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    Monday, December 18, 2017-11:14:57P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Guam, NMI should set limit on number of guest workers: municipal officials

ELECTED municipal officials of Guam and the CNMI have adopted a resolution regarding the islands’ need for workers.

The Association of Mariana Islands Mayors, Vice Mayors and Elected Municipal Council Members or AMIM is requesting CNMI and Guam officials to seek legislation in the U.S. Congress that will allow the islands to set the numerical limit on the guest workers they need based on their respective economic activities.

The resolution was addressed to CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, CNMI Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan and Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo.

AMIM also calls for a reduction in the fees and other charges assessed by the U.S. government for processing foreign worker visas.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, who introduced the resolution, said it was adopted unanimously by the AMIM during its 24th general assembly last week on Guam.

The other AMIM members who supported the resolution were Tinian Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas, Yigo Mayor Rudy M. Matanane, Chalan Pago-Ordot Mayor Jessy C. Gogue, Rota Municipal Council Vice Chair Kary John Ramos, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chair Luis John Castro, Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig, Dededo Mayor Melissa B. Savares, Rota Municipal Council Chairman Anthony Barcinas, and Northern Islands Mayor Vicente Santos Jr.

In an interview, Apatang said the CNMI and Guam still lack manpower for certain job categories.

In the CNMI’s case, he added, “we can’t afford to lose our CW workers.”

According to the AMIM resolution, businesses depend on people to operate and deliver the goods and services that consumers demand, which in turn generates revenue for businesses and the government, and pay the salaries of their employees.

“Guam and the CNMI share a common market that drives their economies which maintain their respective governments and allow them to deliver services that are vital to a healthy, safe, and clean environment,” the resolution stated. ”Thriving economies depend on what is produced, how such production is delivered, the regulation of its production, and more importantly its labor workforce, among many other factors that drive and sustain a sound economic market.”

Apatang said Guam and the NMI have historically relied on foreign workers.

At present, he added, Guam and the CNMI are “experiencing tremendous pressure on meeting the demand for a sufficient labor workforce which currently is being dictated by the federal government, which sets limits on the number of non-U.S. citizens that could lawfully enter the islands for employment.”

According to the resolution, “for the economies of Guam and CNMI to thrive and for their respective populations to enjoy a decent, affordable, and healthy environment, restrictions currently in place that set a numerical limit on non-U.S. citizens that could lawfully enter and work in the islands must be relaxed to allow the economies of both islands to dictate the number of non-U.S. citizens that could be lawfully employed, and to reduce the fees being charged for the processing of guest worker visas.”