Senate also backs CW extension

The Senate on Friday concurred with the House of Representatives to support a bill in the U.S. Congress to extend the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program for an additional 10 years.

Both legislative chambers have unanimously approved Rep. Angel Demapan’s (R-Saipan) House Joint Resolution 20-08, with the Senate passing it last Friday.

The resolution shows the CNMI Legislature’s support for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) S. 2325, which extends the transitional period for the CW program and some of its provisions.

Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) has also introduced a measure, H.R. 4869, that is similar to Murkowski’s bill.

Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) said that S. 2325, if enacted, would provide “tremendous relief” to the large number of CW slots that were slashed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for fiscal year 2018.

“The passage of S.2325 will restore the needed labor force absent from available U.S. local [workers] and provide the CNMI with the much needed time to train available U.S. local residents to sustain our economic development in the years to come,” said Quitugua. He believes, along with several other CNMI senators, that the local CNMI Department of Labor should be more involved with the CW registration process.

“[The CNMI Department of Labor should] ensure that local labor laws are complied with and to not repeat the ‘ghost’ CW permits incident where CW permits were issued without readily available bodies to work,” he said, adding that the CNMI in turn must also do its due diligence to uphold its end of the bargain.

“In the meantime, all stakeholders must work together for a sustainable economy so we can ensure continued prosperity to the people of the CNMI.”

Not extending the CW program could ultimately affect even the public sector through a major economic plunge, said Sen. Teresita Santos (R-Rota).

“…Any potential economic impact could also translate to our CNMI government’s inability to provide adequate basic public services such as medical care, public safety, and reliable utilities,” she said, adding that even the mere possibility of losing the CW program is already affecting potential projects in the CNMI.

Like Quitugua, she also said that the CNMI must maintain its efforts to train local residents as well as reduce reliance on foreign labor.

ShareTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Email this to someonePrint this page
Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

Related Posts

  • duizang

    All of these “ghost employees” was explained by this Admin. as “Manpower Companies” which according to this Admin were/are legal “contrary” to the law.

    Of course this Senate (and many families) are going to support this CW extension as it is a proliferation and continuation of a source of cheap labor and abuses, along with the continuation of long established of the many that “front” certain business paid for people under the CW program that also puts more money in their pockets.

    All of this talk about how all will conform and the “training programs” and other programs we all have heard before.
    IF this extension is passed as is presently proposed this will ensure that very few locals will go into the private sector thus the continuation of ensuring Govt. jobs in exchange for votes and keeping these proven elected failures in office.

  • RussMason

    When a local government tries to manipulate a Federal Department or Agency, it’s futile. But what the heck; it makes the local government look busy.

    As for training the locals… the smart locals are already employed by the CNMI government. The next group work for BSI at the casino. Many have decided to no work because they’ve come into a windfall by leasing their land to wealthy people. These wealthy locals would rather go fishing. I don’t blame them.

    There may be a few locals who are unemployed, who want to find work, but their numbers are comparatively small. In fact, I don’t know of even one.

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.