SHARING THE LOVE: SF treats women in Westmoreland
Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of April 10, 2022
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Welcome to Lynk, your digital wallet!
Access to, and use of financial services will be made easier with the use of the digital payment wallet, Lynk.
Digital payment wallets are the platforms used to facilitate transactions of the Bank of Jamaica’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The CBDC is a digital form of central bank-issued currency and is legal tender that can be exchanged dollar for dollar with physical cash. Jamaica’s digital currency is called Jam-Dex, which stands for Jamaica Digital Exchange.
Lynk is currently the only approved wallet provider of the BOJ’s CBDC and is available through the National Commercial Bank (NCB).
Chief Executive Officer of TFOB (2021) Limited, a subsidiary of NCB Financial Group Limited, Vernon James, said Lynk is just like using regular cash, except it is in a digital form.
“Lynk will be everywhere, it’s easy to use, you’ll be able to use it in all the ways you use money now, except you don’t need to go to get it. You don’t have to go and get cash; you can just use it. It’s contactless, phone mostly…” Mr. James said.
He noted that the company has done its due diligence to ensure that the platform is safe. “Lynk is as safe as any other electronic platform, but in particular, the very best. What you would expect from an NCB platform in terms of safety and security, you will get that with Lynk,” said James.
We need all hands to fight crime, says security minister
Solving Jamaica’s crime problem requires a working partnership among the police, communities, and stakeholders across all sectors of society, says Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang.
The minister emphasized Jamaicans need to recognize that taming crime cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Dr. Chang, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, argued that crime impacts the productivity of several sectors, including tourism, and is a major cost to the economy.
“This is where the summit comes in. Crime becomes everybody’s problem [as] it affects all of us and not only collaterally by direct criminal activity,” he said. “It impairs the productivity of the society… it also impacts the economy [because] although we see expansion of the hotel sector, when you get high levels of violence and illegal activities, significant levels of investments will pass you by.”
From monarchy to republic will take some time
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Minister Marlene Malahoo Forte said Jamaicans can be excited but should exercise patience as Jamaica moves to transition away from a constitutional monarchy to a republic.
She noted that the transition will take time as there are certain procedures to follow in undertaking the constitutional reform process.
Minister Malahoo Forte advised that the change could not be made in time for the country’s 60th anniversary of Independence in August. “The Constitution sets out its own process for amendment and we cannot deviate from it. The commitment of Prime Minister… to transition Jamaica away from a constitutional monarchy is one that will be kept, but I know persons are wondering whether we will have it done in time for the celebration of Jamaica 60. Unfortunately, the procedures set out in the Constitution will not permit that timing to be met.”
The Minister explained that there are deeply entrenched reform issues that have to be addressed, noting that the process has to be carefully sequenced. A two-thirds majority vote in each house is required plus a referendum, where the electorate will also have their vote on the issue.
She further noted that there is a requirement of a three-month period between the date when the Bill is tabled in the House of Representatives and the commencement of the debate.
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Little London to get $175m police station
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has broken ground for the construction of a new police station in Little London, Westmoreland.
The facility will be built under the Ministry of National Security’s Project Rebuild, Overhaul, and Construct (ROC) initiative, which is aimed at making police stations islandwide, modern and citizen-friendly workspaces.
Construction of the police station, which is set to commence this financial year, will be done in collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT), which is funding the project at a cost of $175 million. It is expected to be completed in two years.
Mr. Holness noted that the facility is another major investment by the Government in infrastructure for the island’s police officers. The Prime Minister emphasized that the Government is making national security a priority, as they continue to make significant investments in the area.
“No other administration, in any other period in the history of Jamaica, has spent more than this administration has on national security. From my vantage point, the investment is already bearing fruit,” he said.
Woodpark in St Mary gets satellite Internet
Woodpark is the first of several communities in St. Mary Western to receive free public Internet from satellite, under the Universal Service Fund (USF) public Wi-Fi hotspot programme.
The service, which became operational on March 30, is being provided by ReadyNET.
The USF has opted for satellite Internet service for Woodpark, due to inadequate fibre-optic infrastructure. Satellite allows remote, rural communities instant access to high-speed Internet.
Nine other communities in St. Mary Western are slated to have similar systems installed during the month of April, with three of the sites to offer free access.
All nine locations will offer prepaid service from ReadyNET, where members of the community have the option to purchase data packages once their free allocation is exhausted.
Member of Parliament for the area, Robert Montague, in his remarks at the official commissioning ceremony held at the Woodpark Community Centre, implored parents and guardians to “watch the content” that children are exposed to while online. “I ask parents not to leave the children alone to surf the internet without providing guidance,” he said.
GENEVA – History has shown that some of the most dangerous periods of pandemics come when life returns to normal too soon. A century ago, a premature “all clear” helped the second wave of Spanish influenza claim far more lives than the first, after a more virulent strain emerged. Today, many G7 and G20 countries are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and shifting their focus away from pandemic response to pandemic prevention and preparedness (or to other issues entirely). But until every country achieves its national vaccination target, we cannot know whether we are out of the woods.
Avoiding COVID-19 complacency
By José Manuel Barroso