Minister challenged to address violations of “goods ordinance” amid growing concerns

August 9, 2023  –WILLEMSTAD – Concerns over the enforcement of the “Goods Ordinance” have escalated as Member of Parliament for the Future Movement Curaçao (MFK), David Seferina, sheds light on troubling irregularities uncovered during inspections conducted by the Monitoring and Enforcement Unit (MEO). The inspections have specifically highlighted violations within Chinese establishments, prompting a call for swift action. 

Seferina, a prominent voice within the MFK faction, has been closely monitoring the activities of the MEO enforcement team and has expressed deep disappointment over the recurring instances of serious violations discovered during these checks. Of particular concern is the recurring pattern wherein the MEO team identifies violations, and enforces a temporary closure, only for the same businesses to reopen their doors shortly after, perpetuating the same infractions and jeopardizing public health. Astonishingly, despite these findings, establishments found in violation often escape fines or penalties as stipulated by Article 24 of the “Goods Lands Ordinance,” leaving members of the MFK faction disheartened by the lack of enforcement. 

The responsibility for granting and revoking business permits lies with Minister Ruisandro Cijntje, prompting the MP to question the duration of tolerance towards such unsanitary practices occurring within Curaçao. Through a formal letter invoking Article 96 of the Parliament’s Rules of Order, Seferina has posed a series of pressing questions to Minister Ruisandro Cijntje, seeking clarity and action. 

Among the questions posed to the Minister are inquiries regarding his awareness of the numerous irregularities encountered by the MEO enforcement team and the potential risks these violations pose to public health. Furthermore, as the minister responsible for permit issuance, his approach towards persistent non-compliance and the authorization to issue “administrative fines” for violations at food service establishments have been called into question. 

The letter also seeks insights into the Minister’s adherence to Article 24 of the “Goods State Ordinance” during inspections and the number of establishments that have faced penalties under this provision. A critical concern raised is the recurrence of violations even when business owners open new establishments under different names, potentially perpetuating the same transgressions. 

With mounting concerns and a growing urgency to address these issues, the undersigned stakeholders are awaiting Minister Ruisandro Cijntje’s response, hoping for a clear commitment to rectify the situation and ensure the proper enforcement of regulations that safeguard public health and uphold the standards of business practices within Curaçao. 

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