Consul General Bayani Mangibin of the Philippine Consulate in Guam commended Filipino organizations who have stepped up to the plate by taking charge of the programs of the Saipan Consulate.
“By doing that, they have validated the spirit of volunteerism that Filipinos are known for. They proved that they are ready and willing to assist and we are pleased,” Mangibin said in Thursday's media briefing.
Mangibin and Consul Gary Auxilian arrived Monday for a five-day visit to the CNMI in preparation for the transfer of consular responsibilities from the Saipan Consulate to Guam.
The Saipan Consulate is scheduled to shut down after Oct. 31.
Saipan Consul General Medardo Macaraig, however, noted that the Guam Consulate and the Filipino organizations agreed during a meeting Tuesday night on the need to submit concept papers on how to go about carrying on the livelihood and skills upgrading program and the quarterly health screening.
“There are a lot of details regarding this undertaking that cannot be discussed or decided on during a big meeting,” he explained.
Mangibin, for his part, said the concept paper intends to iron out the administrative arrangements that have to be made to continue effectively both programs.
He said the volunteer organizations can consult their concept papers with Auxilian once the Consul flies back to Saipan at the end of the month.
“But the most important thing is that there is already an assurance that we will carry on these programs,” Mangibin emphasized.
Mangibin also assured that the Guam Consulate will work on meeting the consular needs of Filipinos in the Commonwealth. For example, consular documents like notary public can be sent from Saipan to Guam and vice versa via registered mail or courier service.
Mangibin also urged the Filipino community to renew their passports while the Saipan Consulate is still open to serve the public.
He disclosed that they have waived the formalities of passport renewal, particularly the six months-validity requirement of passports, “in the interest of Filipinos here in the Northern Marianas.” For example, a Filipino national can renew one's passport even if the expiry date is in December 2013.
Macaraig noted that the number of passport renewals processed by the Consulate has increased due to this waiver.