Guam Consul General Bayani V. Mangibin will fly to Saipan next week in preparation for the transfer of responsibilities of the Philippine Consulate General on Saipan to Agana in Guam.
Mangibin confirmed with the Saipan Tribune via email that he and Consul Gary Auxilian will arrive on Monday for a five-day visit.
Saipan Consul General Medardo Macaraig said yesterday that part of the agenda of Mangibin and Auxilian's visit is a meeting with Filipino community leaders.
“That's an important part of the agenda and their visit is necessary because they're taking over the CNMI jurisdiction,” Macaraig said in an interview.
The two Guam Consulate officials will also have courtesy visits with Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, House Speaker Eli Cabrera, Senate President Paul Manglona, and Federal Ombudsman Pamela Brown.
The visit, Macaraig said, will be an opportunity for Filipinos in the Commonwealth to express their concerns relating to the impending closure of the Saipan Consulate and the eventual takeover of the Guam Consulate.
The last day of the Saipan Consulate is on Oct. 31.
During the visit, Macaraig and Mangibin will also firm up plans on how to address administrative and other consular matters, including the continuation of the Saipan Consulate's livelihood and skills upgrading program, quarterly health screenings, 2013 election, and what to do with consular assets and records.
According to Macaraig, there are individuals and organizations that are willing to carry on with the Saipan Consulate's programs but they will have to be sanctioned by the Guam Consulate.
“These programs can continue even after our closure. It's just a matter of organizing them. Whoever will handle the programs after we leave will be subject to the decision of Consul General Mangibin,” he said.
Macaraig urged all Filipino organizations to send their representatives to take part in the meeting to get to know the Guam consular officials and for a smooth transition of consular responsibilities.