Part of the solution

Part of the solution

It’s good to note that the Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ministry’s Inspectorate has started controls on maximum prices for relevant goods established due to the coronavirus threat (see related story). With literally hundreds of super- and minimarkets spread out all over the country one can’t possibly expect to cover them all any time soon, but word gets around quickly especially in case of violations.

To be sure, none have yet been reported, although it seems bound to happen despite a penalty of up to 10,000 Netherlands Antillean guilders or four years in prison, whether out of ignorance, carelessness and/or greed. Just to illustrate, Member of Parliament (MP) for United St. Maarten Party (US party) Toontje Buncamper recently said he had seen a package of six large rolls of toilet paper for NAf. 28.

As with any rule, enforcement is key. However, government cannot do it alone and is requesting the help of citizens by taking pictures of items too highly priced, but only based on the latest list that is to be periodically updated in consultation with stakeholders. Together with a detailed receipt in case of a purchase, these may be used to file complaints.

One could also just choose not to buy the product and go elsewhere. Enough retailers no doubt remain law-abiding and/or have a conscience so they at least try to do the right thing.

You too can be part of the solution instead of the problem.