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SER Curaçao presents annual report 2019.

sercuracao26102020WILLEMSTAD:--- The Social and Economic Council of Curaçao (SER) presented today its annual report for 2019 to the government of that island. Prime Minister Eugène Rhuggenaath received the first copy from the acting chairman of the SER Mr. John Jacobs and the general secretary Mr. Raul Henriquez.
The annual report 2019 stresses the importance of joining forces and effective cooperation between the social partners to overcome major emergencies, such as the COVID-19 crisis.  The responsibility for management in this time of severe crisis does not rest solely on the shoulders of the government. Employees, employers, and civil society, who are represented in the SER, have an equally important role to play. It is important to jointly build on the foundations laid down in established framework documents such as the Growth Strategy and the Growth Agreement of Curaçao as well as on the priority topics identified in the Cabinet's Bridging and Reform Programme and the proposed national package for Curaçao. In addition, the notion must be embraced that balanced economic growth and reasonable distribution of income can be achieved by joining forces and effective cooperation based on well-founded choices and sound agreements. This strengthens the basis for the prosperity and well-being of future generations", according to the annual report of the socioeconomic advisory body of the leeward island.
However, in these uncertain and unprecedentedly challenging times, the above requires a radical change in mentality. Instead of continuing to waste unnecessary energy on the standstill, delay, and also the panic that COVID-19 has caused, it is from the point of view of realizing a balanced and harmonious socioeconomic development more effective to join forces and work together for renewal and progress. Serious opportunities and possibilities that present themselves must be seized with both hands to increase Curaçao's resilience and reduce vulnerabilities".
The annual report for 2019 of the SER Curaçao can be downloaded from the website:

MHF receives $500 donation from Rotary Club of Sint Maarten Mid-Isle for new website.

rotarymidislemhf26102020PHILIPSBURG:--- The foundation is pleased to announce a charitable contribution in the amount of $500, - from the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten Mid-Isle to help modernize its website and introduce the new brand identity. This project serves to help improve the quality of care by allowing us to better support our clients and persons interested in Mental Health.

This soon-to-be-revealed new website will provide our existing and future clients with the tools to access our care services much more easily, as well as educate our community on Mental Health related topics in an understandable and visually attractive way. The aim is to prevent the escalation of mental health issues by making the steps to seeking help simpler and more accessible for all.

Sint Maarten Trust Fund Supports Education and Child Protection Systems.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Child Resilience and Protection Project, a new US$5 million project funded by the Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resilience Trust Fund, has been approved. The Trust Fund is financed by the Government of the Netherlands and managed by the World Bank. The project was developed under the leadership of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport (MECYS) and will be implemented by UNICEF the Netherlands. It aims to strengthen the capacity of Sint Maarten’s education and child protection systems to respond to the needs of children and adolescents.

It is critical to support the psychological well-being of Sint Maarten’s children, teachers, and parents following natural disasters and global health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Strengthening the Child Protection System will safeguard children who are particularly vulnerable to abuse and trafficking during chaotic periods following natural disasters. The project will also support schools to be better equipped to respond to disasters.

“Supporting communities’ psychological well-being is an important element of long-term disaster recovery and resilience. This project was designed to strengthen the systems that keep children safe, support teachers and parents, and improve the disaster preparedness of schools,” said Michelle Keane, World Bank Program Manager for the Sint Maarten Trust Fund.

With the collaboration of the MECYS, the project will build on existing Government strategies and programs. UNICEF the Netherlands and MECYS will provide comprehensive psychosocial interventions at the school, family, and community levels. Together with MECYS, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA), and the Ministry of Justice (JUS), the project will strengthen the Child Protection system on Sint Maarten to consolidate and protect children’s rights. The preparation phases for strengthening the Child Protection system and disaster risk management capacity building in schools have already begun.

“The children of Sint Maarten continue to face hardships caused by circumstances beyond anyone’s control,” added Marieke Roelfsema, Project Manager at UNICEF the Netherlands. “Now with the coronavirus pandemic, it is even more urgent to support children and their families. Together with the Government and civil society partners, we are addressing children’s needs by strengthening services and capacity on Sint Maarten.”

CBCS is upgrading to the next generation of payments.

Willemstad/Philipsburg:--- The world of technology is rapidly advancing and is affecting more and more aspects of our lives. This also includes the way we do our daily payments such as groceries, gas, electricity bill, etcetera. Electronic payment is an essential part of our lives and our national payment system is the foundation of a healthy monetary economy.

The Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) owns and operates the National Automated Clearing and Settlement System (NACS2) that regulates the traffic of payments between the local banks of Curaçao, Bonaire, and Sint Maarten.

Currently, our NACS2 system is being upgraded to the newer version NACS3 to comply with the next generation of payments technology, in particular, the ISO 20022 payments standard. Furthermore, the new system contains some important improvements that will enhance the functioning of the system.

The ISO 20022 payment standard is the new payment standard for cross-border and domestic payments messaging. It creates a common language and model for payment data across the globe. One that provides higher quality data than other standards, which means higher quality payments.

With regard to the introduction of the new system, the CBCS offered this month of October a virtual NACS3 user training to the commercial banks of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and Bonaire. During this training, the participants were introduced to the new NACS3 system and informed of the major changes compared to the current system. The participants also had the opportunity to simulate transactions to practice.

The upgrade of the system is mainly technological and will improve the payment infrastructure according to the international payment standards. It will have no direct implication for the public in general.

The NACS3 system is planned to go live on November 9, 2020.


Suspects in Seabass investigation pretrial detention extended.

~ Julian Lake got 30 days extension~

PHILIPSBURG:--- The two suspects that were arrested in the Seabass investigation appeared before the judge of instruction on Friday. Both suspects remain in pretrial detention.
The first suspect that was arrested is Julian Lake a civil servant that worked in the IT Department then in the cabinet of the Minister of TEATT at the time of the arrest. The judge of instruction granted the prosecution their request by extending the pretrial detention for 30 days.
Michael Dijkhoff the head of the Government IT Department appeared for the second time, he too will remain in pretrial detention for another 8 days.
The two other suspects that were arrested have since been released while no other arrests have been made.

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