SHARING THE LOVE: Sigma 2023
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 January 8, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Feeling stressed, talk with someone, urges PM
Jamaicans are being implored to take care of their mental health and to seek help if overwhelmed, depressed, or unable to cope. The advice came from Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his address to the nation on New Year’s Day.
“Find someone to talk to. We Jamaicans tend to think of ourselves as tough, ‘tallawah’, able to take on and defeat challenges greater than ourselves,” he said. “However, over time, this tough attitude has led to an ineffective response to personal and social trauma in our lives.”
The Prime Minister noted that the two-year disruption in routine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had “untold and yet-to-be-understood impacts on mental and physical health and social behaviours”.
He lamented that violence has become a normalised response in Jamaicans’ interactions and called on citizens to make a change in the new year, in this regard.
“We can change this by making a resolution, this year, to be gentler with one another, kinder to each other, more forgiving and more loving,” said the Prime Minister.
Fathers of newborn now up for paid leave
Paternity leave with pay for fathers of newborns in the public sector and adoption leave for parents adopting and bringing a new child into the home are now in effect.
These leave entitlements for the public-sector workers took effect on January 1. Both categories will be entitled to 20 working days’ leave with pay.
The increase of paid maternity leave from 40 days to a period of 60 working days with pay, is also now in effect.
The changes are the result of the current public-sector compensation review, which is intended to overhaul the structure of salaries and other emoluments in the public service.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr. Nigel Clarke had announced the changes in July 2022, which are being facilitated by updating the Public Sector Staff Orders of 2004
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Early start for renewal of road licences this year
The Transport Authority will begin motor-vehicle examinations on Monday, January 9, in preparation for the renewal of road licences that expire on March 31, 2023.
The early commencement of examinations is to facilitate the timely submission of road licence applications come February 1, 2023, which is the start of the 2023/24 road-licensing period.
The Authority said that the early start of motor-vehicle examination is also part of the entity’s thrust to provide convenient and efficient service to customers.
“Under this facility, licensees are not required to pay the motor-vehicle examination fees upfront, as the fees will be collected upon submission of their applications for renewal of their road licences,” it said.
The Transport Authority is also encouraging customers to take advantage of the online application process using their debit or credit cards to avoid congregating at its offices.
Customers can also request the delivery service being offered.
For further details, persons may contact the Authority toll free at 1-888-991-5687, customer care 618-0959 or visit the website at www.ta.org.jm.
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‘We are a good force,’ says police chief
Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson has charged members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to approach the new year with optimism and a solution-driven approach.
“If we are a good Force and only getting better, that becomes our mantra, and if our personal mantra is our lives are good and only getting better and we repeat that, that becomes the basis of how we move and how we do things every day; it means that where there are problems, what we are looking for are solutions, and where there are challenges, we see these as opportunities,” he said.
The Commissioner gave the charge while addressing the JCF’s annual devotion, held on the lawns of the Commissioner’s Office in St. Andrew, on January 3, under the theme ‘Relentless Pursuit of Excellence: A Force for Good’.
“Now, what I am suggesting and recommending is that all of us, individually and collectively, have the mindset that says, we have solutions, we have opportunities, and we are blessed to be here, to be in the Force; we are blessed that we have life, health and hope,” the Commissioner said.
“When we do that, we will see the benefits of it; we will see those things accrue to us; we will attract things that we set our minds to… so that mindset is what we have to go into the new year with. I expect fantastic results this year,” he added.
Tourism shining sector in Jamaica
Jamaica’s resurgent tourism industry continues to largely spearhead the country’s gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic economic fallout.
The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) reports that the ‘Hotels and Restaurants’ category dominated the sector outturns fuelling third quarter 2022 calendar year growth of 5.9 per cent, between July and September.
A STATIN communiqué indicated that this category grew by 35.3 per cent, to outpace other subsectors recording growth in the Services Industry, which rose by six per cent during the period.
Growth in the hotels and restaurants segment largely resulted from increased activities in the hotels and other short-stay accommodation subcategory, which recorded a 49.2 per cent rise in foreign national arrivals, supported by positive outturns for restaurants, bars, and canteens.
What is the fuel of the future?
By Jörg Haas
BERLIN – Green hydrogen is all the rage these days. During November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany will invest more than €4 billion ($4.3 billion) in developing a market for it.
In the United States, President Joe Biden’s administration has made “clean” hydrogen a centerpiece of its Inflation Reduction Act, which provides subsidies for renewable energies. China, too, is so invested in electrolysis that some observers already fear that it will take over the market the same way it did with photovoltaic panels. And even corporations like the Australian mining giant Fortescue are betting on it becoming a multibillion-dollar industry.