Overseas Workers Welfare Administration members in the CNMI will no longer be able to renew their membership on Saipan once the Philippine Consulate General closes down, following OWWA's rejection of a request to authorize RNV Foreign Exchange as a remittance processing center.
Welfare officer Julia F. Fabian said in an interview that she recently received verbal notification from their Manila office, saying that the request is not doable since renewal of OWWA membership requires personal appearance of the member.
RNV Foreign Exchange, a money remittance business on Saipan, was only recommended to accept membership renewal fees once the consulate shuts down after Oct. 31.
Additionally, the OWWA main office also turned down the recommendation to have RNV Foreign Exchange become an accredited remittance center for the sponsors of the agency's Tuloy-Aral (continuing education) program.
A Susupe resident who asked not to be named said yesterday that OWWA's decision not to provide a processing center where Filipino workers can renew their memberships is disadvantageous especially for those who have been members for decades.
“With the economic downturn [on] the islands, our OWWA memberships serve as our only insurance,” said the father of four.
But Fabian said she plans to appeal once again this decision by discussing the situation in the CNMI with the officials at the OWWA office when they return to Manila on Nov. 2.
“We can brainstorm on what kind of setup would be best to allow OWWA members here to continue their memberships. There is really a demand for it based on the many Filipino workers I've talked to,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Likewise, she plans to discuss in detail the possibility of continuing the issuance of the overseas employment certificate or OEC to Filipino workers as well as the Tuloy-Aral sponsorship beyond the consulate's closure.