Follow the BES islands Strategy

The MinFec called me on Saturday, she read my column and was especially touched by readers’ comments and wanted to assure me and the readership that the leadership of this country is in good hands, women with heart and courage, who have been working tirelessly, making many personal sacrifices, to help pull us over the hump, by making the tough decisions.

She assured me she was not starting fires among allies, but true to her reputation as the Charming Minister, conducts negotiations with just one goal in mind, to support her people in hard times.

I totally believed her, and would like to take a minute to acknowledge these daily/nightly TV performers from the various departments, mostly women, who do their best to instill confidence and inspired calm.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts

The thank you to the medical and support staff, excellent specialists, nurses, lab techs, pharmacy workers, DVG, handling this tsunami. You are admired and appreciated.

The MinFec also mentioned an ongoing string of meetings with experts, and I just wanted to add that I would feel better if she added business people to the mix, owners, such as Eduardo de Veer, Eddie de Veer, Rik Timmer, Warren Stanley, Frans Ponson, Kenneth Ponson, Ronnie van Trigt, Rene Kan, all bankers, AHATA representatives, to support the capable Nilo Swaen who perhaps economist not sure.

We would love to see people with real business experience, for a TWO PRONG approach, one team for survival and one for recovery (more about that tomorrow)

Teams of smart, professional people with real business experience.

We cannot burden the Minister of Tourism, Health & Sport and the Minister of Transport, Communication & Primary Sector with this herring, because their life experience hasn’t prepared them for a crisis of that magnitude, sure they are handsome, ambitious, educated, and the members of the right party, but we should use other criteria now, for the drivers of our bus, Hellen v/d Val? Jossy Lacle? Aruba has a good arsenal of brains in the private sector.

First things first:

We need to move now on the international loan, and move yesterday with a plan to hand in to the Netherlands for assistance.

Curacao is seriously working on a plan and many Caribbean islands already published what they are about to do, preventing companies from going under, helping employees



This is exactly what the Netherlands is doing, and I talked about it before. Curacao is also pushing this agenda, and we shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, we should join the party.

For those who lost 100% of their revenue, GOA pays 80% of employee salaries. This will save hotels, restaurants, retail shops and laundries from going under. Employers will keep their employees. The BES islands will be granted that arrangement and Aruba should lobby for that too. 

If GOA stick to its plan of individual Awg 950 subsidy, it encourages companies to let their employees go.

QUESTION: Why don’t we follow a true and tried strategy?

It is too time consuming to try invent an alternative strategy, why not follow a tested recipe??>
We have no time.

We will be in hot water within three weeks when people have no money to buy food, including the illegals invisibly living among us.

What is Aruba’s approach? When will it be implemented?

And from the rumblings on social media, I see that there is little communication going out to those affected. GOA must communicate before people take drastic actions.

Free economic advice from a highly regarded professional: For this type of challenge you need the people from statistics, belastingdienst, AZV, SVB, some smart people who understand numbers, and you start modeling /calculating per sector how much the sector will be affected (100%, 80%, 50%), salaries and expenses and how much should be covered by GOA. You do this per sector which will bring you to a magic number required to cover expenses for the next months.

So far here, we saw the ministers and the parliamentarians talking about taking a salary cut, and may we gently add the suggestion that they should be paid according to the number of days, they actually show up for work, because some rarely do!



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March 30, 2020
Rona Coster