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Minister of VROMI Doran Approves Airport Terminal Reconstruction Permit

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) recently approved the permit for reconstruction of the terminal building at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).

The permit immediately authorizes all necessary modifications to the super-structure to realize its renovation and optimal functioning.

“The reconstruction of our airport is long overdue, and I am pleased that we arrived at the turning point of signatory approval.

“Signing that building permit gives me hope of a swift return to a fully operational airport in the very near future,” Minister Doran said on Thursday.

The minister added that the permit enables the execution of necessary concrete and steel works, constructing of walls and rooms, installation of elevators, escalators, and stairwells and other tasks of similar nature.

Ministry VROMI Minister Doran during recent visit to PJIA

Minister of VROMI Hon. Egbert Doran (5th from left) during a recent visit to PJIA; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Mingo (4th from left), Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs (6th from left) and other airport, contractor, and board representatives.



Victorious Living Hosts Caribbean Stage At Lifestyle Medicine Summit on Wed

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Over 70% of deaths worldwide are related to non-communicable diseases (NCD) and they devastate individuals, families, communities, and countries’ healthcare systems.

Research shows that 90% of every healthcare dollar goes to treating people with chronic conditions. Moreover, 89% of those hospitalized with COVID had pre-existing conditions. Health care providers and patients are frustrated and agree that we need new evidence-based, innovative solutions proven to stop and reverse lifestyle-based chronic diseases.

Considering these startling statistics, Johannes Fisslinger, founder of Lifestyle Prescriptions University (LPU) has embarked on a commendable feat with his team to launch the virtual Lifestyle Medicine Summit which starts on Wednesday October 27th, 2021 until October 31st.

The Summit focuses on helping health care professionals to integrate lifestyle medicine in their practices so that more lives can be saved through prevention of chronic diseases; while helping health lovers to use the best practices to create healthy lifestyles.

Visionary of Victorious Living Foundation, Dr. N. Erna Mae Francis Cotton, and her husband Roy Cotton, Jr., host of the internationally syndicated radio show, Love & Inspiration, who studied Lifestyle Prescriptions Medicine Health Coaching at LPU have seen amazing results with the protocols learned at LPU. Consequently, they have teamed up with Fisslinger to host an interactive Caribbean stage at the Summit on October 31st.

The theme of the Caribbean stage is: “Making the Caribbean the Health Destination of the World.” The stage opens at 2:45 p.m. on October 31st with an introduction by the hosts Roy Cotton, Jr. and Dr. Erna Mae Francis Cotton; Talks by Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake, cardiologist at the St. Maarten Medical Center, Billie Sterling-Lewis, Counselling psychologist, Certified Life Coach, Author and Founder of EMPAC in Tobago, Honourable Priest Kailash Leonce, Visionary, Mount Kailash Rejuvenation Centre St. Lucia, and Dr. Arlene Rose Medical Doctor, Dermatologist, Author, Motivational Speaker, Jamaica. It all culminates with a panel discussion on what it will take to make the Caribbean the “Health and Wellness Destination” of the world.

You are invited to register for this free conference at by going to the health page. You’ll get: 90+ World-Renowned Researchers, Experts & Best-Selling Authors; 70+ TED-style Live Talks (100% content); 18 Premium Live Workshops; 9 Live Interactive Stages; spread over 7 Continents and 3 Languages (English, Spanish, Arabic).

Be a part of the change as together we revolutionize our health care system.

Caribbean stage speakers

LIFESTYLE Speaker showcase banner final2 1080




SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Leader of the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) Gracita Arrindell in a press statement on Sunday said: “A new political party was launched on the Constitutional Day October 10th, 2021. Regular Parliament elections are slated for 2024. The past, recent, and future shifts in our political arena demands a more active agenda of the Electoral reform ad- hoc committee comprising ten (10) of the fifteen (15) members of Parliament. Being elected to Parliament is a fulltime paid occupation.

‘The list of issues concerning electoral reform and electoral process preparations require the urgent action of this committee. These include however are not limited to the following areas of concern.

  1. Review/ amendment of the current election ordinance as it relates to e.g. the declaration of ‘independent’ members as proposed by Julio R Romney.
  2. Restoration of equal access to the voter’s registry for eligible political parties
  3. Improved privacy for voters list support.
  4. Reimburse fee to parties who do not win a seat in elections.
  5. Voting rights for students in the Netherlands.

Arrindell stated: “The issue of non-elected members who declare themselves ‘Independent’ with all consequences thereof, must be back on the Committee’s agenda.

“Mr. Julio R Romney presented to Parliament on several occasions his ‘draft election Ordinance Amendment Legislation that seeks to among others settle this long-standing concern of the voting population.”

Arrindell continues: “The second point of concern regards regaining access to the voter’s registry to All eligible political parties. Our Electoral ordinance (Kiesverordening AB no10.2010) stipulates that the Minister of General Affairs is charged with the proper maintenance of the voter’s registry, including persons eligible to vote. This registry is accessible electronically and includes information such as voter’s addresses and voting districts. The latter is important to have for the sake of effectively canvassing the voting districts. Prior to the enactment of the new electoral ordinance all Political parties received upon request and for a small fee, the voters list. In hard-copy later on a CD.

“In reality the Minister of General Affairs responsible for the Census office is or may be a candidate on a political slate, ‘privy’ to voter’s composition and location when all other political parties do not have access to same information. The Principle of Equality (gelijkheids -beginsel) in good governance is compromised. Review of the concerned regulation is warranted taking the privacy laws into consideration”.

Gracita Arrindell adds: “Thirdly, how can we improve the ‘signing of a party list’ process at the Census office? For example, greater privacy is needed of persons affixing their support for a (new) party to be able to participate in the next elections. Persons eligible to sign up for were not comfortable with the fact that one could see who signed which (party) list.

“Fourth issue concerns the reimbursement of two-thousand guilders (2000) Nafl. fee to political parties that won one (1) or more seats after an election. Contrary for parties who did not win one or more seats must return this total fee to the government coffers within a specified time. This requirement should be reconsidered. Political parties NOT acquiring a seat or more should be reimbursed. This reimbursement must go towards for example retirement of election-party debts and registered at the Electoral Council for transparency’s sake. Conversely, parties that WON should return the abovementioned fee to government coffers. This is fair, after all elected members move on to collect a full salary once appointed.”

The PPA Leader Arrindell further adds: “Last but not least, Sint Maarten’s students residing in the Netherlands must have the right to vote in Sint Maarten’s Parliament elections.

“In 2019 we made yet another plea to take necessary steps. Quote: ‘In the meantime we have constantly overlooked to secure the voting rights of the future citizens of Sint Maarten. Our students living in Holland must write out of the census in Sint Maarten and re-register at the municipality where they reside in Holland. Hundreds of students residing temporarily in the Netherlands, must be able to have a say in their future’. Our census information systems (with that of the Netherlands) are connected. This process can be reversed among others to allow our students in Holland to vote in Sint Maarten elections.

“The Minister of General Affairs (responsible for the census and for the minister plenipotentiary in the Hague, Netherlands) must make arrangements now to facilitate and formalize the voting rights of our students in the Netherlands.”

Gracita Arrindell concludes: “The ‘Sint Maarten House’ in The Hague can serve as the official voting location for our students in elections 2024. Between now and then is enough time to organize and correct this democratic deficit.

“Parliament’s Electoral Reform Committee must get off the slow-mode. The time is now time to debate and make the necessary changes to improve the integrity and transparency where lacking, in our electoral and constitutional processes,” the Leader of the PPA Gracita Arrindell concludes.


Prime Minister Jacobs & GridMarket discuss approach for affordable energy generation

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - In keeping with government’s strategic initiative to have Sint Maarten transition to clean, resilient, and affordable energy generation, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs met with representative of GridMarket on Tuesday, October 19, to discuss the first phase of approach where this project is concerned. 

This project is in collaboration with Island Resilience Partnership (IRP), the Ministries of General Affairs, VROMI, TEATT and Finance, as well as utility company NV GEBE. GridMarket is currently aggregating data and key information from government’s GIS system in order to put forth options for more sustainable energy for the people of Sint Maarten. 

Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “Several large areas have already been identified for this project and the recommendation is to have the production spread throughout the island. This will reduce the risk of having energy produced at one location such as the GEBE plant in Cay Bay. 

Sint Maarten is almost entirely dependent on imported oil, as such, it is imperative that we continue our commitment towards diversifying the market with options for renewable energy and a resilient infrastructure as outlined by SDG 7 - affordable and clean energy. By March 2022, we would be able to give a more clear indication as to what is possible for St. Maarten in order to provide more sustainable energy.” 

This transformation will align with the Build-Back-Better principle, allowing Sint Maarten to be resilient in the face of future natural disasters and accelerate its long-term climate mitigation and adaptation goals. All phases of this initiative, including final project bidding and vendor selection, will flow through the GridMarket platform.


Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset Joins the Fight in Eradicating Polio

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - World Polio Day is October 24, and the members of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset are taking action on this day to raise awareness, funds, and provide support towards the efforts of eradicating Polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.  Poliomyelitis (Polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. 

When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. While on St. Martin and many other countries Polio is just an “ancient” virus, there are still many that are contracting and suffering from this still very live virus. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus being Afghanistan and Pakistan, however, we remain committed to the end.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world while urging the community to help end the paralyzing disease. Eradicating Polio is a massive effort, therefore, the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset’s has launched an “End Polio Now Essay Competition”, for students in secondary schools. The theme for the essay competition is, "The Importance of Eradicating Polio". Essays are to be written in the English language with a word limit of 300 to 500 words. The essays must be sent in word document with the final date submission being Wednesday, October 20, 2021, via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This essay competition is for students ages 13 to 17. The winner will be announced on World Polio Day, Sunday, October 24th, 2021, via the club’s social media platform. Rotary Sunset strongly encourages the participation of our young people as they get an opportunity to win a table device while promoting the importance of eradicating Polio throughout the world.

 With Polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the Polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to Polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global Polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million. Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985, including donations by the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset.  

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to encourage the community to assist in eradicating Polio. Donations can be made at: These funds will help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. 

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset meets on the second and fourth Monday of the month at Carl N Sons Unique Inn and Conference Facilities in Cole Bay at 7:30pm. Due to COVID-19, the club currently meets via Zoom. The club can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the official Facebook page at


MP Duncan Launches Hope in Sight to Help Vulnerable Families

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Friday 22nd October 2021, Member of Parliament (MP) Ludmila Duncan launched her first annual Project: Hope in Sight. The initiative offers free prescription eye wear to children 16 and under whose families may be vulnerable, or cannot afford, to purchase glasses. 

“I started wearing glasses at 12. I can remember sitting at the bus stop in front of Academy with my friends when they pointed to someone down the road. It felt sudden, but I realized only in that moment that my vision was blurred. The next day in school, I struggled to see the chalk board from the back of the class. I remember feeling embarrassed about it,” recalled the MP.

Prescription eye wear on St. Maarten is known to be quite expensive. “I want to help those children who need it. There’s a saying that goes; if we share the same world, we should share the same vision. When my parents bought me my first pair of glasses, I didn’t think about how much they cost. Now I am quite aware of how lucky I was to get them," noted Duncan.

“There are children in our society struggling with vision impairment and losing the fight against preventable eye diseases because their families can't afford the necessary eyewear. If they can’t see, how can they learn? Project: Hope in Sight offers a helping hand,” concluded the MP.

Interested persons are asked to send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short bio of the child; name, age and contact info of a parent before October 30th, 2021.


As of November 1st, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer require a COVID-19 test

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley announced during press briefing that as of November 1st, 2021, fully vaccinated persons will no longer require a COVID-19 test to enter St. Maarten.

This will only be applicable for travelers that are fully vaccinated with the approved vaccines of the RIVM and the WHO organization. The Minister went on to state that this is something that the ministry has been monitoring for some time, and with proven research has decided to proceed in this direction.  

Research has shown that the viral load of a fully vaccinated person, who is infected with COVID-19, lowers much faster than a person that is unvaccinated. This means that while there are a few breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated persons, the chances of these persons spreading the virus or becoming severely ill is tremendously low.

The Minister stated that the vaccine allows your body to fight the virus once the infection moves from the nasal cavity and into the bloodstream. Severe illness is avoided by being vaccinated, as your body will be better prepared to fight the virus.

On St. Maarten, there is a recorded 1.6% death rate, in which 0.04% were fully vaccinated. A similar percentage is recorded for the number of fully vaccinated hospitalizations. “This shows that the vaccine is highly effective and we can move towards allowing fully vaccinated persons to enter without requiring a test” said Ottley.  

Minister Ottley announced that his short-term plan is to also develop the COVID-19 recovery Digital COVID-19 Certificate (DCC), which allows persons to register their past infections and show proof of natural immunity.

Please note that the requirements for unvaccinated persons remain the same, for further details visit the Government website. 

Please see List of WHO approved vaccines below:


Pfizer/BioNTech. (FDA Approved)

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)


Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP

Sinovac. CoronaVac.


President of Parliament Brison attends Parlatino Board of Directors meeting

SINT MAARTEN/PANAMA - On Saturday, October 16, 2021, the President of Parliament, Mr. Rolando Brison, attended the Board of Directors meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino) at the Parlatino Headquarters in Panama City, Panama.

The Board of Directors is made up of the full Board of Directors and as many Vice-Presidencies as member congresses, of which the Parliament of Sint Maarten, represented by the Chairperson is member (Vice President).

Generally, the Board of Directors meet at least twice a year; however, extraordinary meetings can also be held by decision of the Board of Directors.

As this was the first time the Board of Directors met in person since January 2020, many present expressed that Members are much more effective in their work in person considering that virtual discussions cannot be had that fully flesh out the topics, especially topics related to draft legislation.

The Board of Directors agreed that as of the next General Assembly the Parlatino Committee meetings will also resume in person.

The Committee Parlatino Matters of the Parliament of Sint Maarten will be requested to make a recommendation regarding a preferred date for the General Assembly that will be held in the first quarter of 2022 in Panama City.

Some Members of the Board of Directors took the opportunity during this meeting to give their colleagues updates regarding the COVID-19 situation in their country.

Many explained the different decisions that needed to be made with regards to vaccination, mandates and states of emergency.

The President of Parliament of Sint Maarten also made a suggestion to create an easier way for Members to find draft legislation.

This would also include legislation that has not yet been approved. His suggestion will be taken up with the secretariat of Parlatino and will be handled at the next Board of Directors meeting.

The Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino) is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising of delegates of the national Parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean.




Minister Richardson escalates a call for action to the Attorney General to combat reckless riders

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Having taken note of the senseless act of violence carried out by bikers on Friday, October 15, 2021, on a family, whereby a four-month-old baby suffered serious injuries to her head and eyes, after a group of bikers threw a rock through the rear window of the vehicle that she was in, Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson has renewed her call on the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Sint Maarten to take serious and swift action against all reckless behavior exhibited by riders of motorcycles and scooters on the island.

As a point of first action, Minister Richardson sent a communication to the Attorney General of Sint Maarten and Curacao; Mr. Ton Maan, calling for his attention to prioritizing this matter.

Minister Richardson also contacted the parents of the four-month-old baby on Monday, October 18, 2021, to offer her apology for the unfortunate experience and expressed that her thoughts were with the family during this time. “I’m grateful the baby is recovering well and that she’s said to be in good spirit,” said Minister Richardson.

It was in April 2020, soon after taking office, that Minister Richardson, because of the numerous complaints received from residents about the unabated nuisance experienced from bike riders while driving in traffic and residing in their neighborhoods, that the Minister indicated that a crack down would be set in place to combat bikers’ illegal activities.

Despite efforts from the Sint Maarten Police Force since then to address this matter, which have resulted in a number of successful confiscations of motorbikes and scooters, the problem remains. Minister Richardson finds it unfortunate to note that further activity to maintain consistency in this area is lacking.

The illegal behavior of riders of motorbikes and scooters continues to be a safety hazard for not only the law-abiding persons living in Sint Maarten but also for the illegal operators of said vehicles and it is for this reason that Minister Richardson is taking immediate steps to put a zero-tolerance policy in place to combat all illegal activities by riders of motorbikes, scooters, dirt bikes, etc. along with the unauthorized street races organized for these bikes.

In addition, the Sint Maarten police force has been requested to seek the cooperation of the authorities on the French side of the island, who themselves are familiar with the bodily harm that illegal riders can inflict on innocent persons as a result of their behavior, to discuss a joint approach to get illegal bikes off the roads.

Minister Richardson would like to reiterate that all persons making use of the public roads on Sint Maarten must adhere to the rules and regulations noted in our national traffic ordinance.

Far too many persons in the community have had the unfortunate experience of these riders who demonstrate an outlaw attitude toward motorists and despite being in violation of countless traffic laws, the reckless riders are quick to violently react to drivers despite being in the wrong. They constantly ride on the wrong side of the road. There is video footage circulating on social media of wheeling through and moving through traffic as these riders ensure to exhibit an attitude of being untouchable.

The community of Sint Maarten has been calling for action to be taken to deal with this matter and Minister Richardson has escalated the call to the Attorney-General to see to it that the Police Force of Sint Maarten receives the needed support to execute a joint action plan to address these lawbreakers.


Minister Lawrence: Construction to Begin at Princess Juliana International Airport

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) – This is a major milestone for the country, as today is the beginning, as we move towards a new outlook, we start to put the pieces together commencing with the reconstruction of the airport, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Roger Lawrence said on Monday.

Minister Roger Lawrence met with Airport Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Mingo and the reconstruction team of the Airport and Ballast Nedam and was provided with a project review and a facility walkthrough on Friday October 15th.

Ballast Nedam’s construction team was already on site preparing for the reconstruction to start in November. Mirto Breell, the Project Director at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), expressed that the construction portion of the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project will take a phased-planned approach over a two-year period, and is expected to be finished by mid-2023.

“As the reconstruction begins, we will not only focus on the construction portion but also focus on the guest experience. It is crucial that our guests coming to our country have a memorable airport experience, and this all starts with the people, what message are we sharing about country. This is key for our growth if we want to be the number one destination in the Caribbean. We all need to start saying it, believing it and living it,” stated Minister Roger Lawrence.

MinTEATT On the right Brian Mingo and Minister Lawrence during the walkthrough on Friday Oct 15

On the right Airport CEO Brian Mingo and Minister Lawrence during the walkthrough on Friday Oct 15.

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