The Philippines Consulate General in Guam will be holding a consular mission here on Saipan from June 29 to July 16 at the Philippine Honorary Consulate office at the Sun Palace Hotel in Susupe.
According to a news release, it said consulate staff will capture biometrics and personal data for the further processing of Philippine passport applications from thousands of Saipan’s Filipinos. This mobile consular outreach will happen just in time before the CW-1 visa renewal deadline of Sept. 30.
In an interview with Philippine honorary consul Glicerio “Eli” Arago, he said is more than happy that another consular outreach will be taking place on Saipan, and looks forward to meeting new Consul General Patrick John U. Hilado. Hilado only recently became consul general for the Guam office, assuming the position on May 3.
“All of us are happy because at last we are going to [renew] the passports of our kapabayans (compatriots). It’s good timing, because the CW renewal deadline on Sept. 30 is very near already,” said Arago.
The CW-1 visa program allows employers in the CNMI to temporarily hire nonimmigrant workers. For many Filipinos on Saipan, renewing their CW-1 visa status is a must, and presentation of an updated PH passport is a requirement for visa renewal.
Arago said that Saipan’s honorary consulate has a backlog of more than 2,000 passport renewal applications it has received since Guam’s last visit in March, and expects to see even more availing of consular services come June 29. Arago, however, has faith in his staff and volunteers to make things go smoothly next week.