photo: ZVK

ORANJESTAD/THE BOTTOM – Investigators of the Nationale Ombudsman (public defensor) were visiting the BES islands last month for assisting the public with problems with the government. Most complaints on Statia concern health insurance ZVK and the immigration and naturalisation service IND.

Daniël Parreira, investigator for the Nationale Ombudsman

Daniël Parreira, investigator for the Nationale Ombudsman says: “The most complaints I’ve received on Statia are about ZVK. There are a lot of people who need to travel to Colombia for medical reasons. They complain that the first time they got recompensed but the second time they didn’t.”

Parreira states that there are also complaints about the IND regarding issues with passports. Sometimes it’s for the same reason and occur while taking the trip to Colombia for medical assistance.

On Saba he spoke with business owners and government officials too. The full scope of the complaints and issues collected by the investigators on all three islands, is still unknown.

‘Error because of mistake census’
A Statian citizen complained about problems with her passport. “Since 2016, I have been travelling with only an ID. I have a Dutch passport however they won’t renew it. Myself, my sister and brother in Saba all facing the same problem. I have dreams to move to St. Maarten to study and get a better opportunity there.”

She continued: “The census office in the old days made a mistake with our last names resulting this stressful situation. Not only do I feel bad, but I am spending a lot of money on getting my birth certificate fixed. Now I have to naturalise on an island I’m living for more than 25 years.”