Consul Edgar Tomas “Gary” Q. Auxilian of the Philippine Consulate General in Agana has been on island since Sunday, a little over two weeks after his first visit to the Northern Marianas, to finalize the transfer of consular responsibilities from Saipan to the Guam consulate.
In an interview yesterday, Auxilian said he has been signing documents, making requests, and meeting important contact persons in the CNMI who can help the Guam consulate as they take on their new role.
“We are right on schedule with the execution of the closure,” he told Saipan Tribune.
The consul's stay on Saipan is also in preparation for steering the Saipan consulate once Consul General Medardo G. Macaraig of Saipan leaves for his next assignment in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Oct. 15.
Auxilian said he is also involved with the ongoing auction of Saipan consulate assets, some of which have to be endorsed to the Guam consulate for their continued use after Oct. 31.
Also, he is reviewing the concept paper that details how the consulate's computer training classes will be carried on by graduates of its skills upgrading and reintegration program. He plans to visit the new venue for the computer training this Sunday.
Auxilian noted that he plans to follow up with other groups that have expressed interest in carrying on some of the training and other programs established by the Saipan consulate for Filipino workers in the CNMI.
He and Saipan Consul General Medardo G. Macaraig are also coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila on how to deal with passports that will be issued after the shutdown of the Saipan consulate.
The Saipan consulate will continue to accept passport renewal applications until its last day on Oct. 31.
It takes about four to six weeks before passport renewal applications are processed. This means that applications submitted within the month would arrive after the Saipan consulate's closure.
For these passport applicants, consular staff and officials who will remain behind for two weeks to a month after the shutdown can distribute the passports at a designated time.
Beyond the closure, it will be the Guam consulate that will issue the new passports by requiring the passport owners to send their old passport and a pre-paid self-addressed envelope to the Guam consulate before the new passport is mailed, they said.
Auxilian added that passport owners can also ask someone they trust and who is scheduled to travel to Guam and back to the CNMI to bring an authorization letter and pick up the passport at the Guam Consulate on their behalf.
In other news, the Saipan Consulate will be closed on Monday, Oct. 8, in observance of Commonwealth Cultural Day.
For more information, visit the Saipan Consulate at the 5th floor of Marianas Business Plaza or call 234-1850 or 51.