DBF describes as “insensitive” government’s decision to have public holiday today

As the Commonwealth of Dominica observes the second anniversary of the devastation of Hurricane Maria on the night of September 18th 2017, the Dominica Business Forum (DBF) Inc. continues to sympathize with all those who lost loved ones, suffered injury and destruction of property and livelihood.

Special recognition is extended to the private sector enterprises who suffered incalculable, additional loss as a result of the looting and the DBF Inc. is in solidarity with those private sector enterprises that are yet to recommence operations and those that were forced out of business.

Without devaluing the above mentioned need to recognise, sympathise, reflect or celebrate as the case may be, on the anniversary of Hurricane Maria, the Dominica Business Forum (DBF) Inc. considers the decision of the Government of Dominica to declare Thursday 19th September, 2019 a public holiday, with little or no consultation with the private sector organisations, as insensitive and oblivious of the challenges of the private sector.   This action by the Government, amplified by the short notice provided, demonstrates a lack of appreciation, and may be even considered as a complete disregard, of the additional burden placed on the private sector to meet the cost of wages of employees when there is no parallel production, posing fresh and additional risk to employees of further job losses in the private sector.  This present action adds to existing challenges of the private sector at a time when existing government’s policies have severely affected the sustainability of many private sector enterprises.

The DBF is not opposed to any decision or actions of giving thanks, celebrating, reflecting or taking stock on the events of 18-19th September 2019.  However, we do not support the need to render Thursday 19th September 2019 an unproductive, and at the same time an expense day, for the private sector and the country.  This is not the path to recovery.

The private sector is obliged to pay wages for that day and in cases of the essential services, employees have to be given double time payment.

The success of accumulating revenue from the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme and the liquidity of the State has so far not been infiltrated through the local economy and certainly not the bulk of the private sector. Given that all expenses for the concert are absorbed by the government, it is therefore reasonable to suggest that the Government of Dominica compensate the private sector enterprises by making a contribution towards the payment of wages for the loss of production on Thursday 19th September, 2019.  An equivalent tax rebate would be appropriate.

It is important to note that Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd, September, 2019 have been declared days of National prayer in observance of the 41st anniversary of independence.

It must also be noted that since Hurricane David in 1979, Gilbert in 1988, Hugo in 1989, Luis is 1996, Ivan in 2004, Irma and Maria in 2017 and a myriad of other storms and natural hazards have affected other Caribbean countries, all of which have recovered.  We are therefore at a loss as to why the emphasis on the second anniversary of Maria.  It is therefore necessary to be informed as to whether this is going to be an annual or a bi-annual event, or just a one-off, in order that the private sector can cater for it in its financial projections and annual work programmes.

We are in the peak of the 2019 Hurricane Season, when the private sector has to be prepared for interruptions in the event of inclement weather, therefore it is apparent that the ramifications of this additional burden of another public holiday has not been thoroughly considered or examined and its impact on productivity and recovery not even the necessary consideration.

To avoid a repeat of this scenario, the Dominica Business Forum Inc. recommends more frequent and timely private-public sector consultation.

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30 Comments

  1. Herbert Volney
    September 21, 2019

    It was a welcome gesture by government and well appreciated by the people who toil, often on minimum wages, to mark hardship and recovery. This Cry Cry Forum is purely self-centered, was able to access recovery money through government facilities, and is ungrateful. Did it speak up during the period of horrific price-gouging in the aftermath of Maria. No it did not. It should not begrudge it’s workers one day off.

    • Eddy A
      September 23, 2019

      Keep singing for your supper. Tell us all what happened in Trinidad. Fine Judge you are…

  2. September 20, 2019

    What,s the fuss about you can please some people sometimes but you cant please all the people all the time do matter what the government do people will complain including UWP supporters

  3. dee
    September 20, 2019

    PETER ,PETER , PETER
    whoever that peter may be , are you listening to yourself .
    ”It is Jehovah who runs and decides the economic and business success of Dominica ”
    Who is Jehovah to you .
    I cannot recall a comment from you when SKERRIT openly stated ”HE RUN THINGS IN DOMINICA ”.
    NOW YOU ARE SAYING ”HE IS JEHOVAH”
    man listen to me , you are due a quailing , wait for it ok .

    • September 21, 2019

      Those are the nonsensical talks on the Island and the PM did say he runs things in Dominica but to both of you only the almighty God run things so when he decide to do his thing don’t ever wonder what the hell is happening, I call on Dominicans don’t mock God for we will all pay the price, instead keep praying for forgiveness and direction.

  4. Joe
    September 19, 2019

    There is a little matter that has been overlooked :
    The president assented on 10/9
    It was gazetted on 12/9
    Yet the prime minister was saying on Sunday 15/9 that it was going to be a half day holiday
    Wasn’t he the one who decided that it was going to be a public holiday?
    How can he feed the nation with wrong information on such an important matter?
    Does he not understand that even an extra days notice could be very important not only for all employers but also for most of the citizenry?
    We need to pray earnestly for a speedy return of sanity to our land

  5. Zandoli
    September 19, 2019

    When you are dealing with a guy who thinks of himself as no less than the emperor, and who will do anything to remain in office, that is what you get. This guy does not have clue about what it takes to manage the affairs of the country. His supporters, or should I say worshipers are even more ignorant. Once they get a little pittance from Skerrit, nothing else matters to them. The fact that there are no proper health facilities outside of Roseau means nothing to them. I mourn for my country.

  6. Ibo France
    September 19, 2019

    Dominica’s trajectory is pointing to the abyss. Under this inane leader major decisions are done capriciously by one misguided nincompoop. It’s all downhill for Dominica as long as this kakistacratic regime remains intact. Vote this hardened, scandal plagued administration OUT.

    • KID ON THE BLOCK
      September 20, 2019

      Ibo MALAPROP France who is listening to you at this time in 2019?

  7. Kalinago Justice
    September 19, 2019

    @ peter; hope you advise your one-man corrupt rogue regime prime mistake to genuinely repent instead of making a mockery of himself :?:

  8. Alice
    September 19, 2019

    Pretty soon, Dominica will have more holidays than working days.
    I guess they will have to “sell” more passports to keep us afloat.

  9. Skerrit must Go!
    September 19, 2019

    DBF. It took you people long enough to realize that Roosevelt Skerrit and his administration have no interest in you, zero consideration for you. All industries in Dominica are either on a go slow or dead. Lots of people are jobless, not generating an income = less sales for you. Then they give away all this FREE stuff. Why would people buy from you when they’re getting it for free? Think. Vote them out!

  10. Peace
    September 19, 2019

    I am in total agreement with this statement from the DBF. Let all things be done decently and in order.

  11. KID ON THE BLOCK
    September 19, 2019

    Why was this letter not signed?
    The DBFand some anti Government HATERS are concerned of this day, 19-9-19, being a holiday going to have a negative impact on the economic and business success for that day in Dominica).
    But didn’t the economy and business suffered WORST when the city(ROSEAU) was set on fire
    and businesses were destroyed on that 7th day of February 2018 by some Useless Wicked People?
    Today THOSE very same ones that caused the damages on FEBRUARY 7th are complaining and condemning this day of PRAISE and THANKING GIVING talking of the effects this DAY will have on the economy.
    Did THEY remember the economy and business sector on FEBRUARY 7th 2018 when THEY set fire to the city and destroyed business places? Did THEY thought what the ECONOMY would be like afterwards?
    What are bunch of HYPOCRITES and HATERS!
    THANKS AND PRAISES to the most HIGH to remember or think of how WE were just after Maria and what WE are like TODAY.
    WHO JAH BLESS NO MAN CURSE!
    FORWARD…

  12. OpenMind
    September 19, 2019

    Seriously?
    Bwoy Dominica what is wrong with you? Do you guys not watch any international TV or aware of other norms of behaviour?

    The holiday is not for you or your bottom line. It is for remembrance, reflection and community and family time.

    Sometimes, these things transcends all others.

    Would have made no financial difference if it was any other day, but would have meant little had it been any other day.

    If your business cannot cope with one day’s close of business, then you have greater issues to deal with.

  13. Just Blaze
    September 19, 2019

    Nonesense. Holiday for what nuh? Stupes.

  14. Inquiring
    September 19, 2019

    Thank you DBF inc for voicing your feelings. Been asking myself the same questions posted in your deliberation.

  15. miss piggy
    September 19, 2019

    nothing is never enough for yall. Like dam. Let those who are working now enjoy their double day. We deserve it cause we work our ….. off.

  16. Gouvelma
    September 19, 2019

    The decision was taken with one thing in mind. It is a political decision intended to boost labor’s quickly falling popularity. The labor government did not for one second consider the economic implications to their decision to declare today a holiday. The primary thinking is that granting a holiday and giving the youths sewo will boost labor’s outlook and chances for the elections. They are so so wrong. And for those living on their private sector minimum wage do they realize that they will not be paid for today? It is already so hard to survive on a full week’s pay just imagine what it will be like on a day short. It seems to me that some in Dominica love labor and sewo more than their family and future. And the government loves keeping the people poor and dependent.

  17. AD
    September 19, 2019

    And while the government considers the private sector, also consider the schools. Educational institutions have enough interruptions to deal with throughout the year as it is. Further, they should not be treated as reaping grounds to inflate numbers at any event

  18. Peter
    September 19, 2019

    U will not understand the implicated and and extreme importance of this decision by the government because after all the children of the world cannot understand spiritual things. However the DBF and entire nation should b tanking the Government for this decision and look forward to more sucklike ones. It is Jehovah who runs and decides the economic and business success of Dominica and not public or private sector. Therefore Everyone needs to repent turn to God. We need more days like this in Dominica

    • Pipo
      September 19, 2019

      And where does the money come from to run Jehovah’s temple, an income that is not taxable? The same comment appliea all religions.

    • %
      September 19, 2019

      I am one who will not thank the government for this political activity. In fact i condemn it, and call upon the people to stay home and give thanks. Many did that yesterday Wednesday.. Additionally i stay away from anything that false God’s do . Skerrit is one such false God, and my real God will do what he seems necessary with that liar and hypocrite in due season!
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?
      Whey is di money?

    • Looking
      September 19, 2019

      ….and as you rightly said Peter, “It is Jehovah who runs and decides the economic business success of Dominica and not public or private sector” these activities should be spearheaded by the church and churches. Additionally, we should not be mixing godly and ungodly things, this is debauchery. Thank you.

    • Billionaire
      September 19, 2019

      We did not see Jehovah issue the Order?

      I guess private sector can sit back and wait for your jehovah to run its affairs. I pray you are not a private sector employee

    • June
      September 19, 2019

      I think u wanted to speak ur mind to say…de jumbie who runs and ďecide……
      Really and truly i dunno what appointment skerro have wid de jumbie but that is just weird. I was glad for de off day but me na going jumbie concert…after i finish sing jesus sweet jesus i have to be singing colton t…what are ting

    • Joseph John
      September 19, 2019

      This is just an expose of the negative mindset of the private sector. This is just idle talk from idle minds.
      No wonder we have such a dormant business sector. No part of this piece of negativity can be termed motivation.
      This look like a one man self opinion with a political motive.
      A group representing the business sector would be proactive on issues concerning business activities to make money and would be not be wasting time on idle talk like the uwp leaders.

    • zandoli
      September 19, 2019

      What an idiotic statement to make. If we were to follow your line of reasoning, the business community should fold up their tent and let Jehovah provide. I want to see how much would be available to eat.

    • Broke
      September 19, 2019

      Ah…been smoking that thing again eh? It cannot be weed.

    • September 20, 2019

      Peter don’t you have spell check and grammar check on your devices? Just about every device that we use, such as laptop, phone, ipad or tablet have it. What do you mean by [sucklike ones], and [should b tanking the Government]? Did you mean such like, which means making a comparison, and do you mean thanking, which means to show gratitude? By the way, tanking is sometimes used in sports to describe a team’s performance getting worse.

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