Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has made another passionate appeal to telecoms, utility companies and banks in the Virgin Islands to be considerate of the situation of their customers during this COVID-19 lockdown period.
The premier has on several occasions appealed to these companies, as well as landlords, to exercise compassion since many persons would have lost their jobs or fallen on hard times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘I am asking you to stop it’
“I am asking again to the phone companies, please don’t disconnect customers or harass them during this time. They cannot get out to pay, and please we are asking you to stop it. As the Premier of this country I am asking you to stop it,” Premier Fahie appealed on April 9, 2020, on ZBVI 780 AM.
Following appeals to landlords to not evict their tenants for non-payment during these times, landlords have been expressing their understanding with Premier Fahie’s position but noted that the banks still require their mortgage payments.
“Even those in the banks who have the automated things calling people now that they are home, call your head office and tell them look we under a 14-day curfew they can’t get out to pay. Lord have mercy on the people, stop it.
“We have to be more compassionate in some of these utility areas, whoever it is, even if it is Government entities, stop it for now,” Premier Fahie stated.
The Leader of Government Business also said Government will be assisting the people with an economic stimulus, which he said will be rolled out in stages.
One of the early measures of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government to mitigate some of the hardships of the people was the suspension of water bills for customers for 30 days.
‘Don’t worry with the dollar bill now’
Meanwhile, Premier Fahie also praised the work of the marine police and Her Majesty’s Customs for patrolling the borders; however, he appealed to residents to desist from smuggling persons across the borders to be vigilant of persons engaging in such activities.
“Let us know if you see any boats coming from the west, the east the south or the north and report it because we don’t want anyone smuggling the people right now or ever into the Virgin Islands that may be bringing the COVID-19 in with them and causing us more problems.”
Premier Fahie said persons have to understand that reckless actions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic will not only affect other persons, “it could affect you, it could affect your family and it could do great destructions, so please let us not be worried about the dollar bill right now and then don’t have life.”