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When good sense prevails

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Public servants attached to the Customs and Excise Division and Board of Inland Revenue exercised a level of prudence over the past two days which this newspaper must commend.

Indeed, in the face of a call by Public Services Association president Watson Duke to take two days of rest, the majority of these workers, understanding the dire economic climate as well as what a shutdown of these essential services would mean, instead chose what was best for the entire country.

Mr Duke’s call was, in the first place, suspect, given that the Government has not yet rolled out its final plans for the new Revenue Authority of T&T and after he announced the plan, Minister of Finance Colm Imbert offered to meet with him to discuss the issue on Monday. Other than Duke’s call, there is currently no existing matter involving workers at the two entities so pressing that it called for sickout action of the magnitude Duke was seeking.

Had Duke in fact got the support, a shutdown of these operations would have cost the country millions of dollars, since both the public and business community, who conduct activities with these entities, cannot afford an hour lost, far less days.

For once then, union members decided that the rhetoric of their leader was not worth listening to and, for that, this newspaper lauds them.

Curious house cleaning?

The apparent housecleaning at the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago, where five employees and two board directors have now been given marching orders, is certainly cause for concern.

If we are to take a cue from some of the statements made by some of the sacked individuals, it would appear there has been systemic malfeasance within the operations of this state-owned entity, set up in 2004 for the purpose of managing sport programming and construction and maintenance of sporting facilities throughout the country.

Either way, the end result of the apparent failure of individuals at the helm of this entity over the last two decades has been that the athletes and public, who depend on them to help develop facilities and support mechanism for the facilitation of athletic prowess and healthy lifestyles, have been shortchanged.

It is thus this newspaper’s hope that if the current probe of the activities into the entity finds corrupt practices that any individuals found culpable are brought to book.

A gift worth giving

This newspaper would like to congratulate the Embassy of Japan for its donation of a water ambulance to the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation. For years, citizens have been hearing complaints by the SGRC about a lack of equipment for responding to natural disasters in the region. This donation will thus go some way towards helping them better assist citizens in desperate need of help in future.


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