Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 7th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Republic Bank has teamed up with
the T&T Cancer Society to host EduFest
2015, which seeks to inform and
increase cancer awareness among pri-
mary school students.
Addressing students and teachers who
were invited to participate at the St John s
Hall, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Republic
Bank s general manager, internal audit,
Anthony Subero, revealed his experience
with the disease as he said his grandfather
had died from cancer.
Encouraging the students to seize the
opportunity to learn all they can about
the multiple cancers, which affect human
beings because of their choices in diet,
lack of exercise and smoking, Subero
urged them to ask questions and talk
He said: "Yes, cancer is a serious mat-
ter but this does not mean that we have
afraid to talk about it."
Warning them they could not afford
to be complacent or remain ignorant of
the causes and effects of cancer, Subero
said the knowledge they would gain,
could one day save the lives of their
families and friends.
Telling the students it was an oppor-
tunity to become a superhero, as they
were now empowered to educate others,
Subero said EduFest formed part of a
month-long series of activities including
Republic Bank s Walk for Life on October
24 at the Queen s Park Savannah and
There also will be a candlelight vigil
on October 30 at Seigert Square, Wood-
This month mobile clinics will be sta-
tioned at selected Republic Bank branches
in both islands, providing free cancer
screening services to the public.
General manager of the Cancer Soci-
ety, Nicole Jordan, spoke briefly as she
urged those present to enjoy the expe-
rience, which featured interactive ses-
sions during which the children were
allowed to examine a pair of lungs, that
of a healthy person as well as that of
With volunteers explaining the dif-
ferences between the two, Jordan encour-
aged the students to participate in the
games and other offerings.
Pupils of the St Rose Primary School examine artificial lungs of a smoker and
non-smoker during the Republic Bank and Cancer Society Edufest at St John's
Hall Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Students learn of
dangers of cancer
President of the Supermarkets
Association of T&T Dr Yunus
Ibrahim says a 2.5 per cent reduc-
tion in Value Added Tax (VAT) can
mean consumers will pay more
In an interview yesterday, Ibrahim
explained t Government plans to
review the list of zero-rated items
and apply VAT to many of them.
VAT was removed from 7,000 items
under the last government.
Once VAT is applied across the
board, Ibrahim said, consumers
could end up spending more as each
customer s VAT cost would depend
on the goods in their baskets.
He added: "First and foremost,
it depends on what they (Govern-
ment) put back on the VAT list.
Then it is the consumers choice to
go in between the other items and
buy it or not. They said they are
reducing the zero-rated items and
luxury items after review. They are
going to increase the amount of
items that are vatable but decrease
the rate of VAT.
"That itself is wonderful for elec-
tricity, water and other utilities
because it is across the board but
not as it applies to food. Remember
your kilowatt rate an hour is not
going up so your bill will come down
but you are buying the same gro-
"If you have 100 items in your
basket now and 15 are vatable,
imagine if they increase that figure
from 15 to 35. Obviously even at 12.5
per cent what comes out of your
pocket is going to be more in VAT
and the net figure."
Ibrahim said consumers concern
was whether the price of grocery
items depended on whether the
VAT reduction was passed onto
them by the various suppliers.
Although the cost of some prod-
ucts were initially reduced when
the former People s Partnership
government removed VAT from
7,000 items, he said inflation caused
the prices to increase.
He added that T&T had a free
market in terms of prices, saying
the same items in a supermarket
can cost more in other places.
"What we can say is that if it is
passed on to us by suppliers in this
fierce competitive supermarket
environment that exists in Trinidad
and Tobago, trust me it is going to
be passed on to the consumer.
"The suppliers on the other hands
are the ones who are at that mercy,
not the supermarkets. We are a free
market here. You will buy a juice
that would be $2 more in a phar-
macy, it is up to your where you
buy it," Ibrahim said.
During Monday s 2016 Budget
presentation, Finance Minister Colm
Imbert proposed to decrease VAT
from 15 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
This would be done in tandem
with reviewing and adjusting VAT
exemptions and zero-rated items
which, he sai., were associated with
non-essential items and were not
critically important to citizens liveli-
hoods and basic cost of living.
Together, he said, that was expected
to yield $4 billion in tax revenue.
Supermarkets Association president:
VAT down but food
costs will increase
High Court Judge Frank Seep-
ersad is calling on Government
to take urgent steps to rectify its
seemingly premature proclama-
tion of the Children s Act.
Addressing lawyers in a case in
which two teenagers are contend-
ing that their remand at the Youth
Training Centre (YTC) in Arouca
is illegal, after they were charged
with robbery and firearm offences
in August, Seepersad described
as untenable the government s
decision to implement the legis-
lation without ensuring first that
the required facilities were in
"We have a collective respon-
sibility to treat this matter as one
of national concern which needs
to be addressed expeditiously,"
Seepersad said, as he suggested
that the issue affected the welfare
of children accused of crimes as
well as society s ability to address
the ongoing crime situation plagu-
Without making a final ruling
on whether the teens detention
at YTC was permitted, Seepersad
said his eventual decision might
also affect other children who
were held at the facility in the
past. • Continues on Page A9
Judge: More time needed over Children's Act
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