News from the OPM

Pressing National Issues Cause PM to Cancel Trip to CARICOM Inter-sessional
PM Holness Hails Sub-10 King Asafa Powell
PM Holness Departs for Missouri University for Black History Month Lecture Series
New Board and Governance Framework for CMU
SOE  Now in Effect for Eastern Kingston
Government Proactively Develops Port Royal
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…
Jamaica to Pioneer Caribbean Green Bond Listing

Jamaica to Pioneer Caribbean Green Bond Listing

October, 07 2019
Jamaica has been given the green light to list the first ever Caribbean Green Bond on the stock market. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement earlier today (October 7) while delivering the keynote at the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference (GPIC) in Incheon, the Republic of Korea. According to Prime Minister Holness the Green Climate Fund approved the listing which will place Jamaica as the Caribbean country of choice to conduct climate smart and sustainable business. In leading the charge to build resilience, the Prime Minister underscored that the Government has taken a holistic view at new, viable and sustainable pre and post disaster arrangements for managing financial risks from disasters. “We have developed a broad framework for disaster risk management, including a National Disaster Risk Financing Policy that provides for financial risk protection, including budgetary contingency funds and state contingent debt instruments such as catastrophe bonds, and catastrophe linked insurance. We have also established a contingency fund, the National Catastrophic Disaster Reserve Fund and have started to build-up a strong fiscal buffer; while improving insurance of public assets and incorporating disaster risk analysis in public sector investments and overall development planning,” said Prime Minister Holness.…
Government Seeking to place its Shares in JPS on Stock Market

Government Seeking to place its Shares in JPS on Stock Market

October, 06 2019
The Government will place its 19-percent stake in the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE). Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the revelation on Sunday (October 6) while addressing the Jamaican/Korean Association in Incheon Korea. According to Prime Minister Holness putting the Government’s shares in JPS on the stock market will broaden the ownership base and increase the value of the light and power company. “The Government owns 19% of JPS and the Government intends to place that 19% on the stock market and will be selling those shares. So, the ordinary Jamaican will be able to participate and buy those shares and I am certain that that is going to increase the value of the company. So, if you are here in Korea lookout for it, you might want to participate and buy some shares in JPS,” said Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister Holness said, the presence of investors from the Korea East-West Power Company has resulted in major improvements in the JPS. “We note as well, that we have investors from Korea East-West Power in Jamaica in our major utility, the Jamaica Public Service, and as a result of that investment, the JPS…
Prime Minister to Make Appeal for Investment in Green Climate Funding

Prime Minister to Make Appeal for Investment in Green Climate Funding

October, 04 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness departed the island last night for the Green Climate Fund Private Investment for Climate Conference (GPIC) in Incheon, the Republic of Korea. The Prime Minister will deliver the keynote speech on Monday, October 7 on the matter of raising the bar for private sector climate action. Prime Minister Holness will also lead a panel discussion on the subject of moving forward on climate ambitions. The GPIC is a global marketplace where leading private sector actors including project sponsors, institutional investors, financial institutions, climate leaders, and the public sector will come together to accelerate climate action in developing countries. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness returns to the island on October 11. During his absence the Minister of National Security Hon. Dr. Horace Chang will be in charge of the Government.
Three Million Trees to be planted in Three Years to Mitigate Against Climate Change

Three Million Trees to be planted in Three Years to Mitigate Against Climate Change

September, 28 2019
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced an initiative that will see three million trees being planted across the island. The National Tree Planting Initiative will be launched on Friday, October 4, 2019, at Jamaica House and is to be in operation for three years. The National Tree Planting Initiative is aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and represents a tree being planted for every Jamaican. Prime Minister Holness asserted that the Government remains committed to the reduction of the erosion of watersheds and the attendant impact on coastal ecosystems. The Prime Minister’s comments came today (September 27) as he delivered Jamaica’s Policy statement at the General Debate 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. “Jamaica and other Caribbean islands have the first-hand experience of the increase in the intensity of hurricanes as well as intermittent increased rainfall and extended periods of droughts. These adverse weather events have resulted in major economic losses and dislocation across the region. Jamaica has adopted several policies and legislative measures to reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This includes the development of a comprehensive and first of its kind,…