September 20, 2005
RP’s NCLEX takers bypassing NMI for HK
Tourist arrivals in the CNMI from the Philippines went down by over 50 percent compared to statistics last year, coinciding with the move to allow Hong Kong to administer the National Council Nursing Licensure Examination this year. For August 2005 alone, statistics showed a decline of 57 percent or 210 visitors from Manila, compared with the 489 in August 2004. In July, Manila visitors only numbered 271 or 37 percent down from last year’s 429. In June, the decline was at 57 percent, as only 213 people came compared with 496 during the same month last year.
Termites munching on 3 MHS buildings
Three buildings at Marianas High School are in dire need of repair but the school, which has the CNMI’s largest student population, continues to get the cold shoulder treatment by government authorities. According to MHS acting principal Karen Borja, some of the school’s buildings are in bad shape and have been infested by termites in the last four years. “We’ve been relaying this to the Public School System CIP, but unfortunately there’s no money to correct the situation,” she said. Borja said the buildings that badly need repairs are the S-Building, J-Building, and T-Building.
September 20, 2006
NMI-wide jobs audit sought
Acting Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez is seeking a comprehensive audit of private sector jobs to help more resident workers find employment. In a letter last week to Public Auditor Michael Sablan, Villagomez asked the Office of the Public Auditor to conduct a study of employment in the private sector to identify jobs being held by nonresident workers that could be filled by qualified resident workers. “I feel certain that a good number of the jobs for which work permits are being issued could be filled by resident workers,” said Villagomez. “This audit would help identify those positions so we can help more residents secure gainful employment.” The CNMI Department of Labor issues approximately 30,000 nonresident worker permits each year.
OPD overworked, understaffed
The CNMI government office that represents indigent defendants in court cases is experiencing a severe staff shortage. Public defender Elisa Long reported that each of the five attorneys at the Office of the Public Defender handles an average load of over 100 cases. She also said that the legal support staff in her office consists of only three people. The two investigators and one secretary conduct all of the investigations, interview clients, file documents, keep track of case files, and maintain the schedules and the databases for the attorneys.
September 20, 2007
Pete A. bats for 12-year cutoff
Instead of the five-year cutoff in the proposal to grant resident status to long-term alien workers, Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio wants the cutoff extended to 12 years to limit the number of nonresident workers who will qualify. Tenorio made the recommendation in recent letters he sent to Energy Committee chair Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), ranking member Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), Insular Affairs Subcommittee chair Donna Christensen (D-VI) and ranking member Luis G. Fortuño (R-PR). The suggestion, among other proposed changes, particularly focuses on Section 6(h) of the two federalization bills now pending in the U.S. Congress, S. 1634 and H.R. 3079. This section provides a one-time grant of U.S. non-immigrant status to some long-term nonresident workers.
CNMI govt monitoring overstayers
The list of overstayers, published Sept. 10, 2007 and Sept. 17, 2007, drew complaints from only about three persons on the list, said Jeffrey Camacho, a senior investigator at the Department of Labor. Two of those persons had died and the necessary record with respect to the third person was late in arriving from Tinian, he said. “The Labor Department does not get records on deaths unless the employer reports to us,” Camacho said. “In these two cases, we heard about the deaths only after we published the list. Technically, these two cases were overstayers on the Labor department’s records. .In [the other] instance, we did not get a record from Tinian until one day after the list was finalized and sent to be printed.”