Below are the decisions from Cabinet:
1. Designation of the Black River Protected Area (BRPA)
Cabinet gave approval for the designation of the Black River landscape/seascape in St. Elizabeth as a protected area under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act, 1991. Cabinet also approved the issuance of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the preparation of the order designating the Black River Protected Area. The designation of the proposed Black River Protected Area is intended to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area, including the swamp forest, mangroves, beaches, seagrass beds, and coral reefs, which provides habitats for wildlife and support sustainable livelihoods. By designating the Black River Protected Area, Jamaica would meet some of its national and international commitments with respect to the protection of inland water, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and heritage sites. At present 15% of marine and 18% of terrestrial ecosystems within the jurisdiction are protected under law.
2. Proposed divestment of property located at Llandovery, St. Ann
Cabinet gave approval for the sale of a 457.07-acre property owned by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and located at Llandovery, Salem in St. Ann to the National Housing Trust in the sum of $1.8 billion. Over the last four years, the NIF has sought to dispose of the property as part of its thrust to realign the real estate portfolio and dispose of underperforming, non-income generating assets. The NHT expressed interest in acquiring the property for $1.8 billion to develop approximately 2000 housing solutions, with the target market being hotel workers.
3. The implementation of the mandatory medical insurance and health logistics coverage for holders of foreign passports who are visiting Jamaica
Cabinet gave approval for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) to be the coordinating entity for the mandatory medical insurance coverage programme for holders of foreign passports who are visiting Jamaica. The JTB will also undertake a competitive bidding process to identity suitable providers of medical insurance and health logistics coverage for purchase by holders of foreign passports who are visiting Jamaica. The resumption of safe travel is critical for health as well as economic sustainability. The availability of medical insurance and emergency evacuation are important parameters for the resumption of international travel. Medical insurance coverage would provide visitors with confidence in destination Jamaica and protect the public health care system.
4. Higher Education Concept Paper
Cabinet gave approval for a concept paper to advance the development of a National Higher Education Policy Framework to govern the higher education sector in Jamaica. The approval for the higher education concept paper sets in motion the development of a National Higher Education Policy, which would streamline Jamaica’s higher education sector to work in a cohesive and efficient manner facilitating the achievement of the outcomes of Vision 2030. There have been significant efforts over the years to establish a modernized governance framework for the oversight and management of the higher education sector in Jamaica. The country has seen increases in its enrolment numbers, which resulted in an increase in the number of institutions offering higher education and training nationally. To date, Jamaica has three universities, five community colleges, six teachers’ colleges, two polytechnic colleges and four work force training institutions. The development of the policy would provide a direct and transparent channel of communication between higher education institutions and other institutions in terms of skills development, to assist in driving the growth of the economy and legislative changes required.
5. Proposal for the reassignment of the functions of certification of drivers and the oversight of repair and maintenance of Government vehicles
Cabinet gave approval for the reassignment of the function of the certification of drivers and the oversight of the repair and maintenance of Government vehicles from the National Works Agency (NWA) to the Island Traffic Authority. This better aligns with the capabilities of the Traffic Authority and allows the NWA to focus mainly on road works and the other similar infrastructural activities.
6. Approval for China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) as the main contractor for the implementation of the Montego Bay perimeter road project
Cabinet gave approval for the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) to be the main contractor for the implementation of the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project. The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation entered into a contractual agreement with CHEC for the Design Build Contact of the project including perimeter road, Barnett Street/West Green Avenue upgrading and Long Hill Bypass in the amount of US$220 million. The implementing agency will be the National Road Operating and Constructing Company (NROCC) and the project is financed through the Government of Jamaica Consolidated Fund.
Cabinet received and approved the following annual reports and/or financial statements to be tabled in Parliament:
- National Irrigation Commission (NIC) March 31, 2019 and March 2020
- Anti-Dumping and Subsidies Commission 2015/2016
- Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) 2018/2019
- Jamaica Mortgage Bank, JMB 2019/2020
- Independence Park Limited 2016 and 2017
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract to Y.P Seaton and Associates Company Limited for the implementation of 358 metres of shoreline protection Runway-30 End at the Norman Manley International Airport in the amount of five hundred and fifty-five million, eight hundred and ninety-four thousand, and eight hundred and ninety-two dollars and five cents ($555,894,892.05).
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract to Elhydro Limited to supply biodiesel fuel to be used in Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses in a pilot initiative for a period of six months at the Portmore Depot. The contract is in the amount of three hundred and one million, nine hundred and seventy five thousand dollars ($301,975,000.00)
- Cabinet gave approval for the award of a contract to Allied Insurance Brokers Limited in the sum of two billion one hundred and eighty-seven million, eight hundred and ninety-nine thousand, six hundred and twenty-four dollars ($2,187,899,624.00) exclusive of GCT, for insurance services for the National Housing Trust for the period of one year from April 1, 2021 to March 2022.
The Honourable Fayval Williams
Minister of Education, Youth and Information