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Prime Minister Gumbs chairs first EOC Meeting

CAY HILL - Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs chaired his first Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Meeting last week Thursday.

Coordinators from the 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) of the country’s disaster management system were present.

The two main agenda points was the Hurricane Exercise 2015 and preparedness for the season.

The 10 ESFs are: GEBE/ESF-1, TelEm Group/ESF-2, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI)/ESF-3, Fire Department/ESF-4, Police Department/ESF-5, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour/ESF-6 and 7, Department of Communication/ESF-8, Ministry of General Affairs/ESF-9, and Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT)/ESF-10. 

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season has already seen two storms form namely Ana and Bill. 

Prime Minister Gumbs, reminds the Sint Maarten community to be prepared for the season which commenced on June 1st.

The remaining storm names for the Atlantic season are Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicolas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

The 2015 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.

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MP Wescot-Williams: Authorizing a minister to execute a law, should never be a means to circumvent Parliament

PHILIPSBURG – With respect to medical care and the uninsured, Democratic Party (DP) Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams on Wednesday afternoon released the following statement on the subject.

“On June 4, I issued a statement that addressed several matters, including the following paragraph:’Medical coverage law: one would recall that during the budget debates, a motion was presented to authorize the Minister of Health to execute this law, which the Parliament had not even seen. Luckily, Parliament caught on in the nick of time. This important piece of legislation, offering coverage to presently uninsured groups and persons in our community, still has not reached parliament for debate. Where is the urgency?"

“Actually the law in question is formally named: Landsverordening Bezuiniging en Beheer Sociale Zekerheid en Zorg. (National Ordinance Savings and Management Social Security and Care). This name is important, as the draft amends several other ordinances, not only one ordinance.

“A so-called pre-draft (informal) of this law was presented to Parliament in December 2013, lacking the mandatory elucidation and financial paragraph. No further action on this law has been recorded in Parliament since.  In January of this year, a motion was tabled in Parliament during the budget debate to authorize the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor to execute a part(!) of this law.

“As I mentioned about 3 weeks ago, luckily the Parliament agreed with me in January that without the entire law having been at least presented and debated in Parliament, it would be irresponsible to authorize any Minister to execute the same law and surely not parts of it without consideration for the other parts.

“Furthermore, the same draft ordinance is also about cost savings in the area of public health, as the name of the law clearly indicates. As mentioned, no financial paragraph has (yet) been presented. 

“After the voting on the motion got underway, Parliament based on the above, suspended the voting and the motion. Lo and behold, this motion reappeared on the agenda of the public meeting of June 22nd. Not only was this unrelated to the agenda point and motions must be tabled at the time of the debate on the topic, but a copy of practically the same motion was submitted, now dated June 22nd.

“What I mostly objected to however, was the fact that the motion in its resolution, authorized the Minister to implement an Article V of the law, while the law which was presented to Parliament in December 2013, has no such article in it. This I think is downright misleading and to have it presented as something that would offer uninsured person’s immediate coverage is regrettable.

“I close with the call I made on June 4th: ‘This important piece of legislation, offering coverage to presently uninsured groups and persons in our community, still has not reached parliament for debate. Where is the urgency?’, was my question to the government.

“And now to address the matter of Parliament authorizing a minister to execute a draft law or other regulations that are the domain of Parliament, but Parliament has not yet approved such, generally speaking. This is surely possible, however, there must be evidence of the urgency, even crisis, the constitution must be observed (Ombudsman, Council of Advice, etc.), the authority must be well defined and for a specific period of time,” DP MP Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams concluded in her press statement.

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ISLAND HOOPS GLOBALL adds second excursion

PHILIPSBURG – ISLAND HOOPS is proud to announce that three young student athletes have been added to the GLOBALL program this summer.

Already having issued an invitation for players near to or ready to attend college, US-based Hoop Group has invited more of the country’s youth to its Future All-American camp for student athletes between grades 6 and 10. The camp will be from August 2nd thru August 5th in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The three selectees are Ki-mani Olivacce (5’9”, age 14), Diaro Forsythe (5’10” age 14) and Troy Philips (6’1” age 16) – all members of the French league championship winning SXM One Love Chargers.

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Temporary road closure next to Parliament

PHILIPSBURG - The Wilhelmina Straat (Parliament Building Ally) will be closed on Wednesday June 24th from 05.30 a.m. to 07.00 a.m. in connection with maintenance work which has to done in that street.

All motorists should take note of this information, to avoid any inconvenience and use alternative routes to get to their destination. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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USM Hospitality and Tourism Management team receive their CHE certificates

POND ISLAND - Three faculty members of the University of St. Martin (USM) Hospitality and Tourism Management program participated in an intense four-day training in Antigua, where they successfully passed their exams and received their certificate in Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE).

The CHE program was designed and offered by the American Hospitality and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI). AHLEI is the only professional development opportunity designed primarily for post-secondary education Hospitality Educators worldwide.

USM’s Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Division head, Mr. Erwin Wolthuis said that he was fully confident that his team would be certified due to the their qualification and enthusiasm in educating.

Mr. Wolthuis further states that having CHE lecturers proves the quality of the HTM program and serves witness that USM is reaching the next milestone in its pursuit to having a fully accredited HTM program.

Persons interested in enrolling in the Hospitality and Tourism program may visit USM student service center or email go2usmonline.net

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Getting ready for the world of work...Workshop Entitled, “Dress for Success” Scheduled for June 24

PHILIPSBURG – First time job applicants may underestimate the importance of dress and appearance in making a positive first impression on a potential employer. This does not have to apply to you.

Students are invited to a free workshop entitled, “Dress for Success” which will be held on June 24, 2015, from 5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. at the office of the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Affairs. Students in the last two years of secondary school or those who recently graduated from school are invited to this interactive workshop.

Dressing for success needs to be a conscious decision. Participants in the workshop will learn about the importance of dressing for the job that they will be interviewing for. Dressing for males and that for females will be addressed separately. Tips for dressing and proper hygiene will also be given. The importance of dressing appropriately for the job interview and after receiving the job will also be highlighted.

The SSSD office is located in the Amigo Building, across from the Police Station and next to the Windward Island Bank (WIB) in Philipsburg.  Seating is limited, therefore, students are encouraged to contact the career guidance counselors at SSSD to reserve a seat.

If there is enough interest in the workshop, then additional sessions may be organized. Students are encouraged to bring their own writing materials to the workshops and they are encouraged to be on time. For more information, please contact the Student Support Services Division at 543-1235.

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Permanent Committee of Country’s Expenditures to Meet on Tuesday with the Minister of Finance

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Country’s Expenditures (CLU) of Parliament will meet in a session on the 23rd of June with the Minister of Finance Hon. Martin Hassink.  This house session will be carried live via Soualiga Newsday video.

The permanent committee meeting is set for Tuesday at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is a presentation to members of the CLU committee by the Minister of Finance regarding the measures taken by Government recommended by the General Audit Chamber in its report on Compliance Audit of the 2012 Financial Statements of the General Pension Fund St. Maarten (APS).

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg. 

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Plenary Session of Parliament scheduled for Monday regarding Integrity Chamber

PHILIPSBURG – TheHouse of Parliament will meet in a public plenary session on June 22nd.  The Minister of General Affairs Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs will be present for the session. Online readers can follow the House Session via Soualiga Newsday’s Live Video Feed.

The plenary session is set for Monday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is incoming documents; the second agenda point is a draft National Ordinance to establish the Integrity Chamber; and the third agenda point is a motion regarding the Social & Health Insurances (SZV).

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Workshop to assist Entrepreneurs interested in applying for EU direct grant funding. Register by June 22

GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – In an effort to support and stimulate Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication will be hosting a workshop to assist entrepreneurs interested in applying for direct grant funding from the European Union funded COSME Programme.

The COSME Programme, which was established with the aim of Strengthening the Development of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises of the Overseas Countries and Territories of the Caribbean Region, includes a Direct Assistant Grant (DAG) Scheme which allows for entrepreneurs and Business Support Organizations (BSOs) to apply for an interest free grant to help support their business ventures.

Small businesses and Business Support Organizations eligible to apply for grant funding must be legally established and operational for at least one year with financial statements to support operation, potential applicants.

Maximum award amount has been set at 12,000 Euros and applicants must be able to contribute 30% of funds necessary to execute their intended project.

As grants and space are limited, SMEs and BSOs interested must register with EVT by 12pm Monday June 22nd to be able to attend.

More information on the Direct Assistance Grant can be found at www.bit.ly/COSMEGrant Persons interested can contact EVT via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via phone at 549-0220.

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