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Brison initiates National Tourism Health Levy.

~Law still at council of advice, hopefully with parliament soon for approval.~

rolandobrison22032020PHILIPSBURG:--- Leader of the United People’s Party, MP Rolando Brison has initiated a National Ordinance introducing a Health Levy on all tourists. The law, which he drafted himself, codifies the existing mandatory insurance for arriving tourists but adds basic accident insurance. This codification, which aims to have the government’s SZV administer the insurance rather than a private company, also will bring much-needed funds to the SZV and by extension the coffers of the government.
“Tourism is all we have right now for our economy, and it’s important it remains protected. Having all tourists insured for both COVID and accidents will give peace of mind to all travelers coming to our destination, and in the event, any were to get seriously ill, the coverage could provide them emergency travel back home. This lessens the burden on our own healthcare system, leaving room for the treatment of locals” explained MP Brison.
The legislation, submitted to Parliament since November 9th to be sent to the Council of Advice, was classified by the initiator as with “urgent interest”, and can proceed to Parliament only after receiving their advice. “Every day that this law does not pass, means that the country is losing out on this expanded coverage for tourism as well as much-needed funds for the government and its already cash-strapped social insurance entity, the SZV. I’m hoping that the council can render their advice very soon, after which I give the “further report” as prescribed by law before handling it in Parliament,” stated Brison.
The law will be seamless in its implementation and is predicted to have a very little negative effect on tourists now that they have had more than a year of paying the fee. “The tourists seem to have gotten used to this fee, and it makes sense to make this a permanent feature enshrined in the national ordinance. Every time we think COVID is over and done with, another variant appears. While we are exiting a pandemic phase and entering an endemic, it’s important to be both financially and logistically to handle the unfortunate event of a tourist getting sick, or getting into an accident,” explained Brison.

WYCCF to organize Alzheimer's Support Group meeting this Saturday.

alzymersflyer13012022PHILIPSBURG:--- On Saturday, January 15th, 2022, from 5-6 PM, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation is organizing the first meeting of its Alzheimer's Support Group at the St. Martin's Home in St. John's. This meeting is specifically organized to support those who are currently providing care, have provided care, or are going to provide care to someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The WYCCF invites everyone in this situation to share, listen and learn through shared experiences. There will be very strict preventative Covid measures to ensure safety. Everyone will get the opportunity to share their experiences if they wish to do so or ask any question they might have to our healthcare professionals.

Alzheimer's is a challenging disease to cope with. To slowly lose one's abilities, which may result in losing the independence one had their whole adult life, can be difficult to accept. One gradually becomes more and more dependent on the care of others. In most cases, the family members take on the care. However, what may begin with light help, can become a full-time job. This gradually increasing workload often proves very hard for family members to keep up with. The caregiver might still have a job, and other responsibilities and, on top of that, may not be trained to provide this type and amount of care.

Besides the practical aspects, caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's can be difficult emotionally. Someone's personality can change; they can become angry or frustrated without apparent reason, or they no longer trust the persons that were always the closest to them. To see a loved one slowly but steadily changing like this, seemingly without anything you can do about it, can be a heavy burden to carry.

Many persons in this situation greatly benefit from some form of support. This can be asking a question to an expert, learning from others going through the same situation, or simply getting some things off your chest. It's important to realize that you are not alone and don't have to go through this alone. For persons who have gone through this experience in the past, it can help to talk about it. On the other hand, it can be of great value for those at the start of this journey to hear what they can expect and how others cope with specific situations. There will also be an expert present, which you can ask any question that you might have.

For this reason, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation starts with the Alzheimer support group meetings, of which the first one will be this weekend from 5 to 6 PM in the St. Martin's Home at St. John's Estate Road #6, Cul-de-Sac. Masks and social distancing will be required to ensure a safe environment. In this first meeting, the main aim will be to get to know each other and establish agreements to create an open and safe environment to share our experiences.

The WYCCF stands for quality care, and this meeting is an excellent example of what we mean by that. We're not only looking out for the immediate needs of the client. But we also look at how we can improve the client's environment and the people around them. Because the care for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia doesn't stop when they leave the WYCCF at the end of the day, it is essential to support the people around them. To take on this type of care can be a heavy responsibility, and it can become hard to provide care if they're not doing well themselves. Therefore, supporting these persons is an essential part of delivering quality care.


New Baggage Handling System for New Airport Terminal of St. Maarten.

mirtobrille13012022Simpson Bay:---  Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company (PJIAE N.V.) completed yet another milestone in the selection process for the new Baggage Handling System for the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project. A bid opening committee for the Equipment Package convened at the construction site office, to systematically open the electronically submitted bids on January 11, 2022, at 3:00 pm.

The bidding process attracted international interest and resulted in the submission of bids ranging from US $5m to US $18m. Three (3) major bids were submitted to the Project Management Unit (PMU), which presides over the bidding process. Submissions were forwarded by companies which included Alstef Group (Canada/Caribbean), ULMA (Spain), and G & S Airport Conveyor (North America).

The bidding process is being performed according to the World Bank procurement regulations. The bidders were required to submit their bids on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, before 2:00 pm. The submissions were opened under the supervision of Baker Tilly, an independent Auditor, contracted to ensure integrity and compliance under specific guidelines.

The project consists of eight (8) packages to be procured which include a mix of one (1) Works Package and seven (7) Goods Packages. The Main Works contract has since begun and is now followed by this Equipment Package bid for the supply of the new Baggage Handling System. Based on the project’s timeline, the upcoming milestones include the bid evaluation which began on January 12th, 2022, and the contract awarding which will be fulfilled by February 2022.

PJIAE N.V. encountered a devastating hurricane period in 2017 and the Managing Board is determined to complete the reconstruction development. The completion of the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project is scheduled for 2023.

The funding for the reconstruction was attained from the Government of St. Maarten through the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank (WB). It is managed by the Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resilience Trust Fund. The proceeds from the Trust Fund and the EIB were provided as loans by the Government of St. Maarten to the PJIAE N.V. Meanwhile, the disbursement of the loans is administered by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB).

For detailed information regarding the St. Maarten Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project, online users may visit the Airport’s website to access the “construction” tab at


Minister Samuel Recognizes 2021 Most Valuable Player of Dutch Baseball’s Hoofdklasse Denzel Richardson.

samueldenzil13012022PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):---  On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Rodolphe Samuel, presented a plaque of recognition to 2021 Most Valuable Player of Dutch Baseball’s Hoofdklasse Denzel Richardson.

Minister Samuel in his presentation of recognition stated: “Now that you are here visiting for a few days, we have been reading about your success. I want you to know that you are an inspiration to many—especially the youth of Sint Maarten.

“Your ability to stay positive regardless the challenges. Staying focused and being disciplined are some of the messages we hear from you.

“Today I would like to let you know that Sint Maarten is proud of you for the way you carry yourself. We appreciate the way you represent yourself and Sint Maarten.

“Denzel Richardson, you said you want everyone to know your name. So, to everyone, I would like to say this is Denzel Richardson, a son of the soil of Sint Maarten.

“Our very own. Denzel I would like to wish you continued success and continue to make yourself proud and, in doing so, also make us proud.

“So, on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten, also on behalf of myself as Minister of Education Culture, Youth and Sport and specifically the Department of Sport.

“I hereby present to you this plaque to remind you that Sint Maarten appreciates you and stands with you as you move from success to success,” Minister of Sports Hon. Rodolphe Samuel concludes.

Sports Department Conversation

“After being named the 2021 Most Valuable Player of Dutch Baseball’s Hoofdklasse, the Department of Sports had a conversation with local baseball great, 28-year-old Denzel Richardson.

“In the conversation he spoke of his journey in baseball, his struggle with anxiety and how introspection has made him a better player and a better man.

“Denzel first signed with the Colorado Rockies minor league affiliate, at the age of 17 years. It was then that he began to understand the business of baseball and that although one’s performance may be good, opportunities may be few and far between.

“Infrequent play began to weigh heavily on his mind as he felt a constant pressure to perform - and not knowing how to cope, he became unpleasant to work with.

“After four years with the Rockies organization, and another year spent in an Independent League, Denzel decided to move to the Netherlands.

“Feeling distant, even ostracized from his team those first couple years, Denzel did something that would turn everything around – he asked the question, “what am I doing wrong?”

“The constructive criticism he received was humbling and Denzel began to actively work on himself.

“Learning to control what I can control, no longer trying to impress people and changing certain habits have made life much better and has restored my passion for baseball,” Denzel said.

“The two times Hoofdklasse Best Hitter, the 2021 Most Valuable Player and European Champion has crossed off several major milestones he set for himself and credits his parents, the late Marius and Edith Richardson as his driving force.

“Denzel with his newfound purpose, now mentors’ youth in the Netherlands as a mindset coach on being the very best versions of themselves and aims to do the same here on Sint Maarten.”

Economic Controls conducted today to ensure compliance of COVID-19 protocols.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Economic Affairs conducted several controls today January 11th, 2022 to ensure the protocols in place to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 are respected by members of the community and businesses.
Inspectors conducted controls on the following businesses: Supermarkets, barbershops, and Salons, some 38 controls were conducted. The inspectors found 32 businesses to be compliant, while 6 business establishments were not compliant. Three warning letters were issued, while verbal warnings were given to 3 businesses.
Inspectors found that there are non-compliance at bars, bar staff was not wearing masks, and supermarkets had no signage.
While all supermarkets were found to have staff wearing masks and or customers wearing masks and had hand sanitizer available for public use.

Public Transportation – January 11, 2022

· 17 buses controlled along Pondfill Road, Philipsburg. (This is the AM shift, the PM shift is still on the road so numbers are pending until tomorrow).
· 6 written warnings were issued for non-compliance with COVID-19 Regulations
· 1 fine for violation of Motor vehicle inspection Ordinance – approximately ANG250
· 1 fine for violations of Passenger Transport Ordinance – approximately ANG1, 300

Night Control January 10, 2022

Controllers controlled island-wide from 2300

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