Governor says extension of CW program is the priority right now

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres said their priority right now is to push for the extension of the CW program for another 10 years. Currently, the program is set to expire in Dec. 2019.

In an interview on Monday, Torres said he met with a working group a couple of weeks ago, and they are now finalizing legislation that will be submitted to the office of U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan for review and introduction.

He said his administration at the same time is appealing to the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 339 which will immediately increase the CW cap for fiscal year 2017 while they work on another bill that will offer a long-term solution.

Torres said the current cap has already affected 18 nurses at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.

“When I spoke about our concerns before the Senate committee in Washington, D.C. [in April], I told them that that if we don’t do this, it will hurt our people’s well-being and our healthcare.”

Torres said the goal now is to extend the CW program, increase the cap, which is currently 12,998, and include the CNMI government in the process of determining and identifying the number of foreign workers that the islands can hire.

“Our main concern is to have stability in our workforce so our economic recovery will continue and we can pay for the obligations of the CNMI government to the local people.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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