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Belize hosts OCCUR’s conference

Belize is hosting the sixteenth annual OOCUR conference, which is being attended by regulators from across the Caribbean. The event is being held at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza. Reporter Johnelle McKenzie filed this report.

Johnelle Mckenzie: The Organization of the Caribbean Youth Health Regulators is holding its 16th Annual Conference in Belize which is being attended by regulators across the Caribbean. Love News stopped in and spoke with Clayton Blackman the Chairman of OCCUR who said that OCCUR ensures that the right rates are being charged while quality service is given to customers. Blackman highlighted the focus of the three day conference.”

Clayton Blackman Chairman of Occur: “Most of the discussion that takes place would be like things affecting the regulators or the customers program you know customer service or so measures that have been put in place by the government. Within recent times though we have been looking at renewable energy and energy efficiency which is something that is really on the table and we think that we need to support each other with respect to some of our practices and some of the policies to put in place to take on what we look as something that is relatively new and something that is definitely will be the future as far as energy is concerned. The laws are drafted in such a way that the regulators aren’t really totally independent but what we would like to see though is whenever government has a decision to make with respect to regulations is that it is not done unilaterally, the regulators have a part to play.”

Johnelle Mckenzie: “ Love News also spoke to John Avery the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission who said that PUC has been able to learn and to grow from being a part of OCCUR.

John Avery the Chairman of the Public utilities commission: “We have issues with the internet for example. A  lot of operators in the Caribbean are concerned about what we call over the top operators like Google for example. Google provides services to customers or Whatsapp or anybody and then they do not pay for that access to the people who build the networks in Belize but they use the networks to access the customers and then they generate revenues from ads and that sort of thing. They don’t share it with the operators so those are issues that operators bring to regulators to deal with. Unfortunately and fortunately if we try to restrict this type of thing then you end up restricting the benefits that come with the internet.”

Johnelle Mckenzie:Avery said OCCUR members are made of operators from both the the telecommunication and the energy sectors. This is Johnelle Mckenzie reporting for Love News.”