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PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Prime Minister and Minister General Affairs the Honorable William Marlin following a briefing on recent activities of St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) was presented the annual report and audited financial statements 2016 for the Foundation.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Do you often find yourself living paycheck to paycheck? Would you like to change you and your family’s financial future by living at your highest financial potential? Then this workshop is for you!

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing an interactive and informative Workshop entitled “Acting in Your Best Interest: How to Manage Your Money and Live at Your Highest Financial Potential.” The general public, especially parents of primary and secondary school children, are invited to attend.

Parents, school personnel and other interested persons are encouraged to come out to this workshop which will be held on Wednesday 7th June, 2017 at the University of St. Martin from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

The objective of the workshop is to help all attendees understand the importance of budgeting, saving, debt management, and why proper financial planning and investing has become a necessity. Attendees will receive tips and strategies that can be utilized for their personal and family finances.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Actual pension reforms in St. Maarten are one step closer to being implemented, following the signing of an agreement between the general pension fund administrator, APS and St. Maarten’s Finance Minister, Richard Gibson Sr.

The agreement was signed on Friday last, at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, as a major highlight of the APS 2017 pension seminar, held at the same venue.

Signing on behalf of APS were APS board officials, Mr. Franklyn Richards and Mr. Guilliano Saturnilia. “The agreement as reached between St. Maarten’s general pension fund, APS and the country’s minister of finance is part of the process on pension reform which has been ongoing” says APS board chairman Franklyn Richards. He added that the agreement specifically takes into consideration the need for structural changes to the pension plan, which would make it more sustainable.

This latest agreement contributes significantly to the overall sustainability of the pension fund - one of the drivers of the pension reform initiative, according to Richards.

The signing of the agreement comes after several aspects related to the pension reform project have been mutually agreed upon.

“Since participants of the APS fund are entitled to a lifelong pension, as stipulated by law, APS is required to have a minimum amount of funds always available. This pension provision makes sure that APS would be able to meet its financial obligations to all its participants, when that time arises”, notes the APS chairman of the board.

The agreement takes into consideration aspects such as longer life expectancy and the actuarial return. These may have a substantial negative impact on the financial position of the pension fund thereby limiting the fund’s ability to meet its legal pension obligations.

The signed agreement entails that the government of St. Maarten will inject capital into the pension fund if the financial position of the fund is threatened, because of the aforementioned factors.

Discussions preceding the agreement carefully looked at the life expectancy of participants.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – The Central Committee will meet in a session on May 19, 2017. Civil Servants of the department of Legal and Judicial Affairs, Ombudsman and Parliament advisor Mr. Ralph Richardson will be present.

The Central Committee meeting has been set for Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is:

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – The Central Committee will meet in a session on May 18, 2017. The Minister of Finance will be present.

The Central Committee meeting has been set for Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.


The agenda points are:

  1. Draft national ordinance amending the national ordinance supervision of banking and credit, the national ordinance monitoring insurance business, the national ordinance monitoring stock exchanges, the national ordinance supervision of investment institutions and administrators, the national ordinance monitoring trust, and the national ordinance insurance broking business (National Ordinance monitoring, updating and harmonizing Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten).

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Section Economic Control Inspection Service of the Ministry Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), will continue its program for the monitoring of the prices of popular consumables in local supermarkets and grocers.

The new approach is part of the 2017 Year Plan of the Ministry.

The objective is to expand the current monitoring to include more consumer items across a wider range of supermarkets and grocers on the island.

It is expected that with this new approach, the prices of close to 300 consumer items will be monitored.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Over 250 Young Professionals were informed about filing taxes on (Dutch) St. Maarten via Livestream.

On Saturday 6 May 2017, USC hosted a Young Professionals Tax Workshop in collaboration with our partners Meijburg & Co. Caribbean and KPMG DC&S. The University of St. Martin collaborated as well by offering the use of its facilities. The workshop, facilitated by Mr. Quincy Lont, Tax Manager and Ms. Nicole Echobardo, Tax Assistant at Meijburg & Co. Caribbean was geared towards Young Professionals on island in need of information about the tax system on St. Maarten." height="3" width="3">"For those of us returning to St. Maarten from Europe and in particular from the Netherlands, we are faced with reverse culture shock. As far as taxes are concerned we are faced with the challenge of moving from a digital automated platform, to a paper-based system.

CASTRIES, St. Lucia The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC), in collaboration with St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), will host its premier annual event: the Chief Executive Officers and Finance Conference at the ‘Sandals Grande St. Lucia’ from 16th to 19th May, 2017, in Saint Lucia. The Conference, which will feature the theme: “Movement: Utilities, People, Technology and Investment”, will be welcoming over one hundred and fifty (150) CEOs and CFOs from utility companies and organisations in the energy sector across the Caribbean, Central and Latin America. Many of these delegates will be arriving a few days earlier to enjoy the “St. Lucia Jazz” scheduled for May 11th -14th, 2017.

This Conference focuses on the key components which facilitate the ‘movement’ of utilities towards a new paradigm, through a process of change and transformation and explores how utilities are leveraging human capacity, technology and investments in this regard, particularly as it relates to renewable energy and climate resilience. It is timely because it will address, in a fundamental way, a number of the key elements for success in the energy landscape, and so, CARILEC welcomes its full, associate and affiliate members as well as other interested parties, to this tremendously important forum for knowledge sharing and networking” said Dr Cletus Bertin, Executive Director, CARILEC.

A cadre of industry leaders will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics which include: “CARILEC’s Climate Change Adaptation & Sustainable Energy Programme”; “Electric Vehicles”; “Emerging Business Models for Utilities”; “Developing Load Profiles for Peak-Dependent Operational Planning Applications”; “New Power Generation Strategies for the Caribbean”; “Building Energy Efficiency and the Utility Investment Model”; and “Integrating Sustainable Technology to Build the Sustainable Utility”.

CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS - All children need to be able to participate; social, with sports, culture and at school. That is important for now and for the future. This is why the Cabinet has decided from this year until the year 2021, to make available 1 million euro extra per year to give each and every child on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius opportunities. That way children can participate if there is little money at home.

Organizations that have good plans to help children, can apply for grants. With the money they receive, for example, they can ensure a healthy meal at school, swimming lessons for children whose parents would not be able to pay or for example for music lessons or a musical instrument. This applies to not-for-profit organizations with a legal incorporation, such as schools, foundations, churches and associations. Also, next year the possibility exists to apply for grants.

Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour, would like this way to ensure the money directly reaches the children. It can only be spent on items such as school supplies, subscriptions, sports clothing or music lessons for children. "Every child does matter. It should not matter how fat the wallet of your father or mother is in order to be able to participate, “said Klijnsma. We must therefore ensure that children get the things they need to grow up."

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Section Economic Control Inspection Service of the Ministry Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and

Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), has carried out a number of controls of business establishments such as bars in various neighborhoods regarding the level of music.

Businesses have been advised that they must comply with the regulations and laws as stipulated in their licenses and permits. 

Those who do not comply, the department will be forced to issue fines and warnings with the final measure being the revoking of licenses and permits by the Minster of TEATT.

The law allows for businesses to have music up to a maximum decibel level.  A decibel is a unit of measurement that indicates how loud a sound is. 

Humans can hear sounds between 0 and 140 decibels. Zero decibels does not mean that there is no sound, merely that we cannot hear it.  Zero decibel is the so-called hearing threshold for the human ear.

One can hear more than 140 decibels, but it is too painful for the ears and if you expose yourself to such a loud noise, you are at extremely high risk of permanent damage to your hearing.  

Section Economic Control has received a number of complaints especially in built up areas, and is addressing these with the establishments by suggesting to them how to mitigate the sound issues, and for them to abide by what is stated in their permits.

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