‘Ridding foreign labor economically detrimental’


House Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao (R-Saipan) said getting rid of the foreign labor in the CNMI is “economically very, very detrimental.”

The population is determined on higher economic growth, said Attao when asked for comment yesterday about the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s approval of the final round of submissions for the CNMI Prevailing Wage Survey.

Attao said sometimes a lot of the decisions are made so many thousands of miles away from the CNMI.

He said the CNMI’s reliance on goods and services are still dependent from outside the Commonwealth.

The speaker said the CNMI does not have the population necessary to fill all the job positions.

He said the CNMI is working on that by looking for ways through the Northern Marianas College, the Public School System, and the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, to get those positions.

Attao, however, stated that the CNMI’s population in reality cannot sustain the needed jobs.

“That’s why we are still relying on foreign labor,” he said.

Attao said businesses have to abide by the NMI Prevailing Wage Survey.

“If that’s what being called for then we have to abide by,” Attao pointed out.

The speaker noted that with the damage that the CNMI had gone through from all the typhoons, getting contractors is the challenge right now.

“With the prevailing wage then it might be not beneficial to some of the people that are looking for contractors,” he said, adding that contractors might actually put additional amount because the demand is very high and the supply is very low.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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