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Reading is FUNdamental. Book week 2020 is coming up

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Book week is HERE again. This is our opportunity to collaborate with schools and once again motivate and promote reading among our youngsters and their parents. It’s also an opportunity to remind the public that your library is OPEN DAILY and offers online books and physical books at our location upstairs Adolphus Richardson Office on the Walter J.A. Nisbeth road #3, during the week from 9: 00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

This year the focus will be on primary school students from the five different school types and the activities will be organized within the preventive measures of COVID19. First of all, we encourage all students to read books. Books are not only important for your educational development but also just FUN. The PJL has a whole selection of new books waiting for you; you can even borrow your digital books online.

For our existing members don’t miss this chance to renew your Philipsburg Jubilee Library’s membership and for prospective members to become a new member and enjoy the great selection of books that we offer both physical and digital. The upcoming mid-term break (October 5 -9) gives you ample time to visit your library.

The book week starts on Monday, October 19, 2020, with a soft opening online. During the week there will be online instruction on how to make a bookmarker yourself. A special request to the invited schools is that three students send in a drawing depicting the theme “Anytime, any place and any book” and interested students are encouraged to submit selfies that show him/her reading a book. The book week lasts until October 23, 2020, which does not mean that the reading stops on that date.

Our theme is our way to motivate and encourage you to feel comfortable knowing that with the availability of digital platforms at Philipsburg Jubilee Library you can always explore options to read books and you can come and visit your library any time and read any book, be it hardcopy or digital because there is always a book for you at the library.

The detailed book week program will be published within short. Just follow us on Facebook stmaarten.Pjlibrary or go to our website stmaartenlibrary.org. 5422970

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Reaction to recent media coverage about Ennia

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Following recent media coverage, the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) reports as follows. In early July 2018, at the request of the CBCS, the Court of First Instance in Curaçao issued an emergency measure with respect to, among others, ENNIA Caribe Leven N.V., ENNIA Caribe Schade N.V. and ENNIA Caribe Zorg N.V. (ENNIA).

Mr. Ansary challenged this court ruling through several legal proceedings and has lost these suits. The US Bankruptcy Court in New York has also recognized the emergency measure and rejected Mr. Ansary’s defense against it.

The lawfulness of the emergency measure has therefore been established. The emergency measure was also issued against ENNIA Caribe Holding N.V. and EC Investment N.V. These two institutions were not under the supervision of the CBCS and it was therefore only possible to assess the true scope of the problems once the emergency measure had been issued.

After an extensive investigation, it was established that ENNIA suffered at least NAf 700 million in damage resulting from mismanagement by former policymakers and shareholders, making deliberate use of non-transparent structures and institutions that lie outside the supervisory reach of the CBCS.

ENNIA is now claiming compensation for this damage in a liability suit brought by means of a petition filed on October 11, 2019. Almost a year later, on September 28, 2020, Mr. Ansary responded, in this suit, to the evidence and the substantiation of the allegations presented in the petition.

The CBCS remains willing to engage in serious settlement negotiations. Several extensive deliberations were held with Mr. Ansary in recent years (both before and after the emergency measure was issued).

So far, however, Mr. Ansary has made no move towards a concrete settlement proposal, despite having been invited on several occasions to do so. If Mr. Ansary does come up with a concrete and realistic settlement proposal to compensate the damage suffered by ENNIA, the CBCS is ready to discuss matters.

Meanwhile, the CBCS continues to work hard, together with ENNIA’s management team, carrying out the legal mandate to restructure ENNIA.

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INCOME TAX DECLARATION REQUEST

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Tax Inspectorate hereby makes known that due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and for safety and wellbeing of its visitors and staff, the Tax Administration has decided all requests for Income Tax statements for the Education, DUO, SZV, Immigration and Labor departments as well as compliance letters will be processed by email only.

Information required for requesting an Income Tax declaration via email:

-              A copy of pages 1, 2, 23 and the summary list page A, B or C of the 2019 Income tax form together with a copy of valid driver’s license or ID issued on St. Maarten or any valid passport.

Be sure to mention which department the request for the Income tax declaration is intended.

Information required for requesting a compliance letter (for pension) via email:

  • A copy of valid driver’s license or ID issued on St. Maarten or any valid passport.

Please submit the above-mentioned document(s) as an attachment to your request via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your declaration request will be processed and sent via email the next working day.

Please note, request for:

  • personal or business crib numbers;
  • V-login for online filing.

Can also be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For any additional information, contact the Tax Administration: at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

Telephone: 542-2143/542-5301/542-5304/542-3839

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Nolly Oleana appointed acting Island Governor Bonaire

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - Nolly Oleana has been appointed acting Lieutenant Governor of the public entity Bonaire in effect from the 1st of October 2020, for a period of three years.

Acting Government Representative, Jan Helmond, sworn him in on the 29th of September in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Rijna.

Nolly Oleana is head of the Education, Culture and Science (OCW) Caribbean Netherlands department. He will fulfill the function of acting Island Governor in the absence of the Island Governor.

The appointment of an acting Island Governor is the responsibility and authority of the Kingdom Representative. The current acting governor, Curvin George, announced some time ago that he wants to step down from his position.

The acting Kingdom Representative then initiated the procedure to get a new appointment. To this end, discussions were held with the members of the Executive Council and the Island Council, among others. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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USM, Dutch Jurists to host Webinar Oct.08 on Human Rights in Dutch Caribbean

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - In the run up to the tenth anniversary of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, the University of St. Martin (USM) and the Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-NJCM) will co-host a webinar on Human Rights in the Dutch Caribbean, 10 Years After 10-10-10 on Thursday, 8 October 2020.

On 10 October 2010, a constitutional reform went into effect, dissolving the Netherlands Antilles and recognising new constituent countries of the Dutch Kingdom. As a result, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten became countries within an autonomous constitutional status and Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba became public entities or so-called special municipalities of the European part of the Netherlands. The webinar will look back on the past decade and discuss the consequences experienced in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom by the constitutional reform, and look into the relevant human rights and obligations.

“We will not only to explore the legal framework but also the political aspects of the new relationships through a multidisciplinary lens”, said Dr. Daphina Misiedjan, Assistant Professor of Human Rights at the University of Rotterdam Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. Misiedjan, who will be moderating the three-and-a-half-hour event, participated in USM’s webinar on Human Rights in the Face of COVID-19, held in June earlier this year. Together with lawyer, educator and human rights activist Ms. Lisenne Delgado, Misiedjan and USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez organised this trans-Atlantic webinar in order to stimulate collective critical reflection within the Dutch Kingdom.

Webinar speakers include professors Flora Goudappel and Ryçond Santos do Nascimiento of the University of Curaçao, sociologist Raymond Jessurun of the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform, anthropologist Louis Philip Römer of Vassar College in the United States, Jonneke Naber of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and Lisenne Delgado who is currently conducting research in Curaçao. The speakers will cover issues related to the Kingdom Charter, civil rights, labour and socio-economic rights and self-determination from an international perspective.

The webinar will begin promptly at 9:00 AM (ECT) on Thursday, 8 October and broadcasted on USM’s Facebook page via Zoom.

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CARIBBEAN AIRLINES APPLIES SHORT-TERM MEASURES TO SUPPORT THE RECOVERY OF THE AIRLINE

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD - Caribbean Airlines advises that in the coming weeks the airline will apply temporary measures to support the recovery of the airline. Reduced demand due to the global pandemic has presented significant challenges to Caribbean Airlines’ revenue and cash position and it must now take further steps to streamline expenses and it manage cash.

After careful consideration, discussions with key stakeholders and with the support of the Board of Directors, the Company intends to implement certain temporary measures to cut costs and reduce overheads from October 15, 2020.

Some of the temporary measures include but are not limited to: · Salary reductions for a period of eight (8) months from mid-October 2020 for those paid more than $7500 (TTD) per month, with reductions tiered to be higher for those on higher remuneration · Temporary layoffs for approximately one third of employees for three (3) months, depending on their role and the current needs of the business · Continued cost reductions wherever possible, including reducing contractors and temporary workers and allowances that are not relevant at this time.

The airline confirms that standard industrial relations criteria were used to select the employees who will be temporarily laid off. The leadership team recognizes the impact of these measures on its employees and their dependents and has put systems in place to support those affected.

Caribbean Airlines assures all stakeholders that its current operations are not impacted by the temporary layoffs – this includes our Cargo operations, the domestic Air Bridge between Trinidad and Tobago, the Kingston and Barbados based commercial services and special Government approved flights to/from Trinidad and Tobago.

Caribbean Airlines thanks its valued customers and all concerned for their continued support.

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President Gibbs congratulates Senator-elect Petrus

SAINT-MARTIN (MARIGOT) – President of the Collectivite Daniel Gibbs on Sunday issued a statement of congratulations after Annick Petrus won the French Senate national elections to represent the Saint-Martin in the aforementioned legislative chamber.

"I would like to salute all the electors who went to the polls this Sunday, September 27, 2020, to elect our new representative at the Luxembourg Palace.

“It took two rounds to decide between the four candidates for the senate. The 24 Great Electors of St. Martin who took part in the Senate vote have fully lived our democratic system and I am very satisfied that in the second round of this third Senate election forSaint-Martin, our majority candidate, Ms. Annick Pétrus, made the difference with 15 votes to her credit. Only the result matters.

“Annick Pétrus is our new senator, she is also the first woman senator from Saint-Martin. It is worth noting because it is an asset and we can be proud of it.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to him and his deputy Nikomo Sylvestre. The pugnacity of our senator, who in the spirit of the Gibbs Teams, did not let go during this campaign, the quality of his involvement in the field of social and education as the3rd vice-president, won the support of the majority of the Great Voters. Well done to her.

“In the context we know, this Senate had a major challenge for our territory, that of having a senator from our majority to better defend the interests of Saint-Martin at the national level but also to bring the projects of our group to the benefit of the Saint-Martinois.

“The challenge of representing our values in the Senate is of course yet to come, and I am confident that Annick Pétrus will rise to this new challenge and serve his territory and our ideas through this 6-year Senate mandate. My colleagues in the majority join me in expressing our full support and success for St. Martin and its people.” (NOTE: This statement was translated from French to English.)

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Resources for Community Resilience Project Proposal Deadline set for October 5th

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - During the first week of September Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR) conducted four information sessions to inform Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), commonly known as non-profits or NGOs, about grant opportunities for their foundations. At total of 90+ CSOs attended either a face-to-face or virtual meeting and were informed about the content of the program, the application procedures and deadline.

R4CR, a programme implemented by VNG International (the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Dutch Municipalities) and funded by the St. Maarten Trust Fund, was created to provide assistance to strengthening the capacity of CSOs on St Maarten in their reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts after hurricane Irma. Under R4CR, they will be invited to submit proposals for programmes benefitting local communities. In addition to funding, CSOs will receive support in managing and monitoring their programmes and will be offered a platform for exchange and cooperation with other organizations.

On September 3rd the first out of seven application rounds started with the deadline set on Monday, October 5th. This first round is called a ‘quick win’ where CSOs can apply for a maximum of US$ 50,000 and complete their project within six months. Quick win projects are relatively small and simple projects that can be executed fast and have an immediate impact on the community.

While the CSOs are busy writing their projects, VNG International has been busy expanding its local team with two extra persons next to Rolf Hunink and Jose Sommers. Steve Duzanson was hired as the Deputy Team Leader and Chi Hing Roger-Yee joined the R4CR team as the Finance & Control Specialist.

The team also has created a logo, new website and Facebook page with the services of local company St. Maarketing and made all documents needed for the grant application available on its new website.

For more information about the R4CR program and possibilities for funding, the R4CR team advises CSOs to visit the website https://www.r4cr.org/ and facebook page https://www.facebook.com/R4CRSXM.

Team members can be contacted per email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

VNG International and the local 4CR Team are looking forward to receiving the grant proposals as soon as possible though not later than October 5th.

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Public services of RCN continue in an adapted form

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN) will continue its services to citizens in Bonaire and St. Eustatius and will remain accessible by telephone and email. If there is no other option, visitors are helped at the counters, at a minimum distance of 1.5 meters and with additional measures to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

If possible, employees of RCN work from home in accordance with the local advice on Bonaire and St. Eustatius. Only if it is necessary to guarantee critical services, RCN employees will work at their normal location. All changes to the services provided by Rijksdienst on Bonaire and St. Eustatius can be found at https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19/public-services.

Visits to counters are limited

To protect both citizens and employees, many services are provided by telephone or online instead of at the counters. For example, ZVK asks insured to change their GP, request proof of registration and submit invoices by e-mail as much as possible. Youth Care, Guardianship Council and IND only receive visitors by appointment. The police handles reports by telephone if possible. All changes and contact details can be found at https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19/public-services.

People that have a cold, sore throat, cough or fever, are requested not to visit any of the offices of Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland. This also applies to people who have received a quarantine measure from the Public Health Department. Clients are then assisted by email or telephone. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Economic contraction on Sint Eustatius and Saba in 2018

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS – In 2018, Bonaire's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 3.9 percent in volume. St Eustatius recorded a contraction of 11.8 percent and Saba’s GDP declined by 2.5 percent. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

The GDP* volume change is the development of GDP value, adjusted for price changes. The adjustment for price changes is based on the consumer price index.

Contraction on St Eustatius and Saba

The contraction on St. Eustatius, by 11.8 percent, was related to a few large companies on the island. Their production is mainly export-oriented and dependent on regional developments in the oil sector. In addition, they were affected by the consequences of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which moved along the Windward Islands in September 2017. Although these companies have a substantial impact on GDP, their impact on national income is much more limited. The profits of these companies are not included in the national income because they are wholly foreign-owned enterprises; they contribute to the island’s labour income in particular.

On Saba, the contraction was caused by the effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria. Inbound tourism by sea and air dropped by nearly 16 percent in 2018. This diminished the value added of the accommodation and food services sector. The education sector showed a decrease in value added as well due to a declining number of students in 2018 compared to 2017.

Bonaire: growth in accommodation and food services, construction and financial sector

The value added** of the accommodation and food services sector on Bonaire rose by 19.3 percent. This made it the fastest-growing sector in 2018, together with financial institutions. The growth in accommodation and food services is associated with the opening of new hotel and catering establishments in that year. The number of incoming air passengers and cruise tourists also increased, by 10 percent. There were many construction projects on Bonaire in 2018. Construction output rose by more than 6 percent. Since intermediate consumption (goods and services used in the production process) rose less rapidly in this sector, the value added increased by 13 percent.

Demand for housing is high on Bonaire, which is also reflected in the number of transactions as well as house prices; in 2018, these rose by 52.8 and 21.6 percent, respectively. Real estate agents and landlords benefited from this. The value added of the real estate sector increased by 9.5 percent.

Business services also benefited from the strong housing market. In addition, car rental companies in this sector recorded growth due to the increase in tourism.

There were also sectors that performed less well in 2018. The value added of the transportation, information and communication sector fell by 15.5 percent. This decline was caused by only a few large companies that operate in the transportation and storage of goods. These companies were negatively affected by developments in the regional oil market. The remaining companies in this sector performed well in 2018. The decline in the agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors was also attributable to one large company.

The value added of energy companies decreased by 4.9 percent because intermediate consumption rose faster than the production of water (7.2 percent) and electricity (-0.3 percent). The same held true for the care sector, where output did increase, but less rapidly than intermediate consumption.

 BON gdp volume

BON value added

Revision of GDP in the Caribbean Netherlands

This year, revisions have taken place in the GDP of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. These have resulted in an upward adjustment of GDP on all three islands. More information on the revision*** can be found at the end of this article.

 REVISION of GDP in CN

 

Papiamentu

A Papiamentu translation of this news release can be obtained from Statistics Netherlands’ office on Bonaire by sending a request via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Sources:

Statline - Caribbean Netherlands; gross domestic product (GDP)

https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/en/dataset/83776ENG/table?ts=1600900167233

StatLine – Bonaire; Gross value added in basic prices per industry

https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/84769NED

News – Bonaire, House price index 2018

https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/maatwerk/2019/43/prijsindex-woningen-bonaire-2018 (Dutch)

Explanation:

*GDP: The final result of productive activities of production units in the Netherlands. It equals the sum of value added in all sectors of industry, and includes some transactions that are not classified by sector of industry.

https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/methods/definitions?tab=g#id=gross-domestic-product--market-prices----gdp--

**Value added: The income formed in the production process. The value added equals the production (in basic prices) minus intermediate consumption (in purchasing prices). Value added is the income available to reward the production factors involved.

https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/our-services/methods/definitions?tab=v#id=value-added

***GDP revisions on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba:

National accounts are revised periodically. New sources, methods and concepts are implemented to ensure that the picture of the Dutch economy is again optimally aligned with all the underlying statistics, sources and international guidelines on the compilation of the national accounts.

This is the first time that CBS - since the start of GDP measurements in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2014 (for reporting year 2012) - has carried out GDP revisions. There are three reasons why CBS has carried out revisions this year:

  • During the course of this year, a greatly improved business register has become available which includes all enterprises that carry out economic activities on the islands. The register contains e.g. the sector (SBI 2008, an international standard classification of economic activities) and the number of persons employed per company.
  • Collaboration with the Caribbean Dutch tax authorities has been intensified in recent years, which has improved access to the financial data of local enterprises.
  • The sampling and upward revision method has been improved this year.

The revision has been carried out for reporting year 2017. This means that a new GDP level has been set for all three islands for 2017. Subsequently, changes in the value and the volume of GDP prior to revision were used to calculate new GDP values in both current and 2017 prices for the years 2012 through 2016.

For Bonaire and St Eustatius, the revision has led to a substantial upward revision of GDP in 2017: by 52 million and 34 million US dollars, respectively. The adjustment on Saba amounts to 1 million US dollars.

The reason for the major GDP revisions for 2017 is that the GDP was calculated in a completely different way before revision. In 2012, CBS determined the level of GDP for all three islands based on the sources available at that time. In the following years (2013-2017), GDP was calculated by putting the developments from the sources at the level of the GDP of the previous year. However, as the sources have improved significantly over the past six years, the level of GDP increasingly deviated from the sources. After the revision of GDP for 2017, GDP has been re-aligned with the levels of the sources.

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