PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In an urgent letter to be sent to the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication, the Hon. Arthur L. Lambriex on Monday, May 22nd, 2023, MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten will submite a number of questions to the Minister seeking clarity on his process or plans to issue new transportation licenses.
“Knowing that a moratorium was put in place for transportation licenses in 2014, I was very surprised to receive news from within the taxi sector that people are being approached by the Ministry to register for a license application. Taking everything into consideration, I am very concerned about the consequences that this process might have for the current taxi drivers who are already having difficulties making ends meet.
The Minister should be aware that globally, there are important geo-political shifts ongoing. The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South-Africa) are expanding and considering introducing an alternative to the US dollar. This might have far-reaching and potential negative effects on our already fragile tourism economy, which we should be preparing for. That is why the timing of this license issue, in the middle of the low season, has me scratching my head”, the MP said in a press release on Sunday evening.
Heyliger-Marten stated that when it comes to people’s livelihoods, it is important for the stakeholders to be consulted in a timely manner, and Parliament to receive facts and figures about what exactly is going on. “As representatives of the people, Parliament needs to urgently receive clarity on the status of the “hulpchauffeurs” and how their positions will be regulated, according to the MP.
“Another crucial question is what exactly will replace the moratorium, if anything, and how this will affect all stakeholders involved. I therefore hope that Parliament will receive the answers to these and other questions as soon as possible”, Heyliger-Marten concluded.