Gov. Ralph DLG Torres expressed strong support for an extension in the filing of petitions for renewal and transfer of workers under the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several employers and business owners earlier asked Torres and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) to make an appeal to the federal government to extend the filing period for CW workers.
“At the end of the day, it’s really important that we try to support all of our business partners,” said Torres during Friday’s radio news briefing.
The governor said he’s been fighting for the cause of private partners and CW workers.
“We’ve been to D.C. to show how important they play here. As far as even explaining that, for example, a hotel as you know has 60 CW workers, but then you have 80 U.S. workers. Without the 60 CWs, the hotel will shut down,” Torres pointed out.
He said when looking at those numbers, it’s not just the actual numbers, but the ripple effect that it causes other private partners.
“So I would like to continue to support what we can do to extend the CW expiration date or, or just pull farther the date of expiration so they can stay on island to assist us,” the governor said.
Employers or representatives of 18 businesses recently met with Philippine honorary consul Glicerio Arago to inform that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have struggles and challenges in meeting the federal immigration guidelines with respect to CW petitions.
Sept. 30 is the deadline for employers to file CW renewal and transfer.
Arago subsequently wrote a letter to Torres, asking for intervention on behalf of the affected 18 employers or businesses.