Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 2nd 2015 Contents A25
Friday, October 2, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A child sticks her head out of a window of a moving car along Four Roads Diego Martin
on Wednesday. Drivers must be vigilante as passengers are their responsibility.
PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Mr Finance Minister, I think that some-
thing has to be wrong with a system in
which, having made the 750 contributions
required to receive full pension from the
National Insurance Scheme, one does not
accrue any additional benefits from contin-
ued contributions made.
Having reached the 750 ceiling years ago
I find it just wrong to have to just keep
contributing and not be getting any addi-
tional returns for my additional contribu-
money for free. Either there must be com-
mensurate increases with my additional
contributions or just stop taking deduc-
tions from my salary.
On the other issue, as you know, food
prices are ridiculously high. So much so
that one wonders how people survive on a
month to month basis.
Indeed, employed people are often con-
sidered "working poor" because of the high
cost of living, to which food prices con-
tribute a great deal. (So one can just imag-
ine the plight of the poor or jobless.)
And it does not have to be like this.
More often than not, when the item reach-
es the consumer the unit cost is three-five
hundred per cent higher than the landed
cost. The importer has to get 100 per cent
mark up, so too the distributor as well as
These are just "digging people eyes out,"
as the saying goes.
Mr Imbert, save us from these gougers.
Do something to keep food prices down.
DEAL WITH NIS, HIGH FOOD
PRICES, MR IMBERT
Yesterday marked the start of the hunting
season after a two-year ban was implemented.
Unfortunately, the season is opening without
the structures in place to sustain wildlife.
At this time of the year crabs journey to the
sea as they reproduce by depositing their eggs
into the sea. This is a period where no one
should be allowed to harvest crabs in order to
allow for sustainability of the species.
With no laws or structures in place citizens in-
vade the beaches along the coast and pick up as
many crabs as they can find. This uncontrolled
and dangerous "free for all" harvesting of
wildlife must be discontinued if wildlife is to sur-
I have personally seen large populations of
blue crabs totally destroyed within two years
due to uncontrolled harvesting. The uncontrolled
access to wildlife destroys all wildlife and crus-
taceans over time.
It is critical that government place limit on
sizes of animals and shellfish that can be har-
vested as well as quantities. Laws should be en-
acted to ensure that no harvesting is done
during the reproductive period of any species.
As is stands today crabs of all sizes are har-
vested and sold throughout the year; iguanas,
agouti and deer are hunted with no limitations
on size or quantity. During the open hunting sea-
son, a hunter can catch as many deer, agouti,
iguana or opossum as he or she can wants with
no regards to the overall population.
While there are some laws with regard to
sizes of catch there are not enough rangers or
game wardens to enforce the hunting regula-
On an interview on radio on October 1, the
Minister of Agriculture indicated that there are
13 Forest Rangers out of a possible 31. I wish to
humbly suggest that rather than seek to fill the
vacancy for the remaining 18, there should be
the establishment of a Park Ranger service of
close to 500 where these rangers not only en-
force the laws regarding hunting but police our
forests and state lands.
The new Park Ranger Service can ensure
safety for hikers, reduce larceny, ensure that ille-
gal marijuana cultivation is discontinued, reduce
squatting and protect our forests from illegal
T&T cannot continue to operate under the
same old laws and system and expect changes
in the quality of our lives. The new Prime Minis-
ter seems to understand the enormity of the
task of rebuilding our nation and positioning
T&T to be a leader in innovation and economic
sustainability and one expects laws to protect
and control our wildlife while maintaining our
cultural desires for wild meat and hunting will be
in place of the chaos that exists today.
God bless our nation.
Laws need to control access to wildlife
The uncertainty, fear, disappointment and dis-
tress, among the myriad of emotions felt by the
67 medical students, earlier denied funding that
GATE offers after having been accepted to Cave
Hill and Mona Campuses to pursue their degree in
medicine, was worth it for the greater long-term
good of health care and the profession in T&T.
Strange as it may sound, this situation, as
painful as it was for these bright ambitious
youngsters and their loved ones to endure, brings
into the public domain a long existing untenable
situation which a medical professor almost singu-
larly attempted to have addressed over a period
of many years.
This situation involves UWI St Augustine Fac-
ulty of Medical Sciences, it's processes, it's stan-
dardisation, and a review of it's admissions
committee, the transparency or lack thereof sur-
rounding selections. There have long been vigor-
ous and consistent complaints from unsuccessful
students satisfying every criteria claiming bias,
nepotism and injustice, tainting the entire
A major source of discontent is prompted by
the existence of what appears to be a consistent
pattern of familial ties, comprising parents to chil-
dren, cousins, nieces, nephews etc, surrounding
enrolment, year after year.
Notably while the medical profession is consid-
ered a noble one, such nobility comes at a high
price to tax payers since it costs on average one
million dollars to train each medical student up to
As pointed out by the new minister of health,
the present government committed in it's mani-
festo to improving the quality of health care and
the sector, thereby justifying the financing of the
unfortunate 67 inexplicably denied funding by the
However, there must also be an immediate
overhaul and revamping of the existing process
involving not only the selection/admission com-
mittee, policy but the board as well. It is also im-
perative systems are put in place to remove the
existing "right of passage" arrangement and to
ensure these new doctors trained at our expense
are legally bound to not only serving a minimum
period in the public sector exclusively, but also the
principles of integrity, humility and humanity that
go hand in hand with their chosen profession is
not abandoned without consequence.
As the learned professor once reminded us
"...medicine is not only a profession, it is a voca-
Medical faculty admissions
must come under review
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