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Cft chairman Raymond Gradus visits Food Bank Curaçao

CURACAO - Raymond Gradus, chairman of the three Boards of financial supervision (Cft), recently visited the Food Bank Curaçao (Voedselbank). There he received from the foundation’s secretary Stacia Illidge information about the set-up of this social initiative, that has been providing aid to thousands of families on a monthly basis since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The Food Bank has distributed more than 40,000 food bags since April 2020.

Gradus was also informed about the donors who make this form of assistance possible through their financial contribution. He received information as well about the involvement of all volunteers who work every week in various manners to complete all work that needs to be done.

Raymond Gradus is paying an informal visit to Curaçao, where he personally learns about local developments and has informal conversations with various authorities and people in the course of one week.

It was originally intended to also visit other Caribbean countries within the Kingdom, but that turned out to be impossible. The regular visit of the full Board to the countries, which was planned for June, has also been canceled; the next trip is planned for October.

Foto Cft Voorzitter bij Voedselbank 3

 

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Final notice for owners to retrieve confiscated vehicles and motorcycles. August 25 is the deadline. Vehicles/Motorcycles to be disposed of

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - As the preparedness process for the peak of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season continues, the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is making one final call to vehicle and motorcycle owners, who have previously had their transport seized by the police to come to the Police Headquarters to collect them.

The police have extended the deadline until Monday, August 25, to allow persons to come to the station with the necessary documentation to retrieve their vehicles.

“The vehicles which are being released are those that were impounded for technical issues or the documentations not being in order “Therefore, the police will be releasing them to their owners, providing they present the necessary paperwork.”

These required documents include:

  • Proof of ownership (Bill of Sale)
  • A valid identification (ID card, driver's license, or passport)
  • Proof of a valid insurance and Inspection card.

Vehicle owners are urged to make use of this opportunity to retrieve their vehicle before the announced deadline, as once the deadline has passed, the impounded vehicle will be considered abandoned and will be subsequently disposed of.

“This is the final opportunity for persons to collect these vehicles as we will be disposing of them once the deadline has passed,”  Sint Maarten is entering the peak of the hurricane season and the police wants to ensure that we complete this process sooner rather than later so that we can clear the area and minimize any safety risk these impounded vehicles might pose.”

However,  any motor vehicle which is still part of an ongoing investigation will not be released and the Prosecutor’s Office is the only entity that can authorize the release of a confiscated vehicle once the investigation is considered closed.” (KPSM)

police scooters ins1 monaug10

 

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CBCS has a new president at the helm: Richard Doornbosch

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - On August 7, 2020, Mr. R.A. (Richard) Doornbosch was sworn in as President of the Centrale Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS), as he took the oath of office before the Acting Governors of Sint Maarten and Curaçao.

The appointment of Mr. Doornbosch follows from the recommendation by the CBCS Board of Supervisory Directors to the Entitled Asset holders on March 11 this year, to nominate Mr. Doornbosch as president. Richard Doornbosch (1973) is an economist with more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector, international organizations, and public financial management.

Up until last month, he served as Alternate Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C., where he conjointly led the Dutch-Belgium constituency. For Mr. Doornbosch, supporting both governments in dealing with the COVID-19 economic impact, and mitigating the risks for the financial stability, will have immediate priority.

Intervention or restructuring measures should be applied with priority to problem institutions to guarantee an orderly resolution. Improvements should be made with regard to modernizing legislation and supervision of the financial sector, while the central bank itself is transforming, aiming to strengthen the internal governance and making the corporate culture proactive and more outward-looking.

Doornbosch looks forward to giving further guidance to this process: “The expertise of the CBCS-staff is indisputable, and the reliability of the central bank shall no longer be called into question”, according to the new president.

With Mr. Doornbosch being appointed, the Board of Directors of the CBCS is now complete. The Board of Supervisors looks forward to a successful cooperation.

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Wearing of a mask is mandatory on public transport in Saint-Martin

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) - The use of masks is mandatory in vehicles, intercity public transport (TCI Bus - 9 seats), public transport (BUS - 9 places) and Taxis de Saint-Martin (5 - 16 seats), the Collectivity of Saint-Martin said in a press statement.

The Collectivite of Saint-Martin has taken all useful measures by territorial decree,following national directives and in support of its territorial jurisdiction, in order to regulate the transport conditions of transit passengers and taxi customers, as part of the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the territory.

Following the government's decision to impose the widespread wearing of masks in enclosed areas from Monday 20 July 2020, the Collectivite is reminding users and operators of public transport and taxis, the obligation to wear a protective mask and to respect the distance in buses and taxis including in waiting areas (road station, stops and taxi station), in accordance with territorial decree A-2413/2020 of 28 July 2020, in order to combat the resurgence and spread of Covid-19.

  • Signage has already been put in different places at the Marigot bus station and the Front-de-Mer taxi station for the safety of passengers and operators. Posters detailing the current guidelines have been ordered and will be installed as early as next month.
  • Important : Il est rappelé aux opérateurs de transport de personnes (Bus, TCI et Taxis) qu'en raison des mesures de distanciation physique, le transport autorisé de passagers est effectué en capacité réduite de moitié (Bus/TCI maximum de 4 passagers, Bus/TCP maximum 7 ou 8 passagers selon la taille du véhicule de 15 ou 16 places, Bus/TCP maximum 17 passagers pour les véhicules de 35 places).  

The Collectivite of Saint-Martin is asking public transport users to follow these health guidelines to protect the population. The Collectivite's supervisory officers are responsible for reminding everyone of these instructions (users and carriers). Random checks may be carried out by law enforcement. Violators face a flat-rate fine of 135 euros.

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Local Blogger Lichtenberg to be Featured on Trinidadian #Digitalforeveryone

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Over the past months, and due to COVID- 19 the digital world has had a global boost. That includes the Caribbean region, that somehow was a bit behind due to different factors. However, we have seen that entrepreneurs and companies of every industry have had to step up their digital transformation strategy.

During his same period, collaborations and the exchanging of information between experts and relevant individuals with in varied industries have also increased. Your career, personal or entrepreneurial personalities have been given a chance to shine, network and connect with potential clients and great business relations.

This is exactly how Kenty Lichtenberg, is being featured in a conversation with Robert De Gannes, founder of Digital for Everyone (Instagram Live), a Trinidad based and digital outlet. The format of Robert De Gannes’ Digital for Everyone livestream series is deceptively simple.

The digital marketer hosts a selected guest for a casual chat about an aspect of digital business for 30 minutes on Instagram. Robert is a Digital Strategist with 10 years of experience running the gamut from Social media management all the way to Website design.

The concept digital for everyone came to me because "Digital" is massive, there is so much to know, no one marketer knows everything about it and often times, clients are only told what the person wants to tell them to make the sale.

So, Digital for everyone aims to breakdown complex aspects of digital marketing into easily understandable episodes. The ultimate objective is to grow the knowledge and confidence in all aspects of digital marketing regionally to help grow the sector for all, clients and agencies alike.

There are some many aspects of digital transformation, and daily we encounter new tools that we can use to help our clients with better analytics, projections and results for their core business. In this case, Kenty will speak about how blogging (a non – popular method in the Caribbean) can be used as a strategic tool to market your brand, your business and create a better market placement with in this intense and competitive digital world.

With over 15 years in the Marketing industry and almost 5 years of blogging, this promises to be a great conversation between her and Robert. Kenty is known for always having an unorthodox approach to marketing strategies and implementations and she is elated to share some of her best most effective practices and tips with the audience.

It goes without saying that in order to thrive currently, in any industry, you must have presence on the digital platforms. Of course not without knowing relevant strategies and creating an effective plan of action for your brand / business.

The Digital world means that your brand can reach an audience that you never thought you could, by using only traditional methods.

This Thursday, we invite you to log in on your Instagram account, and Join Kenty and Robert via: https://www.instagram.com/digitalforeveryone/ at 08.00 PM sharp!! Let’s take advantage of a session, where we can learn from each other and leave with valuable information that can help you with your business.

If you would like to keep up with Kenty, you can follow her via the following social media handles:

https://www.instagram.com/keraikreativestyle2016/

https://www.facebook.com/keraikreativestyle/

www.kentylichtenberg.com

www.keraikreativestyle.com (currently under construction)

Kenty info

 

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Nine students learn the basics of sail making

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - St. Maarten Sails & Canvas N.V. have once again coordinated with the local Marine Industry in helping to train the students from the ‘Zero to Hero’ (teens)/Kidz at Sea foundation, in developing their skills in the Marine Industry, the marine sector business said in a press statement on Tuesday. 

A fun and lively group of nine students along with John Westmoreland from the group of Zero to Hero/Kidz at Sea Foundation attended the sail loft of St. Maarten Sails & Canvas N.V. in Cole Bay for an introduction to the basic elements of sail making and also partook in some practical exercises. 

Sail Making is a profession as old as seafaring itself. A sailmaker is a person who specializes in producing sails for boats and providing advice on how to use, set, and care for sails. People in this field are often sailors themselves and learn the trade through an apprenticeship with an experienced sailmaker.

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Suspect arrested for a spree of robberies in the Cole Bay area

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Detectives of Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) arrested a man with the initials N.J.T., on July 31st for his alleged involvement in a spree of armed robberies that have been happening in the Cole Bay and surrounding areas, police said on Monday.

The suspect who lives in the district was arrested in the early morning hours by the detectives without incident. After the arrest, a search was conducted in the home of the suspected robber, during which several items were confiscated.

The suspect is being remanded pending further investigation.

The Police said on Monday: We would like to also remind the community that the more we come together to assist the police in the combat against these crimes the faster the robber(s) can be apprehended. (KPSM)

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Saba prepares phased implementation single-use plastics ban

SABA—The Public Entity Saba is preparing the phased implementation of the single-use plastic products ban in 2021. A legislation proposal has been drafted and sent to the Island Council for deliberation. An official public consultation on the draft ordinance has been initiated. The ban will start with a prohibition on plastic carrier bags per January 1, 2021.

Based on an island-wide consultation through interviews, a questionnaire and a think tank, the government has worked on a draft ordinance in the past half year to regulate the gradual prohibition of single-use plastics. The ordinance will prohibit the provision of a number of frequently used and/or easily replaceable kinds of single-use plastics, namely carrier bags, food containers, cups, plates, cutlery, straws, stirrers, cotton swabs, fresh produce bags and confetti.

The plan is to start the plastic ban with plastic carrier bags per January 1, 2021. This means that supermarkets, other stores and restaurants, but also other sellers (eg booth holders at events or markets) and service providers may not provide plastic bags to their customers as of that date. If environmentally friendly, single use alternatives for plastic bags are provided, a fee must be charged to the customer. This is done in order to encourage people to bring reusable bags, but also to help business owners save costs.

Single-use plastic cups, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers and confetti should become prohibited by May 1, 2021. Food containers are the last product to be banned, on October 1, 2021. The reason for this is that similar quality alternatives are harder to find. Restaurant owners need sufficient time to test different products and find a proper solution before fully eliminating the plastic and Styrofoam containers.

Eco-friendly version

The idea to introduce the plastics ban in phases is based on the notion that it some products are easier to phase out or replace than others. A longer phase-out time will be implemented for products that are harder to replace by an eco-friendly version, especially in the case of food containers.

The ban targets all types of abovementioned products that are produced for single use and made out of any type of plastic. This includes Styrofoam, but also plant-based materials that were chemically altered to create plastics such as 'biodegradable plastics’ that only decompose in a commercial composting unit, which Saba does not have. The environmental damage of these bioplastics is similar to that of regular plastics if not processed properly. The ban also includes types of products that are non-recyclable or difficult to recycle because they are made of inferior plastics that cannot be exported off the island for processing abroad, and therefore end up in the solid waste burner on Saba.

The ordinance gives the possibility to request an exemption to the ban when certain banned single-use plastic products are necessary for medical purposes or in other contexts where hygiene cannot be sufficiently ensured otherwise. In order to guarantee as much as possible that the exemption only takes place in situations where there is no other option than using single use plastic products, conditions may apply to exemptions granted and exemptions may be valid only temporarily.

Reduce littering

The Public Entity Saba has the aim to reduce littering and burning of solid waste. On September 18, 2018, the Island Council unanimously adopted a motion urging for the implementation of a single- use plastics ban. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) supported this initiative by signing a Letter of Intent with the Public Entity on July 15, 2019.

Main stakeholders were consulted on a single-use plastics ban during the process, and an island- wide consultation was done via a questionnaire, which received over 200 responses. A think tank was set up to provide further input for the contents of a single use plastics ban. Together with the ministry of IenW, an ordinance was drafted for the reduction of the use of single use plastics. The phasing out of single-use plastic water bottles at the schools has been initiated.

Recycling workplace

Other (future) initiatives in relation to this ban and to reducing the use of plastics in general are: setting up a local plastic recycling workplace, which should be operational by the end of the year, signing a covenant with organizations on the island to terminate the use of balloons, and organizing contests at the schools: a poster contest was already held at the primary school, while a video contest at the secondary school should take place later this year.

The water bottling plant, scheduled to be ready before the end of the year, will also contribute to the reduction of single use plastics on the island.

Consultations so far have shown that there is a broad community support for a single use plastics ban. The official public consultation on the draft ordinance takes place until August 20. Responses can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Saba GIS)

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Minister of Justice provides an Update on the Status of the Police Force Function Books

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Justice Anna Richardson, updates on the status of the function books to keep all stakeholders informed. A letter has been sent to the Council of Advice requesting an update on the timeline for the delivery of their advice on the draft legislation concerning the repeal of ‘Rechtspositie Korps Politie Nederlandse Antillen 2000’ and the salary scales for the Police Force of St. Maarten (KPSM). This advice concerns the function book of the KPSM; one of the nine departments within the Ministry of Justice.

A function book comprises three parts; firstly, the functions and their job descriptions, secondly, the valuation and assignment of scales to the functions based on the “weight” of the function, and finally, the formation plan noting FTEs (Full-Time Equivalents) per function. The first part has been completed for all nine departments within the Ministry of Justice.

On Thursday, July 29, the Council of Ministers approved the establishment of a Project Group that will focus on the finalization and legislative ratification of the function books and placing personnel in the functions thereafter. The Project Group will comprise of a Steering Committee and a Workgroup with representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of General Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance. The Project Group is scheduled to launch in the coming weeks once its national decree is finalized.

Minister Richardson states, “Regarding the function books, following proper protocol within the legal framework is of the utmost importance to guarantee that things are completed in the right manner. Within the legal framework, there will be an inclusive process, and it designates the legal responsibility of all parties.”

The legal framework will involve the Committee of Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) representing the unions and the Department Heads of the Ministry of Justice. The framework and related legislation specifically outlines when the CCSU is to be approached and their legal role. The Minister of Justice will meet with Department Heads of the Ministry of Justice to discuss the status and approach to their departmental function book. The Department Heads will be charged with disseminating specific information on the status of the function book to their personnel. 

To promote transparency and communication, the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice commits to continuous updates on this matter both internally, and to the public. The completion of the function books remains among the Top Five priorities of the Minister of Justice.

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Travelers to St. Maarten must submit an online health authorization request

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Ministry of Health recently launched a website to streamline the process for visitors coming to St. Maarten to submit a mandatory health authorization application.

"Travelers to St. Maarten must submit a health authorization request via www.stmaartenentry.com before being granted entry into St. Maarten," confirmed Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, the Honorable Richard Panneflek on Thursday.

The website gives travelers access to an Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) where they can fill in a form in advance requesting permission to travel to St. Maarten. Along with the mandatory application, the site also posts updated travel requirements as stipulated by the Government of St. Maarten through the Ministry of Health. Visitors must have health insurance coverage and travel insurance covering COVID-19. Since the online application process began, over 340 have made use of it. While most complied with the requirements, a few did not and as such were denied entry to St. Maarten for failing to meet the specified requirements. Airport controls and testing is also being done, and the website shows which countries St. Maarten considers to be high-risk transmission countries, moderate risk transmission or low-risk transmission countries.

Travelers coming to St. Maarten from a low-risk country such as Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, will be exempted from the mandatory rt-PCR test. "While we have indicated some countries as low-risk countries, this information is constantly being reviewed and may be subject to change if the situation in those countries changes," said Minister Panneflek. The Minister also said that travelers from low-risk countries will still be screened, which includes a questioner and temperature check before they are allowed entry. The updated requirements posted on the website also indicates that "other tests such as antibody tests or antigen tests and tests performed outside of these 72 hours will not be accepted." It also states that the rt-PCR test methods with an Emergency Use Only Authorization (EUA) approval from the FDA will not be accepted.

"Travelers who reside in a low-risk country but have visited a moderate or high-risk country in the 14 days before departing to Sint Maarten, must also have an rt-PCR test for the SARS-COV-2 virus performed within 72 hrs." Additional requirements also include a Reverse transcription-polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test using only the nasopharyngeal swab procedure. The Nasopharyngeal swab is the collection of a clinical test sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat. The test must be conducted no more than 72-hours before departure from your destination. These measures are part of St. Maarten's efforts to protect its citizens and visitors as the world continues to fight against the global pandemic COVID-19. Travel applicants receive a response via e-mail indicating if their EHAS application is approved or denied. If the request is approved, the e-mail will contain a printable authorization which must be presented to the health and immigration authorities upon arrival.

The rt-PCR test result should be presented to the health authorities upon request. Persons suffering from flu-like symptoms and or has a fever will be denied entry. International Air Transport Association IATA who supports the global aviation industry through the establishment of policies on airline safety, security, efficiency and sustainability has also accepted St. Maarten's EHAS form and general visitor acceptance requirements. The measures are consistent with international airport standards for travel in the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Ministry of Health has also indicated that original test results must be uploaded on www.stmaartenentry.com site and it must specify the name of the lab where the test was conducted, the name of the person tested along with the date and type of test administered. The method of obtaining the test sample must also be explained, and travelers are advised that typed, written, or e-mail statements from doctors or non-laboratories will not be accepted.

Minister Panneflek said there are also specific requirements for Crew Members of Airlines both private and commercial. "Airline and private flight crews with stopovers in St. Maarten or St. Martin are exempted from the health authorization procedure but must demonstrate a valid (performed within 72 hours of departure to Sint Maarten) negative rt-PCR test. Crew members not in possession of a valid negative rt-PCR test must self-quarantine until their departure flight."

Daily alerts will be sent to visitors' e-mail address as the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) will be monitoring each visitor's health condition during their stay. The use of the website www.stmaartenentry.com is also being promoted by the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau STB to its global travel partners.

“Remind the general public to maintain a social distance of two meters, sanitize your hands routnely and and wear your mask. Only together we can overcome,”

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