#TurksandCaicos, April 21, 2021 – It was an announcement long past due for thousands of Turks and Caicos Islanders who learned on March 1 they would benefit from the millions of dollars which had been set aside for cash support during the Coronavirus pandemic. No hurdles to hop, no rivers to cross because the only qualification this time around was being a citizen of the country.
It was a landmark move and a rare occasion which gave the indigenous people of the territory a feeling of advantage; and it was credited to the quick work and empathy of the newly elected Washington Misick administration of the Progressive National Party.
“Less than six (6) weeks since taking office and four (4) weeks since approving this program, I am pleased to say that over twelve thousand (12,000) persons have been able to benefit from this programme with cheque distribution having begun on Friday, 26 March, 2021.
This was no small undertaking as it required the careful consideration, time and effort of a number of key stakeholders across government including the support of my Cabinet and House of Assembly colleagues, but most importantly the operational support of my Finance Team that did an excellent job in the roll-out delivery of this programme,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade in a statement on April 9.
On the two month anniversary of winning 14 of 15 seats at the polls, Misick and his team would have another popular announcement reach the masses, via a government issued media statement. It extended the Citizen’s Relief $1,000 cash grant programme from wrapping up on April 25, to instead conclude with cheque distribution and delivery of some cheques to the end of June.
“To ease the congestion at the various TCI Treasuries and reduce the wait time for collection, approved citizen relief stimulus recipients are advised of the following amendments that have been made to the cheque distribution process: Extension of the date for collection of grant payments. The final day for collection of Citizen Relief Stimulus cheques will be on 30th June 2021,” informed the Ministry of Finance.
The requirement for in-person collection of cheques made the already super-sized undertaking, a mammoth venture logistically and it got complicated for the Finance Team when the in-person requirement during cheque distribution could not be met by qualified and approved applicants.
For some individuals, they were trapped abroad caught in the UK lock down. For others, medical treatment and urgent matters out of country prevented an in person pick up of the waiting cheque within the given timeframe. In the case of the inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, a system had not yet been agreed on how those qualified would secure their cheques and others who were simply unable to bear the long lines due to health constraints or illness; all of which represented reasonable scenarios which left hundreds out.
The PNP Administration went on record to say the purpose of the cash stimulus was to get the $1,000 into the hands of citizens of the country, to exhaust the approved $14.5 million to support residents who suffered economically over the pandemic.
“Recognizing the negative impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had on our islands over the last year, my government in its second but first substantive Cabinet meeting on 1st March 2021 approved the payment of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to all eligible Turks and Caicos Islanders and British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) that have been residing in these islands during the last twelve (12) months,” said Premier Misick in that April 9 statement commending his finance team.
“For this, I express my profound thanks to the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the Permanent Secretary of Finance, Mrs. Athenee Basden and Deputy Secretaries, Mrs. Shonia Thomas-Been and Mr. Stuart Taylor; the Director of ITT, Mr. Andre Mills and his team for leading on the development of the application portal and all technical requirements; the Director of Statistics and his team for providing review and vetting support; the Accountant General, Mr. Hemant Sinanan and his team for their work on the payment and distribution system, as well as support provided from the Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams, the staff of Revenue Control Unit and Customs Department on the roll out of the programme.”
Despite these efforts, there continues to be extreme lines at the Treasury’s Office in Providenciales and the department has now publically acknowledged the need to make some allowances.
“For applicants who are seeking medical treatment overseas (along with persons who accompanied them), subsequent to their citizen relief grant being approved, the cancelation of the stimulus cheque will be delayed up to the earlier of the applicant’s return to the island or three months from the date the cheque was printed.
Applicants who fall within these criteria would be required to submit a written request along with supporting documentation to the email@example.com email address.”
In those cases, the Treasury Office informed: “The supporting documentation would include, but not limited to the following: Copy of travel itinerary departing and returning to and from the TCI; Medical documentation to support claim of overseas treatment; Name of Applicant and Citizen Relief Application number.”
For those, unable to physically make the journey to pick up the waiting cheques; the Treasury Office again demonstrates a willingness to have them benefit from the program.
“Citizen Relief Stimulus recipients who are disabled or confined to their home (in Turks & Caicos Islands), the Treasury will be providing a cheque delivery service to the applicants’ home. To utilize this facility approved applicants are asked to make a written request, for the delivery of the cheque to firstname.lastname@example.org. The request must include the following:
a copy of the approved applicant ID; application number; phone number and address for the cheque to be delivered.”
Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP
#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders. Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence. It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off. He was unable to secure that much backing. A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed. It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts. However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role. Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.
TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.
“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.
The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.
In the first, a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.
We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.
The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.
The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.
Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.
A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.
Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.
Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:
- Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
- if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
- Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.
The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.
Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights
#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.
Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.
Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present. Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.
Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.
Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.
Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.
Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.
Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.
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