SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament (MP) Claudius “Toontje” Buncamper, leader of the USP faction in parliament, fired off a letter to Minister of VSA, the honorable Richard Panneflek, congratulating the minister and his ministry for the progress being made in combatting the COVID-19 and the planned role out for the vaccine, the USP parliamentary faction office said in a press statement on Thursday.
“The MP outlined his concerns with the number of people who are uncertain about taking the vaccine after reading in the media that 15 elderly persons died after taking the vaccine in the Netherlands.
“The MP requested that special attention be given to our seniors, particularly as it pertains to providing information about their health risks and the facilities and services available to them.
“MP Buncamper strongly recommended that the ministry provide an explanation to the seniors regarding the cause of death of the 15 elderly recipients of the vaccine in the Netherlands, as there is no room for fear due to lack of credible information.”
“If we are counting on the vaccine to provide the protection it is intended to provide, then we must ensure that those in position do so by providing credible information to the public” MP Buncamper wrote in his letter to the minister. “We need to get our economy back up and running and one way to do so is to create an environment in which our community is protected. That protection can be achieved by getting everyone vaccinated.”
That MP is of the opinion that “if we protect our community and lower the risk of our residents getting infected and spreading the decease, we increase the economic opportunities for our people and, sooner rather than later, be in a position to freely welcome visitors from the US, Canada, Europe and the region back to the friendly island.”
MP Buncamper asked the minister to provide a timeline in which he intends to have the population of St. Maarten, registered and unregistered, vaccinated, and to provide insight into the source from which the Netherlands is purchasing the vaccines.
He expressed his surprise to read in the daily papers of Wednesday February 10, that a collaboration agreement was signed between the countries in the Caribbean Netherlands regarding medical care particularly with respect to medical care at hospitals in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.
The MP stated that while he applauds the collaboration within the Kingdom and favors a relationship in which the countries and entities support each other, he wonders if this agreement has any bearing on the country packages and the COHO which, thus far, are pending handling and approval by parliament.
“If this is the case, the impression is created that government expects parliament to rubber stamp the proposed packages and entity, which is starting to become habitual, thus creating an impression that the democratic parliamentary rule is slowly deteriorating.” MP Buncamper stated in his letter.
“It was agreed that the Prime Minister would come to the house of parliament and explain the law and the country package in detail, but the Prime Minister has not been forthcoming with this commitment, while in the media reports the impression is given that the government is proceeding “like no body business.”
MP Buncamper revealed that “The country packages still need to be properly worked out and vetted by the stakeholders” and wonders what are the consequences if these signed agreements should the parliament deviate from the proposal currently on the table? Buncamper questioned the role of SMMC in this agreement of collaboration that was recently signed and awaits the minister’s response to his questions and concerns.