From left: SEA Vice Chairman Jude Houston; Chairman Virgilio Brooks; Treasurer Herman van der Camp and Acting Secretary Pieter Lucas (file photo).
PHILIPSBURG–The Soualiga Employers Association (SEA) is calling on Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs to break down the details of the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO in layman’s terms.
SEA said it understands and agrees that there is a need for socio-economic reforms for St. Maarten’s growth and economic prosperity. “Even though the reforms presented under the COHO may provide such, the SEA believes that … the lack of consultation with civil society and the fast-tracking of its implementation, which has undoubtedly bypassed legal instruments, established policies and key institutions, has created a void in the understanding, confidence and guarantee of the COHO in itself,” the association said in a press statement on Thursday.
“SEA’s perspective is that the desired growth and prosperity of our households, businesses and the country in general, have been compromised due to the lack of consultation, information, proper dialogue and even the current setup and conditions of the COHO. As it relates to the conditions, clarity is needed as to whether the financing of these reforms would be covered by the government of St. Maarten on its own or through loans and grants provided by the Netherlands. If it is through the government on its own, then given its current financial position, these further cement SEA’s call for a guarantee on the fruition of the COHO. Furthermore, our position as St. Maarten, given our demographics and recent economic turbulence due to natural disasters and otherwise, should also be taken into consideration in drafting the reforms and conditions thereof.”
The association said it would be imperative that before any formalisation of the entity, the mentioned phases, processes and conditions should be revisited and considered, thereby creating a level of confidence and acceptance.
“SEA’s core aim in this plight is to ensure that our people and businesses are positively impacted,” noted the association. “Given the current developments and status of the draft COHO, SEA, therefore, is calling on our prime minister to address the nation and explain what we are really looking at in layman’s terms. Our people, our business sector, labour sector and households need to know.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/sea-calls-on-jacobs-to-break-down-coho-in-layman-s-terms