure Hotel, Belair Beach Hotel, Caribbean Weeks, Del Mar Boutique, Désirée Winkel, Dive Sint Maarten, Divi Little Bay Resort, Dutch Blonde Beach Bar, IRE Vacation, Keijzer Computers, Kooyman, L’esperance Hotel, Oyster Bay Resort, Prominent Properties, Random Wind Charters, Sapphire Beach Club, Simpson Bay Resort & Marina, Sint Maarten Yacht Club, The Morgan Resort, Trisport and Zhaveri.

Finally, SHTA thanks the restaurants, bars and gelaterias taking part in 2022’s St. Maarten Flavors for making this first edition a success.

Restaurants interested in participating in “St Maarten Flavors Feast”, “June Appeteaser Week” and “St. Maarten Flavors” in November can contact the SHTA office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / or contact by phone at 542-0108 for all details.

SHTA calls on volunteers wanting to help getting St. Maarten’s culinary word out to the world to subscribe to its volunteer program. Foodies interested in the 2023 St. Maarten Flavors Appeteaser Week food show and November events are invited to take part in the dedicated St. Maarten Flavors newsletter via the same e-mail address.


Treating and paying workers fairly. Create a work environment where employees feel valued, and respected

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY By Quincy Rochester) - Treating and paying workers fairly is not only morally right but also makes good business sense. When workers are treated well, they are more likely to be productive and motivated, leading to increased profitability and improved morale within the company.

To ensure that workers are treated and paid fairly, employers can:

Establish clear and transparent employment policies: Clearly communicate job responsibilities, work schedules, and compensation structures to employees.

Provide competitive wages and benefits: Ensure that employee wages and benefits are fair and competitive within the industry.

Provide a safe and healthy working environment: Ensure that the workplace is safe and free from hazards, and that employees have access to necessary equipment and resources.

Encourage open communication: Encourage open communication between management and employees, allowing workers to voice concerns or issues without fear of retaliation.

Offer training and development opportunities: Provide opportunities for employees to improve their skills and knowledge through training and development programs.

By implementing these practices, employers can create a work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and fairly compensated for their contributions. This, in turn, can lead to improved job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and higher levels of productivity and profitability.

Quincy Rochester 


MP Emmanuel wants “Factual and Transparent” information about Sint Maarten General Hospital Project

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel has written to Minister of VSA Omar Ottley seeking factual and transparent information regarding the ongoing and long-delayed St. Maarten General Hospital.

The Minister, Emmanuel said, continues to speak in parables when it comes to the construction of the hospital. MP Emmanuel said nobody knows exactly when the people of St. Maarten will actually get a new hospital which, at its current pace, could take more than an additional five to six years.

"The Minister's latest statement is that he is not satisfied with the construction. After I pointed out over and over again that something is amiss. The Minister also touted an improvement from about 15 workers to about 43 workers at the hospital site. The question is what difference has the increase in workers made on the project? It is still in the same shape,” MP Emmanuel said.

He noted that the project is still on the basement and foundation level, the same it has been for five years. "It took five years to get 45 people to work on the project, how long will it take to get 100 people there? That is the Minister's target. The Minister said until FINSO puts 100 people on the project, government will be reluctant to grant whatever permits FINSO needs. Really? And then what?"

The MP continued: "Can the government even do that legally? If you don't grant the permits needed, are you not further delaying the project? Why has FINSO not been able to hire people even after additional financial injections of millions of dollars? Is FINSO in financial problems? What were FINSO's deliverables before the so-called renegotiation of the initial contract? Did they meet their deliverables? What are the new deliverables now? What penalties are in place if FINSO do not meet deadlines? When can the people of St. Maarten realistically expect their hospital to be completed?"

MP Emmanuel said there are so many questions to be answered but the Minister is still walking in circles and speaking in parables instead of being straight with the people. “The Minister said last week that, and I quote, 'the amendment to the contract has been signed. Now, there are some technical aspects that are being handled as far as designs and who will take care of what, end quote.

"What on earth does this mean? What does this amendment entail and why was it needed? Has the design changed? Are we getting what was promised and shown in videos? How does all of this play into the persistent delay of the project?"

"This was the fourth amendment to this contract and FINSO in the meantime are completing hospitals and other works all over the world. Those projects do not seem to be affected by conflict in Europe, only on tiny St. Maarten. Every time you look up, FINSO is asking for more money. The Minister has to come clean, put FINSO's feet to the fire and be transparent with the Parliament and the people of St. Maarten," MP Emmanuel concluded.


US party Leader Gordon Carty Calls for Cultural Revival and Respectful Carnival Celebrations

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Prominent Leader from the United Sint Maarten (US) party Mrs. Pamela Gordon Carty Highlights Need for Dignity, Morals, and Values in Sint Maarten's Festivities

With deep concern and disappointment, I address the public to express my dissatisfaction with the recent carnival season. As a mother, a female leader, a businesswoman, and a devoted patriot of Sint Maarten, I feel compelled to question the loss of dignity, respect, self-pride, and humility that were once inherent in our people. We have reached a point where good is deemed evil and vice versa. Sint Maarten has become synonymous with promoting and glorifying the wrong aspects of our culture, constantly highlighting the undesirable elements.

Fellow citizens of Sint Maarten, we must acknowledge that we have a substantial amount of work to do if we wish to transform our country into a place that our children can look up to with pride. There is a time and place for everything in life, and the recent events during this carnival season should serve as a wake-up call for us to unite and restore order for the sake of future generations. Women, you hold a pivotal role as pillars of our society, shaping the moral compass and values of the next generation. Let us not forget our responsibility. We must not participate in actions simply because others do; instead, we should be the guardians of integrity and set real guidelines for the next carnival season and any other public event.

Carnival is meant to be a parade where the entire community can gather with their young children, enjoying a spectacle that upholds cultural pride and tradition. However, what transpired this year was far from the intended purpose. The costumes lacked modesty, and the display of morals and true cultural identity was virtually nonexistent. We witnessed a distressing lack of respect, as well as behavior that crossed the boundaries of what is acceptable for a family-oriented event. This is not the example we should be setting for our young ones said the leader of the US party Mrs. Pamela Gordon Carty.

The current state of our carnival festivities is far too liberal, pushing the limits of what is appropriate for Sint Maarten. We must cease imitating others and rediscover our own unique identity as a people. We cannot allow slackness to be the downfall of our beloved country, where anything and everything is accepted without consideration for the consequences. Sint Maarten, it is evident that this time we have crossed the line. The stakeholders involved in organizing this cultural event must reconsider their approach, or else the public expects to witness significant degrading behaviors in future events.

While healthy enjoyment and celebration are important, we cannot applaud the degradation that has become prevalent in our festivities said Mrs. Pamela Gordon Carty leader of the US party. It is precisely this lack of accountability and the turning of blind eyes that lead to the decline of a nation. To those adults who condone the exposure of their children, I implore you to consider the rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, and child sexual abuse. We cannot continue to be the authors of such detrimental trends. As grown women, it is essential to conduct ourselves on public roads in a manner expected of us, demonstrating self-respect and setting a positive example for the young girls silently looking up to us. Yes we all know no one is perfect we all have our flaws but degrading behavior should not be one of those flaws. Also pushing liberalism has to be limited as we as a country has yet to show if we want to embrace certain behaviors openly in public. We love all human beings but there is still a list of behavior that we despise.

And to the men, I remind you that while you indulge in the season's visual pleasures, remember that you were born of a woman. Let us not abuse this privilege but instead use it responsibly. Men you still play an important role in the upbringing of our children. Serve as that positive example.

For the betterment of Sint Maarten, let us contribute to a future that our children can thrive in. Carnival is an occasion for the entire country to come together, but we must bear in mind that children will be present at these public event. It is imperative to establish a separate teenage parade with strict dress codes, allowing children the space to grow without interference. The age of participation in the adult parade should be set at 18 and above, ensuring that the costumes are predominantly covered and age-appropriate.

“Sint Maarten, we must strive for excellence and surpass the current state of affairs. Together, we can build a brighter future for our beloved country and its children. Let’s all do our part, not for me nor for you but for the next generations to come,” said the leader of US party Mrs. Pamela Gordon Carty.



Jamaica source of regional maths exam leak. CXC Completes Investigation into Examination Breach

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Mathematic students across the Caribbean sat their exams this week, however, the maths exam was leaked.

On Wednesday, 17 May 2023, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC®) launched an investigation following concerns that the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC®) Mathematics Paper 02 was leaked, prior to the administration of the examination on that day. CXC® has been in constant contact with regional Ministries of Education since this information came to light.

CXC® has now concluded its investigation. The security measures which CXC® has put in place have led us to identify the country as Jamaica and the examination centre where the leak originated. In discussion with the Ministry of Education and Youth, the matter will be dealt with following CXC’s security protocols.

CXC® and regional Ministries of Education recognise that candidates have spent months preparing for their Mathematics Paper 02 examinations and the news of the security breach (leak) of the examination has caused much anxiety and concern. As a result of the breach and the compromise of the examination, as well as consideration for the mental health and wellbeing of our candidates, timely release of results, and matriculation requirements, CXC® has determined that for this examination the modified approach will be used to award fair and valid grades.

The modified approach entails assessment of:

  1. the School Based Assessment or Paper 032 (Alternative to SBA) for private candidates; and
  2. Paper 01

This decision was communicated to the regional Ministries of Education in our meeting this morning.

CXC® would like to reassure candidates that the security of the regional examinations is paramount, and their best interests continue to be at the centre of the organisation’s decisions and processes. CXC® will continue to provide updates as and when necessary, and would advise stakeholders to monitor CXC’s official communication channels for information including:



SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS - Homeowners and those aspiring to homeownership around the region stand to benefit even more with the expansion of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Realtors Hub. 

The online portal which was launched two years ago allows clients who have pre-qualified for a mortgage to log on to the portal ( and be connected to leading realtors who will assist them in selecting their dream home or ideal plot of land. 

The bank recently announced special incentives for realtors including the Realtor of the Year Award which aims to recognise and honour realtors who have served the bank’s clients. The award also acknowledges the achievement of the bank’s realtor partners, their commitment to creating extraordinary client experiences and their outstanding work in communities in which the bank operates. 

“Every day, we ask how we can make life even easier and more convenient for our clients, which has led us to the creation of the digital space “The Realtors Hub”. Many of you are already partners in this initiative and have secured your space in the CIBC FirstCaribbean Realtors Hub. Now, we want to not only thank you for assisting our clients, but we want to highlight your efforts through an innovative initiative – The CIBC FirstCaribbean Realtor of the Year Award,” said Deepa Boucaud, Executive Director, Retail and Business Banking 

Mrs. Boucaud said realtors who are members of the CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Realtors Hub, and who hold an active real estate license are eligible for the award. They must demonstrate professionalism through good business conduct, community service and a sound and active relationship with CIBC FirstCaribbean. 

The Realtor of the Year will be selected by CIBC FirstCaribbean in association with its clients, and the

local community who will be given an opportunity to vote. 

The award was announced during special client events held recently in The Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Barbados. A similar launch event will be held in the Bahamas shortly.

CIBC Group Photo

Mark St. Hill Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean (centre) with some of the realtors who attended the launch event in Barbados recently.





Diesel Price to Drop on May 20. Gasoline remains unchanged

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Friday, May 20, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline remains the same.

The current price of diesel is Naf.2.086 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.918 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. 


A Banking Stability Index for Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Local banking sector remains stable amidst ongoing challenges

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - The Financial Stability Division of the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) has developed a Banking Stability Index (BSI) to monitor the performance of the commercial banking sector.

The BSI complements other early-warning monitoring tools of the CBCS. These tools provide timely signals about the build-up of risks and help mitigate financial crises within our jurisdiction. The CBCS presents an informative box on the BSI in its 2023 Financial Stability Report (FSR), published May 15th, 2023.

The BSI shows that banking stability within the monetary union peaked in December 2022, despite growing global macro-financial risks. This signals that local banks showed resilience in 2022. The BSI is part of the CBCS’ early-warning monitoring system (EWMS).

The index covers asset quality, capital adequacy, earnings & profitability, and liquidity indicators. The lowest level of the BSI over the past six years was observed in 2017 due to the adverse effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria in Sint Maarten.

Also, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the BSI deteriorated because of weak earnings & profitability, and asset quality. The financial soundness indicators (FSIs) – validated by the International Monetary Fund – are another essential part of the EWMS. These indicators are also published in the FSR.

The BSI assesses the stability of local banks on an aggregate level. Aside from presenting this index, the CBCS Financial Stability Division will provide local financial institutions with insights into their performance against the sector and benchmarks set by the CBCS.

These benchmark reports will enable institutions to reflect on their performance and improve their resilience accordingly. As of June 2023, the CBCS will start with the local banking sector. In the pursuit of safeguarding financial stability, the CBCS responded to the global banking sector turmoil by requesting data from banks, pension funds, and insurers on their direct and indirect exposures to specific foreign financial institutions.

Furthermore, the CBCS will conduct a full review on the institutions’ foreign exposures, to prepare for possible further global market turmoil. Compared to the 2022 Financial Stability Report, the CBCS’ outlook for the local banks was upgraded from slightly negative to stable.

This upgrade resulted from banks’ strengthened capital positions while profitability improved to pre-pandemic levels. Lending also increased by NAf. 210.5 million in 2022 compared to the previous year. A slowdown in economic activity and continued inflation may impede banks’ performance.

Other threats facing local banks are remaining uncertainties around asset quality, high operational costs, cybercrime, and de-risking.

The 2023 Financial Stability Report is available on the CBCS website at:

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