Soualiga News

Soualiga News (2160)

MP Lake fully agrees with WITU President Claire Elshot that Government has to do what is necessary to make the NIPA work

PHILIPSBURG – Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake said on after the parliamentary session that as a “…representative of the people and as an educator, I am very concerned with what is happening at the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA).  

“The school needs an intermediate intervention by Government to dismiss the Board based on the National Ordinance establishing a regime for secondary and vocational education and the Government subsidy agreement.  

“The Board seems to continue to be keep making the same mistakes over and over again with the current students.  Based on the National Ordinance articles, establishing a regime for secondary and vocational education, states "The Minister has to dissolve in case of serious neglect of duties by the Board or is in operate in violation of the laws and regulation authorized to provide for the administration of the institution and, if necessary, the public body.  

“Another article states that the Board shall report annually to the Minister on the work. The report shall be made public.  To date, the Board has not met the Minister or any of the deadlines, articles of the National Ordinance, and they validate the programs at NIPA.  Imagine after 18 months, zero students graduate with a valid diploma from the school.  

“The Department of Education is still in the process of validating the programs at NIPA.  This only demotivates the students who have high dreams and goals of getting their degree from NIPA. This is simply amazing. NIPA started in 2014 with 288 students enrolled in the different programs and by 2015 the school only has currently 64 students in which 127 had originally registered. Within the six weeks since school started the number keeps dipping where some students don't show up or don't come on a regular basis. 

“The Board has six law suits against them whereby two persons already won their court cases which includes the former Managing Director of NIPA which they fired because he invited dignitaries to an Open House.  I would like to know where the Board is getting this money to pay for these unnecessary law suits?  Is this money coming from the Government Subsidy which is ear marked for NIPA educational programs? If yes, this is financial mismanagement by the Board.

“What happened to the evening nursing classes where the majority of the students stopped attending classes which also I think the Board should do the honorable thing and compensate these students for false expectation by the school.  After a year attending classes they were informed by the school that they should be working in the field and to take the course in the evening.

“This only creates false hope and expectations for the students and that’s why it is high time these Foundations and Government Owned Companies start following the rules and the laws based on good governance and go through the corporate governance council by presenting a profile of each board member.

“I fully agree that most of these articles of incorporation of these institutions need to be reviewed based on integrity, transparency and accountability.  We have to start holding Ministers and Board members accountable for these type of situations. Government and the Education Inspectors have to step up to the plate and use their powers and enforce the law on these institutions before it reaches so far, and start putting the right qualified people in the right positions instead of putting friends on these boards.  

“The Minister has to enforce the law and can't go by signing Memorandums of Understanding with the current NIPA Board, who has failed miserably in providing quality education and a sense of direction for management, staff and students.

“In closing, as WITU President stated, we shall not let the institute fail but structure it correctly with the right vision, mission and purpose of the school.  ‘Prior planning prevents poor performance.’

“We have to establish a strategic plan for NIPA and create opportunities for students from the neighbouring islands such as Saba, Statia and Anguilla can also attend classes.  The NIPA school has a lot of potential for the future and we should dissolve the current Board and put new Board members with a vision to bring back hope for the students attending NIPA,” MP Maurice Lake pointed out. 


11 Permanent/Ad Hoc Committee Meetings scheduled for Friday for the appointment of Chair and Vice Chair

PHILIPSBURG – There will be 11 Permanent/Ad Hoc Committee meetings of Parliament on October 2nd. Soualiga Newsday will carry these meetings live via its Video Feed of House sessions.     

The Committee meetings are set for Friday, starting at 9.00am and with the last committee scheduled to start at 10.40am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda for all committee meetings of Parliament is the appointment of the Chair person and Vice Chair.  Each committee will meet in session for 10 minutes. 

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.


Pond Fish could be Poisonous; Public requested to refrain from consuming pond fish

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) is advising the public not to consume any fish from the country’s ponds. 

The Nature Foundation over the weekend issued an alert concerning tilapia fish die off in the Great Salt Pond.  In the meantime, the aforementioned Foundation and the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) have been working to ease the serious drought situation that has been impacting the water levels in the ponds.

Over the weekend, based on reports received, individuals were seen catching fish from the Salt Pond for possible human consumption.

According to the Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department from Ministry VSA, the Salt Pond fish could be poisonous, and residents/visitors should refrain from eating fish from the Salt Pond or Fresh Water Pond

Fish poisoning symptoms can occur anywhere from two to 12 hours after eating fish. Symptoms include: abdominal cramps, diarrhea (severe and watery), nausea and vomiting.

Residents and other persons are strongly advised to leave the fish alonedo not take them home to cook or to be sold to others as the fish are not fit for human consumption. 

The Nature Foundation during its recent drought surveys of the Great Salt Pond, took various soil samples in order to test for a wide spectrum of heavy metals and the results returned were positive for nickel, zinc, arsenic, lead, cadmium, copper, chromium and other heavy metals.

The main threats to human health comes from some of the aforementioned heavy metals that can cause cancer and may also result in organ poisoning to those exposed to the heavy metal.

CPS is once again advising individuals not to consume or sell any fish from the Great Salt Pond or the Fresh Water Pond. 


Follow-up Information Session Wednesday evening at the Festival Village

POND ISLAND - A follow up information session creating Business opportunity in the St. Maarten Festival Village will be held this evening Wednesday September 30th, 6:30 pm in the conference room upstairs in the Festival Village.

This program is aimed to stimulate entrepreneurship and more usage of the Festival Village while offering vendors the opportunity for selling of drinks, foods, arts & craft etc. The vendors in this program will be allowed to have booths, tents or tables for vending.

SOG who manages the venue would like to encourage persons within our community to get involved in this program.

The weekday program will be open on a daily basis throughout the entire month from Monday thru Sunday during normal working hours. In addition to the weekday program, the Festival Village will also be hosting live entertainment at every last weekend of each month.

There will not be no entrance fee charged to enter the Festival Village and the entire population is urged to get involved by visiting & supporting our local vendors and promoters.

The management of the Festival Village is urging small entrepreneurs to take advantage and register for this opportunity for vending of food, drinks, arts & crafts etc. during this program.

Registration forms can be picked up at SOG office at the Festival Village on weekdays between the hours of 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Call 5430506 for more information on the weekday program.

Be a part of this program and the opportunity that it offers with great business perspectives of being your own boss.  


UPDATED: Prosecutor drops certain conditions against Online Blogger J.R. Case goes to court October 21st

PHILIPSBURG - In the case of the 40-year old woman J.R., on Tuesday afternoon the Public Prosecution Service issued a press statement stating that the Judge of Instruction followed the request of the Prosecutors Office to suspend the pre-trial detention against J.R.

“The Prosecutor’s Office dropped certain special conditions, which means J.R. is no longer obliged to cooperate with the Probation Department, neither with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

“The remaining conditions are that she is still not allowed to contact the people that pressed charges against her, that she needs to be available for police and justice and that she cannot commit new crimes.

“J.R. is summoned to appear in court for the two most recent crimes on the 21st of October. The other cases are still under investigation,” the press statement concluded.

ARCHIVE: PHILIPSBURG - On Monday September 28th 2015, at approximately 08.35 a.m. under orders from the Public Prosecutors Office, the 40-year-old woman J.R. was arrested for violating the conditions of her suspended pre-trial detention.

The conditions were set by the Judge of Instruction on the 6th of July 2015. One of the conditions is that she should not commit new crimes.

J.R. is suspected of offending an attorney and a police officer in public. J.R. will go before the judge of instruction on Tuesday. (Public Prosecution Service)


Preventive controls carried out at Airport

SABA (Caribbean Netherlands) - On Thursday, September 24th, 2015 the The Korps Politie Caribisch Nederland (KPCN) and the Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar) conducted a preventive control at the airport on Saba.

The audit focused on illegal weapons possession and was implemented under the authority of the Arms Act BES.

All persons, including their items of luggage, who were at the airport in a space provided for arrivals and departures, were searched. The control was randomly conducted on both arriving and departing passengers.

Because of the preventive effect, the two services indicated that they will continue this kind of control. KPCN and KMar were satisfied with the control results and the cooperation received. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Public Invited to NV GEBE Information Session in Simpson Bay on Tuesday and Wednesday in Cole Bay

SIMPSON BAY/COLE BAY – The community of Simpson Bay, Beacon Hill, Pelican, Cupecoy and the Low Lands are invited to a NV GEBE information session on Tuesday, September 29.

The information session is being organized as part of NV GEBEs efforts to continue to improve services to its customers by engaging them in the aforementioned and at the same time providing information regarding the company.

The information session is being held at the Sister Regina School in Simpson Bay from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

An additional information session is scheduled for Cole Bay on September 30 at the John Hodge Hall (Methodist Church).  It will take place at the same aforementioned time and residents of Cole Bay, Almond Grove, and Cay Bay are also invited to come out for this informative meeting.

Residents will get the opportunity to learn from department heads about new projects and what the company is doing to continue to improve services to the customer and the community at large.

The information session also allows those in attendance to ask various questions to the NV GEBE Managers and department heads. 

Managers and Department heads will give presentations about current services such as billing cycles; payment of bills; important information for seniors 62+; the reading of electricity bills with respect to kilowatt hours and the fuel clause; the new electrical and digital water meters; street lights; the electrical production facility; trenching and much more.


Watch out for Sunday’s Rare Supermoon Eclipse. Won’t be back until 18-years later

SINT MAARTEN – According to the U.S. Space Agency NASA, throughout human history, lunar eclipses have been viewed with awe and sometimes fear.  A total lunar eclipse happens when the full moon passes through the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow.

This event took place 33-years ago and after Sunday, September 27, it will not happen again for another 18-years.

The moon will seem larger, closer and brighter than usual.

Sunday’s supermoon eclipse will last 1 hour and 11 minutes, and will be visible to North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific.

The supermoon can be seen after nightfall on Sunday, and the eclipse will cast it into a shadow beginning at 8.11pm EDT.  The total eclipse starts at 10.11pm EDT, peaking at 10.47pm EDT.

The Sunday lunar eclipse will be fourth and final eclipse happening at six-month intervals.

The supermoon is also referred to as the blood moon because of the reddish hue it takes.



Robert W. Croes appointed to Board of financial supervision Aruba (CAft)

ARUBA - The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom approved the proposal of drs. Robert W. Cardenas as a member of the Board of financial supervision Aruba (College Aruba financieel toezicht CAft).

Mr. Robert W. Croes has over forty years of experience as a businessman and has a background in business and administration. Mr. Croes serves on various supervisory boards. In addition, he is active in various organizations within the Aruban society.

met de LAft en de voorgedragen leden van het CAft. Het CAft bestaat naast voorzitter prof. dr. Age F.P. Bakker op voordracht van het Koninkrijk, uit drs. Robert W. Croes op voordracht van Aruba en mevrouw Sybilla M. Dekker op voordracht van Nederland.

The State Ordinance Aruba temporary financial supervision (LAtft) was adopted on August 27th, 2015 by Aruba Parliament. Subsequently, the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom agreed on the LAtft and the proposed members of the CAft on September 4th. Next to the President Prof. dr. Age F.P. Bakker, upon recommendation of the Kingdom, the CAft consists of drs. Robert W. Croes upon the recommendation of Aruba and Mrs. Sybil M. Dekker upon recommendation of the Netherlands.

The Board is visiting Aruba on September 25th for further acquaintance and to give content to various action points arising from the Latft. (Cft)


SZV conducting Customer Satisfaction Survey

PHILIPSBURG - Social and Health Insurances (SZV) in collaboration with JS Consulting Services announces the start of its Customer Satisfaction Survey this week, as part of SZV’s Action Plan 3.0.

The survey forms part of the core of SZV’s Action Plan, creating a more efficient and customer friendly environment.

Data-collection began on Monday, September 21 and will continue for approximately 3 to 4 weeks. The survey's target group includes SZV insured persons, healthcare providers and business owners.  

Research Coordinator, Julio Romney will be assisting SZV with the collection and analysis of the data surveyed. SZV staff members will also be distributing and collecting the surveys and will be on-hand to provide any additional assistance that may be required.

The survey, which takes only a few minutes to complete, is designed to measure customers’ sentiments about SZV schemes, service and quality.

          SZV is appealing to the public of St. Maarten to participate in this survey, as their input is essential                               to improvement of its customer service.

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