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Dr.Peter Phillips, Press Releases

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 17, 2017: The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, M.P., today, thanked the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, Mrs. Christine Lagarde for supporting the 2013 agreement signed by the PNP led-government and the Fund. This agreement was the blueprint for Jamaica’s economic reform programme, which laid the foundation for sustained economic growth and job creation.

In her comments at the IMF’s High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, Mrs. Lagarde noted the successful implementation of the standby agreement five years ago and recalled that at the time of the rollout, very few persons thought it would have seen the tremendous level of success it achieved.

During a courtesy call paid by Mrs. Lagarde on the Opposition Leader at his West King’s House Road office, with Shadow Ministers Mark Golding, Peter Bunting, Anthony Hylton and Fenton Ferguson in attendance, Dr. Phillips reiterated his appreciation for the IMF chief’s personal role in securing the 2013 stand-by agreement that enabled Jamaica to see to the reduction in the country’s debt and the decrease in stifling tensions that gripped the nation’s financial structures.

Dr. Phillips told the IMF chief that the people of Jamaica sacrificed much to ensure the success of the programme, but shared concerns about implementation issues in the current agreement in relation to public sector transformation and lagging economic growth. He said the unabated rise in rampant criminality has been a particular drag on the economy and eroding the gains that have been made over the past years.

He said further that the benefits of any growth must be spread widely to include the provision of improved social services and enhanced quality of education for the nation’s children.

Dr. Phillips said, while the nation continues to be an example of fiscal achievement under the IMF interventions, too many of our people are not enjoying the benefits as in most cases their standards of living have fallen. Jamaica must focus on the fundamental structural impediments to growth, which will result in improved standards of living.

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Dr.Peter Phillips, Press Releases

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 17, 2017: Leader of the Opposition Dr. Peter Phillips is expressing sadness at the passing of the late chairman of the RJR/Gleaner Group Lester Spaulding.

Jamaica and the media fraternity have lost one of its giants, he was a patriotic Jamaican who always considered a free and fair press to be a part of good governance in the country.

The local and regional media fraternity has lost a pioneer, devoted advocate and consummate friend, Dr. Phillips said.

He said that Mr. Spaulding who was a professional accountant, was a visionary who was particularly instrumental in establishing and modernizing the media landscape in Jamaica and the region.

“He was a giant in the industry and the nation will cherish his legacy of building the RJR into a multi-platform communication entity.”

Dr. Phillips said Mr. Spaulding was central to the merger of the RJR/Gleaner Group and that this vibrant entity, that he led up to the time of his passing, continues to be a leader in the industry, a bastion of credibility that faithfully serves Jamaicans at home and abroad.

 “I’m offering my heartfelt condolences to the immediate family of Mr. Spaulding and by extension the RJR/Gleaner family and the wider media fraternity,”Dr. Phillips said.

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Dr.Peter Phillips, Press Releases

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 12, 2017:  The President of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips says that every effort must be made to effectively enforce the nation’s anti-corruption laws as the only way to successfully free Jamaica from the death grip of corruption. 

Dr. Phillips was speaking at the Karram Speid Hall, St. Andrew graduation of 434 community leaders and key actors who participated in a training programme mounted jointly by the National Integrity Action (NIA) and Council for Voluntary Social Services (CVSS). The graduates are trained to engage in the national fight against corruption.

Pointing to the fact that the country has fallen 14 places in its ranking in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in recent years, Dr. Phillips lamented the apparent disregard by the Andrew Holness led-administration to existing laws and rulings made by anti-corruption bodies such as the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).  

Dr Phillips said there are too many instances where there are reported breaches, certified by the Contractor General, where no action is taken at all. “There are persons in breach of the Parliamentary Integrity of Members Act, but no prosecutions ensue. This is a situation that must be corrected with some urgency because it not only threatens the legitimacy of the political system as people lose confidence in the integrity of their national leaders, but it spreads an even more disturbing phenomenon, which is a general acceptance that corrupt behaviour is normal.”

The Opposition Leader pointed out that corruption has taken over important public services such as with the motor vehicle examiner’s division, law enforcement and other critical agencies of the state. This, he says, helps to destroy the basic fabric of trust which is essential to any progressive society. 

“It is becoming increasingly clear that all efforts for economic and social advancement, and to arrest the spiralling crime rate are being undermined by increasing corruption at all levels of the society,” he lamented.

“The situation is not going to be helped by merely talking about it. We must lead by example and activism. This means starting at the top. It hardly helps when there is no response to reports of rampant corruption from the highest levels,” Dr Phillips argued. 

Dr. Phillips hailed the training programme conducted by the two charity organizations and said the transformative value of this approach can be seen in what has been achieved by the partnership forged by the Church and the NIA in Spanish Town.

In commending the graduates, Dr Phillips said recent successes in August Town show what communities can be mobilised to do to advance their own interests through community action.

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Dr.Peter Phillips, Press Releases

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 11, 2017:  The People’s National Party’s (PNP) President, Dr. Peter Phillips says, the midnight amendments to the National Identification System Bill, which were introduced in a marathon session in the Senate on Friday further underscores the need for the Bill to be sent before a Joint Select Committee where all the contentious issues can be hammered out. 

Dr. Phillips, who had urged the government during the debate in the lower house to send the Bill to a select committee when it was first piloted, says he stands with the Opposition Senators and the many Jamaicans from churches and civic organisations who raised their voices in protection of the rights of the people.

Senator KD. Knight led the Opposition team on insisting that public consultations need to be held prior to any passage and signing-off of the Bill.

Other Opposition Senators were forthright in their stance that the speed and process to the passing of this Bill, which will require every Jamaica to surrender so much personal information, was not in the best interest of Parliamentary democracy, nor the interest of all Jamaicans.

Senator Floyd Morris, who was unable to peruse the amendments presented to the House yesterday morning as he needed the document to be converted to a format that he could access, was insulted by the leader of government business, Senator, the Hon. Kamina Johnston-Smith.

Dr. Phillips says, Senator Johnson-Smith’s response sums up the general disregard that the government has displayed towards the nation’s vulnerable communities.

The need for government to take into account the realities of the disabled is a critical one, Dr Phillips outlined in a meeting he had with the Disabled community in July, while on his Listening Tour. 

“Senator Johnston-Smith needs to step forward and not only apologize, but also to clearly assure Jamaicans with disabilities that they are not second-class citizens in their own country. “

The debate continues Monday.

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