News from the OPM

Be Vigilant in Protecting Your Children from Harm – Urges PM Holness
Prime Minister Holness Makes his First Official Working Visit to China
PM Holness Hands Over Keys to Refurbished Home to Fire Victims
Government Increasing Security Presence as Festive Season Approaches
PM Holness Determined to Decrease Unattached Youth Numbers
PM Holness Breaks Ground for Children and Adolescent Hospital in Montego Bay
Be Vigilant in Protecting Your Children from Harm – Urges PM Holness

Be Vigilant in Protecting Your Children from Harm – Urges PM Holness

November, 03 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expressing deep sadness following the death of two young boys; Javinchie Palmer and Tyler McLeod, who tragically died after fire on Friday night razed their home in the community of Paradise in Norwood St. James. Prime Minister Holness continues to reiterate the need for greater parental supervision and protection of children from catastrophic events such as fires which can be prevented.  He is urging parents to meet their obligation to ensuring the safety and protection of their children. The Prime Minister says many of these fires are the result of negligence and a lack of attention to fire hazards. “Exposed flames are a danger to children and their use should be discontinued with immediacy. Fire hazards such as candles, kerosene lamps, exposed electrical wiring; flammable items, accelerants and all other such hazards should be removed in all instances, and kept out of the reach of children where necessary,” cautions Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister is also encouraging parents not to leave their children unattended at any time or in the care of another minor. “Supervision is important to prevent these disasters; we must ensure that the safety of our children is always our foremost…
Prime Minister Holness Makes his First Official Working Visit to China

Prime Minister Holness Makes his First Official Working Visit to China

November, 01 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness departed the island this afternoon (Friday, November 1) for an eight-day, official working visit to the People's Republic of China. Prime Minister Holness will have a packed agenda, which will take him to four key cities in China including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Beijing. The official working visit is highlighted by bilateral discussions with President of China, His Excellency Xi Jingping, municipal leaders, other public and private sector officials, investors and the members of the Jamaican community in China. The Prime Minister and the Jamaican delegation will arrive in Shanghai on Sunday, November 3. Prime Minister Holness will address the opening session of the China International Import Exposition (CIIE) and tour one of the world's largest expos along with President Xi and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Audley Shaw. Prime Minister Holness will also get a first hand view of China's shipping and logistics operations during a tour of the Yangshan Port. The Prime Minister is slated to visit several historic monuments and areas including the monument of the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, where he will lay a floral tribute, and the Great Wall. Prime Minister Holness, will meet with…
PM Holness Hands Over Keys to Refurbished Home to Fire Victims

PM Holness Hands Over Keys to Refurbished Home to Fire Victims

November, 01 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared the commitment of  Government to the provision of safe and affordable housing for all Jamaicans. Speaking at the hand over of keys to the first house under the housing component of the HOPE programme today (November 1), Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government has put policies in place to respond to the demand for low-income and social housing. Prime Minister Holness said the Government will address social housing through the housing component of the HOPE programme. “We have allocated a certain amount of funds in the budget, close to a million dollars, and it is distributed island-wide and each Member of Parliament has been given five housing solutions based upon their demand and in consultation with the HOPE Secretariat determine each year, five housing problems that they have, that they need to solve and can use the resources,” said Prime Minister Holness. In that regard, Prime Minister Holness noted that the programme is designed to improve the housing stock of 'big yards', where there are many households and many young children. According to Prime Minister Holness, the Government has tested the programme and developed various modalities that will be used. “What we are…
Government Increasing Security Presence as Festive Season Approaches

Government Increasing Security Presence as Festive Season Approaches

October, 31 2019
With just two months left in the calendar year and the festive season approaching, the Government has signaled its intention to increase its security presence on the ground, as the nation continues to tackle the threefold challenge of dons, gangs and guns. A massive security operation is to be executed by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Jamaica Defence Force, which includes the deployment of 400 personnel. That was among the points of discussion at the regular monthly meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) held on Thursday, (October 31). Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that the additional security personnel should focus on restoring peace and security in communities plagued by dons and gang warfare and assist in establishing order in public spaces. The criminal gangs and dons must not be allowed to deprive the citizens of the country of their freedom in pursuit of their own wellbeing. The Council also discussed advances made in several key legislations critical to the fight against crime, including the Bail Act and the Firearms Act. Additionally, the Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) informed the Council that it has secured 33 convictions since the start of the year and is now heightening…
PM Holness Determined to Decrease Unattached Youth Numbers

PM Holness Determined to Decrease Unattached Youth Numbers

October, 30 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (October 29) tabled the Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Amendment Act 2019. The Legislative seeks to merge the functions of the HEART Trust with the National Youth Service (NYS) Board and the Apprenticeship Board; to repeal the Apprenticeship Act and the National Youth Service Act and the Jamaica Foundation for Long Learning (JFLL). Prime Minister Holness says the law also aims to decrease the instances of unattached youth in Jamaica by increasing their engagement with institutions of learning, training and personal development. According to Prime Minister Holness, the proposed Act provides a legal framework for the merger into one agency, the HEART Trust/National Training and Service Agency (NTSA). “The Act that is before us will streamline training processes, clearly establish the rights and obligations of trainees, employers and the HEART Trust/NTSA, provide for such transitional measures as necessary to facilitate the smooth transfer of administrative responsibilities to the Trust, and provide for the issuance, validation or recognition, as required, of certificates or other academic qualifications, distinctions or awards to current and former participants of the training programmes now merged with the Trust,” said Minister Holness. In that regard, Prime Minister Holness asserted that the HEART…
PM Holness Breaks Ground for Children and Adolescent Hospital in Montego Bay

PM Holness Breaks Ground for Children and Adolescent Hospital in Montego Bay

October, 24 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday (October 23), broke ground for the construction of the Western Children and Adolescent Hospital in Montego Bay. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the construction of the Hospital will improve Jamaica’s ranking on the Global Human Development Index and enhance the quality of life of citizens. The facility, which is a gift from the People’s Republic of China will be built on the grounds of the Cornwall Regional Hospital for US$43 million. As the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, the hospital will accommodate 220 beds and serve children up to 18 years. “On the Human Development Index, Jamaica’s score is 0.732 which places us in the high human development category. Particularly, in areas of health where we are doing very well, this places us at 97 out of 189 countries ranked. Now, I am not comfortable at 97, I think we can do much better and I am confident Minister [Tufton], that in ten years, we will jump 30 places or more. This hospital that we are breaking ground for here, I am sure will move us about two or three places up,” said Prime Minister Holness. In…
St. Elizabeth Communities Receives First Ever Flow of Piped Water

St. Elizabeth Communities Receives First Ever Flow of Piped Water

October, 23 2019
History was created in Junction St. Elizabeth on Wednesday as the Government commissioned the first ever piped water system in the parish. Prime Minister Andrew Holness opened the pipelines to the historic Essex Valley Water Supply Project in Junction square, which will serve more than 3,000 households. According to Prime Minister Holness, non-revenue water has put a strain on the The Essex Valley Water Supply Improvement Project is one of 41 major water and wastewater projects that the NWC took into the 2019/2020 financial year at a cost of $630 million after completing 27 projects or contracts in the last financial year. “We value you and we are putting the money where our value is. Help us maintain the service, help us to ensure that the cost is affordable to everyone by each contributing to paying your bill. Conserve on the use and pay your bill so that we can keep the water utilities service at a reasonable cost,” said Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister further stated that residents should see an improvement in supply efficiency and reliability which will eliminate the need for trucking. “By making this investment we will see improvements in operational efficiency and energy saving.…
Government Committed to Fiscal Responsibility

Government Committed to Fiscal Responsibility

October, 16 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that the current business environment in Jamaica is the best it has been in decades as businesses reported profits that exceeded their expectations in the last quarter. Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that business owners should be confident, He says Government policies will be in favour of business development, economic growth, and job creation. "What we have been able to convey to business people is that there is fiscal certainty that you can plan your business, that you can take the risk, because Government policies are stable and the plans the Government makes, not just what they are doing now but what they are saying, they are going to do that; they will actually do it and you can plan accordingly,” said Prime Minister Holness. Speaking yesterday (Wednesday, October 16) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Cari-Med Group Distribution Centre in Bernard Lodge, St, Catherine, Prime Minister Holness stated that the fundamentals of the Jamaican economy are strong as its last rating was at a B+. Prime Minister Holness asserted that the Government of Jamaica has committed to never making fiscal errors that were made in the past by previous administrations. “The case is that this…
Government Signs Contract for the Largest Housing Construction in St. Catherine

Government Signs Contract for the Largest Housing Construction in St. Catherine

October, 15 2019
The Government of Jamaica through the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and contractors China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) this morning (Tuesday, October 15) signed contracts for the construction of 1650 housing solutions in Catherine Estates, St. Catherine. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has welcomed the signing agreement which will be the largest undertakings of affordable housing solutions in St. Catherine since the development of Greater Portmore in 1992. “Every Jamaican should have access to safe, sustainable an affordable housing. That is what our vision 2030 speaks to. The HAJ is slated to provide more than three thousand housing solutions for the fiscal year 2019/2020,” said Prime Minister Holness. The project cost $9.5 billion under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement. According to Prime Minister Holness, the agreement is based upon the design, build and finance model which allows for affordable and efficient housing solutions. In that regard, Prime Minister Holness asserted that the new 2019 draft housing policy that was tabled in Parliament envisions a country where sufficient, appropriate and sustainable housing choices are available. “We need to build enough housing solutions that are affordable, that are sustainable and build them at a rate to prevent the issue of the informal settling…