JAMAICA – Dr. Peter Phillips, the Jamaican People’s National Party presidential contender has promised to provide jobs and create wealth for all, put in place a first-rate education system and to stamp out criminal activities, if elected as the next PNP president.
Dr. Phillips made these promises to thousands of his supporters clad in orange and red who turned out yesterday at the official launch of his presidential candidacy at the National Arena.
“We must set ourselves the challenge … through the creation of wealth, we will finally eliminate absolute poverty and destitution from this land,” he said to the receptive crowd.
He pointed out that Jamaica has too many resources and opportunities to allow any single Jamaican to go to bed hungry and destitute.
This, he said, could be accomplished through partnership with the producers in the land and the Government.
He said that the transaction cost of setting up and doing business needed to be removed and the interest rates reduced.
“We recognise that there must be fiscal prudence, but I tell you we have to go for growth as never before,” he said.
“We cannot afford another generation coming out just to stand up at betting shop and roll off spliff and drink a hot stout (during the) mornings. We must put an end to it once and for all in our generation,” he said to loud cheers.
To achieve this, the structure of ownership of businesses needs to extend to the majority of Jamaican people, he said.
Turning to crime, which is his portfolio ministry, Dr. Phillips indicated that he would be bringing a proposal to extend the training period of police recruits from nine months to three years.
“We train a teacher for three years before we send them to the schoolroom. We train a nurse for the same three years, but we are training a policeman for nine months before we send him off on to the streets,” he said.
“That is why we (are) not getting the quality of understanding of the role that we need to build the new Jamaica,” he stated.
He also proposed to extend the lessons of the operations of Kingfish across the country and to continue the implementation of DNA technology.
Dr. Phillips said that the party has to lead by example in the fight against crime.
“I will never cover up for anyone under any guise because we have to stamp out criminality once and for all,” he said.
Turning to education, Dr. Phillips promised to “banish illiteracy” from the country, develop a new system of rewards for teachers who perform well and penalise those who are not pulling their weight.
He said the licensing of teachers would also be high on his agenda in reforming the education system and putting in place a first rate early child education for all children.
Dr. Phillips also promised to generate a social transformation across the country and return to good family values.
These he said included the changing of laws to make more parents accountable for their children.