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ODM: Stage being set for Busy Hurricane Season. Time to Check/Restock Your Disaster Supply Kit.

PHILIPSBURG(DCOMM):--- On Tuesday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting an above-normal season being caused by an ongoing La Nina and warmer-than-average the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea surface temperatures, setting the stage for a busy season ahead.

For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six (6) to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three (3) to six (6) major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, said on Tuesday appeals to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and let’s ‘Be Prepared’ for the hurricane season.

ODM calls on residents to review the content of their Disaster Kit and to start restocking it with the essentials that are necessary to ride out the hurricane season.

Every household’s Disaster Kit should be able to support members of the household for a minimum of seven days after the hurricane has passed.

The Disaster Kit should contain non-perishable food, water, and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); a non-electric can opener; a first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); battery-powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license, insurance papers in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.

Your Disaster Kit must also include hand sanitizer, a soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

Now is the time to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure, and the latter are working.

For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay at family or friends.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – SXMGOV 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!


GEBE staff sends letter to Dutch State Secretary, Prime Minister Rutte and 2nd Chamber.

ATTN: Secretary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Ms. Alexandra van Huffelen
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mr. Mark Rutte
Tweede Kamer der Staten te The Hague , Netherlands
Recherche Samenwerkingsteam, St. Maarten
Team Bestrijding Ondermijning, St. Maarten
General Public, St. Maarten

Date: May 24, 2022,

 Subject: Utility St. Maarten GEBE

 Dear Ms. Alexandra van Huffelen,

In solidarity, we the employees of GEBE extend a courtesy visit to your Excellency during your visit to the island of St. Maarten. The reason for this invitation is to express great concerns regarding the imperiling situation within the company. The elected Government officials have remarkably failed this country by appointing Mr. Egbert Doran as the Minister of VROMI and have allowed him to continue serving in this capacity despite the overt unlawful activities that have violated the constitution of this country. The sole utility pillar as once known is totally destroyed and on the verge of bankruptcy. The Minister together with his appointed Board of Directors, Temporary Manager Mr. Merrill Temmer and the destructive nonproductive Internal Auditor Ms. Sharine Daniel are the key players behind the demise of the company.

 Primarily, the Minister of VROMI had NO knowledge of the Ministry whatsoever and made a mutual agreement with the Secretary-General Mr. Kurt Ruan in exchange to have his life partner Ms. Sharine Daniel appointed as CEO of GEBE. Orderly, the Minister selectively appointed family and friends to the Board of Directors totally disregarding the advice from the Corporate Governance Council.

The impending CEO Ms. Sharine Daniel has over 9 years in the company and has NO knowledge of its internal operations and processes but has been adamantly disrupting the development of the company as an Internal Auditor. In the wake of her destruction, Daniel plans to use all strategic innovation initiatives from previous directors once appointed as CEO to justify her extension. Daniel also has No technical knowledge nor does she possess the accounting attributes according to her STILL questionable qualifications. She has been publicly headlined for falsified credentials, dishonesty towards career employment, and leaking of confidential information from inside GEBE and SZV to a specific media outlet. The former Temporary Managing director Mr. Mauricio Dembrook received advice from the company H.R. manager and Law firm BZSE Attorneys at Law to appeal the case against Daniel as evidence pointed out that the results of the case were influenced by a number of external factors. The appeal was blocked by the appointed Board of Directors whose main directives from the Minister of VROMI was to immediately terminate Mr. Dembrook and block the petition to protect the CEO candidate as the truth would implicate her.

These great efforts were made by the Minister to extend his political career during the next parliamentary elections as Daniel is the only corrupt candidate to this date that is willing to leverage the Hope Estate property in exchange for a 5-year contract as CEO. The Minister is also desperately trying to herd voters and plans on doing so by using the promised company asset in the form of a housing project for his campaign in the coming elections. During last week's press briefing, the general public discovered that the Board of Directors removed all warning letters Sharine Daniel received for misconduct and breach of contract from several former Managing Directors and Board of Directors. This was done in an effort to elude the screening process and guarantee her the post as CEO.

Similarly, the impending COO Mr. Merrill Temmer former Manager of ICT is the main cause of the ongoing situation in the company as he failed to protect the company servers that encompassed decades of clients' information and financial records. Temmer and Daniel have been the architects of destruction over the past few years. Both have collected handsome salaries, bonuses, and allowances but have been nothing but nuisances to the company. In the wake of her destruction, Temmer joined forces with Daniel and was the main person responsible for the leaking of confidential information and consistently distracted the former Managing Directors from rebuilding and rebranding the company’s image. In the plot of evil, both Temmer and Daniel miscalculated their steps and failed to deliver competitive solutions to the company’s internal network. With Gross negligence and incompetence being their main falter, Daniel as Internal Auditor failed miserably to audit Temmer as ICT Manager because of their entangled friendship. While on the other hand, Temmer refused to implement the instructions he received from the former Managing Directors to protect the company servers. To date, neither candidate has been able to solve the ransomware problem and has been very reserved in trying to avoid the shortcoming scandal they very much publicized on other directors. If Daniel and Temmer can’t solve this problem imagine what the future of this company is going to be like. These acts of evil have caused the company millions of dollars and to date neither has been held responsible or terminated by the Board of Directors or Minister.

The Minister of VROMI and Board of Directors have violated the Articles of incorporation, Constitution of the land, and Kingdom. These acts are totally unlawful as all parties are considered accomplices and need to be immediately removed from their post. Moreover, such acts demonstrate great nepotism, cronyism, and corruption inside the company.

Your Excellency, social media is the only medium of freedom where our voices will be heard as the Prime Minister continues to recuse herself and turn a blind eye despite the blatant acts of transgressions. Our future is bleak and none of the elected officials are doing anything. Hence the reason why you are our only hope in making the right decisions for this company. Day by day the threats and oppression from Daniel is becoming unbearable and is affecting our mental state. PLEASE help us by intervention and officially order an investigation into this madness and put an end to this once and for all. It has been going on for far too long and they need to be permanently removed from the company. Enough is enough. Help us bring back tranquility and appoint the right innovative minds to transform GEBE into the utility company it should be and no longer a political playground.

 

Yours sincerely
Staff NV GEBE

Ministry VROMI Commences with Pruning of Mangrove Trees on Wednesday.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), announces that from Wednesday, May 25, 2022, until May 30, 2022, work will commence with the pruning of the mangrove trees in the area of the Prins Bernard Bridge followed by the area around the Sucker Garden Road.
The work will take place during the hours of 9:00 am – 11:00 am, when there is less traffic in the aforementioned areas.
Signs will be placed along the roadside, and a traffic control person will be present to guide the traffic flow accordingly.
Pruning and windowing will be done to reduce obstruction and enhanced views for motor vehicles.
The overall objective of this project is to enhance the area and create optimal safety for motorists.
The Ministry of VROMI encourages motorists to exercise vigilance and keen observations of the traffic signs and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Turnout doubled for the 3rd edition of WYCFF Alzheimer’s Support Group.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Last Saturday, May 21st, 2022, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) organized the third edition of its Alzheimer’s Support Group meetings at the St. Martin’s Home in St. John’s Estate. The meeting was specifically set up to support those who have or had a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The meeting once again saw more than double the number of attendees compared to the last time.

Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be very hard. It can become increasingly time, and energy-consuming as the person’s capabilities slowly decrease. It is also emotionally challenging to see the personality of a loved one change, which can lead to confusion and sometimes aggression. Many caregivers also have other responsibilities like full-time jobs and a family, which leaves little to no room for relaxation, social engagement, or me-time.

There is room for sharing, listening, and asking questions during this meeting. Talking and listening to people who understand what you’re going through because there are going through the same. This sympathy and understanding can be a huge relief because not many persons in your direct surroundings often may fully understand your situation.

This meeting focused extra on providing information and the opportunity to ask questions to a professional. Dr. Ilse Kelbrick, a psychiatrist, specializing in elderly care, was present in the meeting and answered the many questions that all participants had. Questions ranged from medication use to the difference between the types of dementia but also best practices on how to deal with persons in difficult situations.

After the meeting, all attendees expressed that they were very happy coming to the meeting. Many personal experiences were shared and met with understanding and recognition. Even after the session officially ended, many stayed behind to chat and enjoy a snack and drink. All attendees are also added to the WhatsApp group chat dedicated to this topic. Through this group, the attendees can find each other, support each other, and advise and educate each other on relevant Alzheimer’s and dementia information.

The WYCCF is delighted with the turnout of this event. We know that the physical and mental health of a client depends on more than just the care that we can provide. The home situation and the people around the clients are by far the most significant factor. It’s very difficult to provide good care for a loved one if you’re not doing well yourself. And therefore, it is our vision that providing education, support, and a listening ear to these persons is a vital part of quality care. This project is an excellent example of how the WYCCF aims to do this.

 

The next meeting will be held in two months. The exact date and time will be communicated via the WhatsApp group and to the public via (social) media. We also want to thank Dr. Ilse Kelbrick for spending her free Saturday evening answering all questions of the attendees, as it was very much appreciated.

 

Insurance sector proved resilient to the pandemic.

~Outlook: CBCS concerned about growing vulnerabilities~

Willemstad/Philipsburg:--- The insurance sector of the monetary union delivered a stable performance in 2020, despite the severe Covid-19 shock. The solvency position in both the life and non-life insurance sector remained well above the regulatory minimum imposed by the Centrale Bank van Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS). The overall profitability of the sector also improved in 2020, however, the CBCS remains vigilant about growing vulnerabilities. The Financial Stability Report, published by the CBCS, addresses the market structure, regulations, and latest developments but also describes the main vulnerabilities associated with the local insurance sector1.
The solvency position of the insurance sector improved for the non-life sector while remaining stable for the life sector, emphasizing the soundness of the local insurance sector. The surplus excess, which is the portion of the capital in excess of the regulatory minimum, reached NAf.121.8 million for non-life and NAf.155.9 million2 for life in 2020. The sector accounts for approximately NAf.3.9 billion in assets which translates to 15% of the total financial sector. Despite its small size, the insurance sector is dominated by a few large institutions while the remaining market share is highly fragmented.
The outlook for the life insurance sector is slightly negative due to further premium decline, as life insurance has become less affordable and less attractive for the policyholders. Moreover, policy cash-outs are expected to continue due to unfavorable economic conditions, while sensitivity to market risk has increased as local investment opportunities are scarce and international financial markets are highly volatile. In addition, a new actuarial interest rate framework will provide an anchor for insurers to amend their pricing mechanism to suit the current environment and safeguard the long-term resilience of the sector. The short-term outlook for the non-life insurance sector is stable, however, the CBCS is concerned about the rising under- or even uninsured properties in the monetary union. The premium increase has also been observed in the non-life sector, as reinsurance companies adapt their prices on the basis of higher losses due to more frequent catastrophic events.
1The insurance sector report is based on the most recent available data, which covers 2020, in accordance with current legislation. An outlook for the short- and medium-term sector developments is incorporated to address this shortcoming.
2 Ennia is under the emergency measure and is therefore excluded from the solvency calculation.
The CBCS also recognizes that the 60/40 investment rule can pose a challenge for insurance companies. As local investment opportunities are scarce, insurance companies are steered towards local banks to deposit their excess cash. This drives interconnectedness between insurers and banks which has been identified as a medium of risk transmission. The CBCS will be reassessing the 60/40 rule.
The complete text of the Financial Stability Report is available on the CBCS-website at www.centralbank.cw/publications.


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