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Hurricane Pass Application Process Starts. Deadline is June 17

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The application process for the annual Hurricane Passes for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season which starts June 1 and runs through November 30 has started.

There are two types of passes, the Disaster Pass and the Hurricane Pass. No passes will be issued to business owners, only with some exemption categories as noted below.

The pass allows the bearer to access the public road to visit the place of business to assess possible damage to the property. No company passes will be accepted during curfew hours. This can only take place during certain hours that will be stipulated and announced by the Prime Minister in a curfew situation.

Potential applicants have until June 17 to present all relevant information related to the process of requesting a pass.

Disaster Passes are issued to the following crucial disaster relief organizations and are valid for three years. The disaster relief organization consists of the following: Emergency Operations Center staff, Emergency Support Services staff, Crucial governmental organizations, and entities involved in disaster management such as medical institutions, general practitioners and pharmacies, Red Cross, WIEMS, White & Yellow Cross, National Security Service VDSM, Sea Rescue, Shelter Management, Ministers and their drivers.

The following categories qualify for a Hurricane Pass which is valid for two-years: Essential Government personnel without a disaster pass; Essential personnel of crucial companies or organizations: NV GEBE, Seven Seas Water, Telecom and Internet providers, Princess Juliana International Airport, Port St. Maarten, Hotels and Guesthouses, Marinas, Fuel distributors and gas stations, Commercial banks, Security companies (supervisors only), Medium and large sized supermarkets, Restaurants (those providing food services to emergency services), Importers and Wholesale Companies for perishable goods (Only requests can be submitted for refrigeration and or generator technicians).

The crucial organizations as listed above (disaster & hurricane passes) can request personal passes for their key personnel.

The Office of Disaster Management that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The Hurricane Pass is valid for the 2022 and 2023 hurricane seasons and will remain the property of the Government of Sint Maarten.

Please note that company passes will be accepted during curfew hours from the following institutions: Sint Maarten Medical Center, and White & Yellow Cross Foundation.

The pass system is a mechanism to maintain public order during emergency situations. The Prime Minister assesses the damage in conjunction with Emergency Disaster Management entities of the Government after a disaster has occurred and can impose a curfew if the extent of the damage poses a threat to the safety and security of the community.

An application form can be requested by sending an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Emails should include the following: Name of business or organization; Request for disaster or hurricane pass.

When submitting the application, the following documents need to be attached:

-      copy business license fee paid (or receipt) for 2022.

-      proof of 2022 registration at the Chamber of Commerce.

-      copy valid Sint Maarten ID-card of applicant.

-      Nafl. 50,- in leges stamps per application (to be obtained at the Receiver’s Office or the Simpson Bay Public Service Center), this is a non-refundable handling fee;

-      One (1) passport picture for new applicants, to be sent in JPEG-format to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name of the person clearly indicated.

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5 (Office hours Monday-Friday 9.00AM to 4.00PM), Cay Hill, by June 17, 2022, with all necessary documents attached.

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned address.

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BTP commemorates World Telecom Day 2022 Message

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - May 17th marks the day on which the global telecommunications industry celebrates “World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)” and commemorates the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1865.

WTISD has been celebrated annually since 1969 to highlight the importance of communication technologies. It also aims to help raise awareness of the possibilities the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.

The theme of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2022 is “Digital technologies for older persons and healthy ageing” and puts the spotlight on more than a billion people around the world that are currently aged 60 years or older. Amid the overall ageing of the global population, the ITU is promoting digital solutions for older people. ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao–stated: “By 2050, the number of people aged 65 years or older is projected to reach 1.5 billion. “Ageing in a digital world – from vulnerable to valuable” is the first- ever report to be produced by ITU to raise awareness in the ICT sector on the importance of being prepared to respond to the needs and requirements of ageing populations”.

In support of the ITU goals, the interim director of Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten, Mrs. Judianne Labega-Hoeve, urges all key stakeholders in the ICT industry to make ongoing efforts to support healthier ageing in Sint Maarten and develop services that are geared to help seniors to remain active and independent in their home and work environment. Mrs. Labega-Hoeve continued: “All residents on our island, regardless of their age, deserve to live in dignity and we see ICT as an important driver for senior citizens' social inclusion. We therefore remain fully committed to collaborate with the Ministry of TEATT to develop comprehensive policy approaches to support the aging population and to accelerate digital technologies for older persons in our society”.

In closing Mrs. Labega-Hoeve wishes all the workers in the telecommunications industry a very happy World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2022.

More information to be found on: https://www.itu.int/wtisd

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FYI Foundation Launches Logo and Poetry Contest

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Funtopia Youth Initiative (FYI) Foundation is in preparations for MokoFest 2022, which is slated to be the largest afro-Caribbean Cultural Festival on St. Martin. This event will be held at the Emilio Wilson Park on Sunday 26th June 2022 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

A part of their cultural awareness campaign is to educate the general public about the Soualigan Giant Moko Jumbies, who will be taking the forefront of the event. The foundation has been actively training hundreds of students in primary and secondary schools in the art of stilt walking and educating them about the west African connection.

The Foundation has created innovative ways to capture the participants by hosting a logo and poetry competition. For the Logo competition young persons between the ages of 9 and 12 and 13 to 19 are invited to design a logo that will represent the Soualigan Giant Moko Jumbies.

First and second place winners will receive up to $500 in prizes. For the Poetry competition young persons between the ages of 6 to 12 and 13 to 19 are invited to create a poem that reflects the values & culture of a Soualigan giant Moko Jumbie. First and second place winners will receive up to $300 in prizes.

The contests are open to receive entries from May 15th to June 15th, 2022. Persons can submit hard copies of their logo or poem at the Philipsburg Jubilee library.

Digital submissions can be done via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For the poetry submission there is also a google form link on our Facebook pages @fyifoundation and @SoualiganMokos.

mokofest logo competition

 

 

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Islandpreneur Live: “The Future of Islands” on June 27 - July 1

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - In 2020, Islandpreneur Live was launched to support island-based entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators, and their allies in building global and digitally inclined ventures. More than 650 people from 35 countries registered for the inaugural experience. Since then, Islandpreneur Live has built its reputation for having notable entrepreneurs such as Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline and former Chairman of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and Evan Carmichael, venture capitalist turned youtuber with over 3 million users, and Leslie Samuel, internationally acclaimed online business coach and youtuber.

The aim of Islandpreneur is to scale impact on islands around the world by providing entrepreneurs and innovators with access to leading information and resources. During Islandpreneur Live 2022, June 27- July 1, this will be done through a mixture of masterclasses, awards ceremony, business showcase, and virtual summit.

Islandpreneur Masterclasses will take place on June 27 -29 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in-person. This provides entrepreneurs and innovators an opportunity to do a ‘deep dive’ on a specific topic with notable experts.   Experts include those from Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), Port St. Maarten Group of Companies, and Clarity Media Communications, a global public relations firm, which has helped entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small medium enterprises (SME’s) increase their profiles in publications such as Forbes, Business Insider, and Marie Claire.

The masterclass with CBCS will provide applicable insights on how to be more financially resilient and the role of innovation in doing so. That of the Port of St. Maarten will give unique perspectives of unnoticed and underrepresented opportunities for island-based entrepreneurs and best practices in overcoming related challenges. Lastly, the masterclass with Clarity Media Communications will be facilitated by founder, Haddy Folivi based in the United Kingdom and will provide entrepreneurs and creators with strategies to increase their profiles, get global media coverage, and scale their business.

On June 30, organizers will host the 2nd Annual Islandpreneur Awards, which will have a hybrid format (both virtual and in real life). This invitation only ceremony will allow for its global recipients to receive their awards virtually in front of an in-person audience, of which Ms. Folivi will give the keynote address. The Islandpreneur Awards will be hosted by a surprise guest and includes a business showcase highlighting some of the island’s more innovative and creative entrepreneurs.

On July 1, the virtual summit will take place from 10 am - 5 pm, with respected experts, entrepreneurs, and innovators sharing from around the world. Under the theme, Future of Islands, topics include the future of tourism, future of finance, future of marketing, and future of business. In addition, there will be a panel discussion. The summit ends with a celebratory toast.

Registration is required for all activities. Passes for the masterclasses and to showcase at the awards will be made available for purchase, whereas the pass for virtual summit on July 1 is complimentary. This is made possible through the official partners: Ministry of Finance of the Government of Sint Maarten, Port of St. Maarten, Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten and TelEm N.V.

To find out more about Islandpreneur and the upcoming event, join our private group on Facebook, the Islandpreneur Society, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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NA Board Expresses Gratitude on labour opportunity for cruise ship jobs

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The headlines have been buzzing with excitement for the opportunities that lay ahead for St. Maarteners. An initiative that has been championed and pioneered by Minister of Justice Anna Richardson has had a successful sign-off, the National Alliance (NA) General Secretary Travis McQuilkin of the NA Board said in a press statement over the weekend.

“The agreement formed between The Government of St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean International will present job opportunities for our people.

“The Royal Caribbean Group is a major international cruise liner known for its hiring of multinational/cultural persons. This initiative is in line with the demographic of our workforce and breaks the barrier allowing a multitude of opportunities to be available to our locals. This is very much a shift in the right direction for our economic structure.

“The National Alliance Board extends a heartfelt congratulations to the honorable Minister of Justice Anna Richardson on the recent signing of the joint initiative between the government of St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean International,” the board statement reads.

The President of the National Alliance; Lenny Priest, added. "In our most recent board meeting, discussions were had around this great initiative and the benefits that it would bring to the country in terms of employment income for those seeking jobs or experience and growth in the tourism sector.

“With the signing now complete, the agreement is now sealed and delivered. And we look forward to the next steps in the process. We are very proud of Minister Richardson and thank her as a member of our party for putting the people first."

The NA Board continues: “The National Alliance would also like to express sincere gratitude to the Minister of VSA Omar Ottley, for collaborating and making NESC (National Employment Service Center) available for the recruitment process. Collaborations are what make initiatives of this magnitude possible.

“Silveria E. Jacobs, Prime Minister and Political Leader of the National Alliance also extended her thanks and applause to Minister of Justice Anna Richardson. "Employment is one of the economic indicators that we as a government monitor to check the health of our nation. This initiative is very much welcomed as we continue to push forward with our governing program of resilience and restore our nation's economy back to the numbers prior to Hurricane Irma.

“To Minister Richardson and entire government (Cabinet, Departments, and Staff) members by extension, the country thanks you. We remain vigilant as we follow through on the next steps ahead to realize the first set of persons to be employed by a major international company that has long been a major stakeholder and mutually beneficial partner for St. Maarten."

“The National Alliance Party is diligently working towards a better St. Maarten and currently holds five Ministerial seats in the Government of St. Maarten. N.A is also part of the coalition government with the UPP party, the latter holding four seats. The National Alliance remains committed to the development of the people of St. Maarten and has every intention to ensure that this employment initiative is the first of more to come.”

Boardmember NA

NA General Secretary of the Board Travis McQuilkin

 

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Police seeks public’s assistance in three separate shooting incidents

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Over the past week the Police and Detective Department personnel have been busy investigating three separate shooting incidents involving unidentified gunmen who shot at several individuals.

Two of these incidents took place on Bush Road and a third in the area of Belvedere. However, throughout these incidents, up to now no one was injured.

Anyone with information with about these shootings should contact detectives via + 1 721 542 2222 ext.106,or 175 , the anonymous tip line 9300, send a private message via Facebook Page: Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten or website www.policesxm.sx. (KPSM)

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Prime Minister Jacobs Delivers Keynote Speech ~ Serve to Change Lives ~

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs was the Keynote Speaker at the Rotary District 7020 Conference 2022. Her speech is as follows:

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi 

A pleasant good afternoon to the District Governor Louis Wever and First Lady Amanda Wever, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

Visiting Rotarians from within District 7020, I take this time to humbly extend a sincere thank you to the entire Rotary District 7020 for your continued efforts. The Rotary continues to hold a significant presence worldwide, for more than 100 years, using its multi-disciplinary and diverse perspectives to solve some of our communities’ major challenges, thereby improving the daily lives of many. I am delighted and grateful that St. Maarten has been chosen as the host country for such a prestigious conference under the theme ‘Serve to Change Lives.’

I’d like to begin today’s conversation by reflecting on one word, “serve,”. The word ‘Serve’ can carry various meanings and be used in many different contexts. However, for you, as a service club, it refers to the action of performing duties or services for a person or an organization. Interact, Rotaract, and Rotary Clubs all over the globe, bring students, employees, businesses and professional leaders together to serve the people of their community. With the involvement of youth, the hunger for service and personal growth is assured. Serving your community changes the lives of those who are most impacted by these selfless actions. A life of service builds communities, it can end loneliness, create significant friendships, improve self-esteem, and can even aid one in attaining better employment opportunities. As such, when you serve, it positively changes your life as well as the lives of those being served.

The services of Rotary International have manifested themselves in a variety of ways, including offering leadership training to its members, and humanitarian assistance to the community. As a result, I, like the people of Sint Maarten and those around the globe, continue to be indebted to Rotary for its tremendous efforts. As stated in my welcoming remarks, The recent pandemic is a prime example of how the Rotary Club has risen to the occasion by mobilizing its members and partners and demonstrating a determination to serve. In doing so Rotarians have addressed the needs of our community and helped those most vulnerable affected by this crisis.’

Since taking up a Ministerial post for the first time in 2012, I have had a vision for St. Maarten; a country where everyone is given an equal and fair chance to succeed, achieve their goals and experience meaningful growth in their lives. This means that some people need more support than others. This support, we can only achieve by working together. This is the part where organizations like Rotary play a significant role. Without the restraint of politics and bureaucracy, you go where Government cannot reach and you get there faster. Each and every day you work to change lives. Your efforts are not going unnoticed, especially amongst those you directly impact. 

Recognize today as international Nurses day. Remember the spirit of Florence Nightingale which was also world recognized as based on selfless service to others. In closing, I take this final moment and follow in the steps of Rotary International President-elect Shekhar Mehta urging members to become more involved in service projects in the best way that you can. As more and more countries around the world enter the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, I challenge you to go out and change a life. That is the positive impact you can have as a servant of your respective communities. As Ryunosuke Satoro once said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

Rotary District 7020, on behalf of the People and Government of Sint Maarten, I commend YOU, as you continue to make your mark here on St. Maarten and globally. With your generosity and invaluable contributions in mind, the Government of St. Maarten will continue to strive to maintain an environment where organizations such as the Rotary Clubs can prosper in their pursuit to positively impact lives, as they continue to serve. 

In the words of Paul Harris, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.” Keep up the good work, God Bless Rotary District 7020.

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Mosquitos: Small Bite Big Threat. Tiny but deadly. Don’t Wait Eradicate

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – This week is Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week (CMAW), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) said on Friday.

The theme is: “Small Bite Big Threat,” and the slogan, “Tiny…but deadly. Don’t Wait…Eradicate.”

CMAW runs from May 9-15 and brings the Caribbean region together to protect communities against diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

At the 17th Special Session of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government on public health threats in November 2014, the Heads approved a proposal for the establishment of an annual "Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week”, to be observed by Member States with support of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), CARICOM Secretariat in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The annual event is a collaborative initiative between the CARPHA, CARICOM, and PAHO, and is designed to strengthen existing initiatives in the Region and mobilize the public and communities to take action and eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

CPS, is calling on residents to help stop the spread of mosquitoes by preventing them from breeding in your backyard or garden after rainfall events.

The best way to manage a mosquito problem is to tackle it at its source: keep the mosquitoes from breeding.

After every rainfall event take action and end the breeding by not letting your home be a breeding site for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes also need to feed in order to reproduce, so avoid being bitten by joining the fight to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

Source reduction is the key to decreasing the mosquito population. Due to the tropical nature of our climate, breeding habitats are in abundance, and many of them are unfortunately man-made.

A bite by an infectious Aedes aegypti mosquito, spreads diseases, and therefore it is crucial for every household to prevent its breeding.

Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half-inch of water. This isn’t a lot of water, and plant saucers are one of those unassuming places that can gather a small amount and still be a huge breeding site for your backyard mosquito.

Breeding sites include anywhere that water can settle for a certain time undisturbed from garbage to your flowers/plants. This includes tin cans, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets, old saucers, flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase, old pet dishes, unused plastic swimming pools, boats on dry dock, used food containers or other containers that collect and hold water.

Once again, it is very important to check around your yard to make sure there is no standing water after a rainfall event, especially during the hurricane season when the country experiences more rainfall due to passing tropical weather systems.

A few tips/reminders: Get rid of any unused pots or bins or turn them upside down, so they don’t collect water; Keep trash and recycling bins covered. If you can, try drilling drain holes into the bottom of them; keep a fine-mesh screen over rain barrels, water tanks and cisterns. Also if possible, screen off your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

Take a look at your plants, once your plants are collecting water in between the leaves and the stem, these too pose as a breeding site.  

For issues surrounding mosquito breeding sites, contact CPS’ vector control team by calling 914 or 542-1222. Ask to be connected to the vector control team. You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with supporting pictures and contact information to report a mosquito nuisance or request assistance.

Let us not wait! come, join hands together as a community to eradicate mosquitoes by removing mosquito breeding sites; let’s keep mosquito borne diseases low!

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WYCCF organized Aquatic Therapy Course

SINT MAARTEN (ST. JOHN’S ESTATE) - The White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) hosted an aquatic therapy course from May 3 to 10, 2022. The course took place in the brand-new therapeutic pool of WYCCF and aimed to increase the aquatic therapy competence of its paramedical team. The size of the pool also allowed to invite external participants from the island, the Netherlands, and even Canada.

Aquatic therapy makes it easier and less painful to move for those that struggle with gravity. Since the water carries the body, one can train muscles in a way that would not be possible on land. This can do wonders for stiffness of muscles and joints, persons who struggle with their weight or are relearning certain movements after an injury or trauma.

But aquatic therapy doesn’t only have physical benefits. It has been proven that movement in water improves blood circulation in the body and even in the brain. Movement in the water increases the elasticity of the brain and counteracts stiffness in brain vessels that are associated with aging, inactive life, lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, and various neurological syndromes.
This, in turn, boosts brain functions like problem-solving and fall prevention.

The course focused on the above, based on 2 famous concepts: Water Specific Therapy and Clinical Ai Chi. These concepts contain many possibilities for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and adapted physical education teachers alike. Theory and practice were combined during the course days. Several WYCCF clients joined the practical sessions for demonstrations by the course teacher Johan Lambeck, helping to show in practice what was taught. The course ended with an examination: all participants received their certificate, issued by the Swiss Association IATF.

The pool was found to be well designed; two large parasols were very much appreciated, as well as the daily warm lunch served in the gazebo by the pool. The WYCCF staff, as well as the external participants, are all eager to apply the newly learned exercises and activities. The WYCCF is very happy with the course quality and that the responses from all participants were so positive. This course allows for an array of new treatment methods and techniques and is a great example of how the WYCCF continuously aims to improve the quality of its care. White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation, trusted care.

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Bervoets Participates in Red Sea Research Expedition into Deep-Sea Habitat

SINT MAARTEN-BONAIRE/SAUDI ARABIA - Local Environmental conservationist Tadzio Bervoets recently returned from a scientific expedition to the Red Sea. Bervoets, upon invitation from Marine Conservation NGO Beneath the Waves, global ocean exploration initiative OceanX and the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), conducted deep-sea research (300 to 2000 meters deep) into different deep-sea habitat and species in the Red Sea. 

Bervoets, and Dr. Oliver Shippley from Beneath the Waves, were specifically looking at deep-sea shark species in the Red Sea while also testing equipment which will also be launched in the Dutch Caribbean; “we know so very little about our deep-sea resources and the links between deep areas of the ocean and the coastal zones we are more familiar with. This while that likely the deep-sea will play a critical role for small island developing states to be able to help mitigate the impacts of climate change and in terms of maintaining the goods and services provided to coastal communities. That’s why the work being done in the Red Sea is so exciting; we are making the link between deep-sea habitat, coastal habitat and the importance for a holistic management of natural ocean resources as a buffer against the impacts of climate change,” commented Bervoets.

OceanX is an ocean exploration initiative with a mission to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world. OceanX combines science, technology and media to explore and raise awareness for the oceans and “create a community engaged with protecting them.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a private research university located Saudi Arabia and is among the 500 fastest growing research and citation records in the world. 

Founded in 2013 as a non-profit organization, Beneath The Waves is dedicated to promoting ocean health and using science and technology to catalyze ocean policy. Bervoets is on the Science and Policy Advisory Board for Beneath the Waves in addition to being the Director of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance.

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