#Providenciales, April 20, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – There are 4 important initiatives I think the government should embark on. All of which are extremely beneficial to this country and local businesses in the nations capital “Grand Turk”. But the most important issue pertains to the perceived lack of support for our local Marine branch.
Here are the initiatives:
- Public beach access near passenger loading zone, annex Carnival cruise center.
- Improvement of sanitation services on south beach.
- The need for a proper public ramp at south dock.
- A permanently stationed Marine vessel in Grand Turk.
On the behalf of the boat operators and concern citizens alike in Grand Turk, we are making a public plea for a marine vessel to be stationed here.
We understand the Government has austerity measures in place due to other capital projects, nevertheless, I think the welfare and safety of citizens should always be high priority for any government.
I have personally sent letters to the past and present respective government departments addressing these concerns. There has been discussions but little to no action taken.
We have a dedicated team of individuals working in our marine branch in Grand Turk, they just need the proper tools and resources and to do their jobs.
It’s No fault of their own. I have seen them up on south beach doing the jobs of local law enforcement and regulatory departments. Such as, confiscating illegal sale of alcohol, dealing with vendors over arguments with chairs, etc.
That should be No, No..their expertise should be much better utilized.
There is a host of benefits to government allocating a decent vessel just for Grand Turk and Salt Cay, and having a more robust marine branch.
- First of all, it will provide a means of transportation for rapid response in case of an emergency or a serious illness with our fellow citizens in Salt Cay.
- Secondly, it will help with the enforcement of DEMA and Fisheries regulations and protecting our marine life.
- Thirdly, it will helps to support the local boat operators especially in search and rescue operations not to include, Interception of Poachers and boarder protection.
Their presence alone in our waters is a show of force and added protection for cruise ship passengers embarking on our shores. On any given day, when the cruise ships are in, we literally have thousands of sunbathers on the beach or in our waters. Many of them stray in non swim zones with no security, available marine patrol or DEMA presence to assist if needed. This is a huge safety concern.
Boat tour operators are required to pay annual fee for radio licenses for each vessel. If there is no readily available marine rescue vessel, what’s the purpose or the value?
What are we waiting for; something drastic to happen before reacting?
It goes beyond just what can the government do for the people or boat operators. It’s common decency and making public safety and security a priority.
With Tourisim being our bread and butter particular in Grand Turk and Salt Cay, we need to be more proactive with matters of this nature. It’s not rocket science. What we have to do is start holding the folks we elected to represent us much more accountable. They were placed in office to be the voice of the people and this is an area where they have failed us miserably in Grand Turk.
For those who may not have been made aware, there has been a number of various serious boating incidents occurring right here in Grand Turk. I can name a hand full of them. There needs to be a paradigm shift in how we look at Grand Turk in terms of resource allocation, how things use to be and the growing demand for change. Still quaint, but Grand Turk is no longer a small sleepy town. Criminals and weapons are entering our boarders which ever way they can. We can not and should not stand by idol or turn a blind eye. Wake up my people!
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.
At this meeting Cabinet:
- Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
- Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
- Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
- Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
- Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
- Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
- Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
- Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
- Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
- PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
- PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips
- PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
- PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
- Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
- Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
- Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)
Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.
The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.
In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.
S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.
However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.
Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”
TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.
Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.
Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.
Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”
Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.
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