DUE TO CONTINUING CW CRISIS:

Marianas Printing may be sold or close

The Marianas Printing Services in San Jose may likely be sold or close as all of its 12 longtime foreign workers are affected by CW1 crisis. The local company started in 1978, making it the first printing office in the CNMI. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The Marianas Printing Services in San Jose may likely be sold or close as all of its 12 longtime foreign workers are affected by CW1 crisis. The local company started in 1978, making it the first printing office in the CNMI. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The owners of Marianas Printing Services, a local company that is the first printing office in the CNMI, will be forced to sell the company or shut it down as all its 12 longtime foreign workers are affected by the CW1 cap crisis.

“We cannot hire locals to take over the printing machine,” said Tomasa Camacho who serves as secretary of the company located in San Jose. Her husband, Luis T. Camacho, is the company’s president and manager.

Tomasa and Luis Camacho and two other family members are the only local employees of Marianas Printing.

Mrs. Camacho said the Department of Labor told them before that they have to train locals, but that it’s hard to get locals interested in operating a printing machine unless there is a school for printing in the Commonwealth.

She pointed out that they cannot afford to apply for H-1 visas for their foreign workers, who are all Filipinos.

Mrs. Camacho said in the printing business, they need workers who know how to operate the machine who can even work every day as much as possible.

She said even her husband, Luis, went to Honolulu for training, but still he is not allowed to touch the machine.

Mrs. Camacho said all the 12 affected workers have been in the company for 20 to 30 years now.

She disclosed that the foreign workers’ CW1 permits will start expiring by next month.

“It’s sad if we are going to close the printing [shop] because it is the first printing [shop] in the CNMI,” she said, adding that the company started operating in 1978.

She said currently the company is struggling because there are plenty of competitors, but they still manage to run the daily operations.

Mrs. Camacho said some businesses are easy to operate, but printing is hard because skilled workers are needed.

She said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must immediately do something otherwise a lot of businesses will be closing.

“What then? Only the Best Sunshine gonna grow up?” she said.

Mrs. Camacho said somebody just told them to just go ahead and file the CW1 applications for renewal of their workers.

She said that’s what they did, but that they don’t know if the applications will be approved.

She said she tried but failed to contact Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) on what they could do to help the company.

“We’re just waiting for the word and see what will happen. But I cannot afford H-1,” Mrs. Camacho stressed.

She recalled she even tried to send home some of the workers, but it’s very hard for her to choose which one would go because they have been in the company for 20 to 30 years and for her they are already like members of their family.

SN-5 Shipping Company, which delivers supplies to stores and residents on Tinian from Saipan, is expected to close shop next month as its workers are also affected by the CW1 crisis.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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