Hagåtña, Guam – Following successful discussions with the Philippine Congress and Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration welcomes the significant progress made by the Philippine government toward the opening of a Migrant Workers Office in Guam.
“This is a huge accomplishment for the future of our island and economic prosperity,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “We can look forward to an expedited process for H-2B workers and move forward with military construction projects that have experienced some setbacks in recent years. I want to thank the Philippine government for supporting my request to open an office in Guam.”
“I want to thank Philippine Representatives Ron Salo, Rodante Marcoleta, Rachel Arenas, and Felimon Espares, who visited Guam last month on a fact-finding mission, for pushing this matter forward upon their return to Manila. They listened to our government officials, local contractors, and H-2B workers and recognized the urgency of finding solutions to these issues. In concert with lawmakers, DMW acted swiftly in implementing these solutions,” said Lt. Governor Tenorio. “The shared history, cultural similarities, and short distance between the two countries make Guam an ideal place for Filipinos to work. The Philippines can count on Guam to protect their people as one of our own.”
Last week, Macy Maglanque, Labor Attaché from the MWO in Los Angeles, California, met with Governor Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Tenorio. She provided updates on the initiative and stated that Philippines Secretary of Migrant Workers Susana “Toots” Vasquez Ople gave the green light to proceed with establishing an office in Guam. Ople officially announced earlier this month in a press briefing that their country will open four new MWOs—one in Guam, another in Bangkok, Thailand, and two more yet to be determined.
“The Department of Migrant Workers is excited to launch an office in Guam where thousands of Filipinos have made their home. I had the opportunity to meet with Filipinos in Guam, and all have expressed their satisfaction with their living and working conditions. Productive meetings with members of the Guam Contractors Association (GCA) and the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL) confirm Guam has a robust H-2B program that mutually benefits Filipino migrant workers and Guam’s people alike,” said Maglanque.
The MWO Los Angeles is working closely with the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) to facilitate and push forward the establishment of the MWO in Guam. Once established, the MWO Guam will be under the auspices of the PCG.
“I want to thank the Consul General Patrick John Hilado for supporting our efforts in establishing an MWO in Guam,” said GDOL Director David Dell’Isola. “After a fruitful discussion, both parties agreed to also work on a country-specific employment contract. This will involve face-to-face meetings and working sessions to negotiate the contract details that will include provisions to benefit both Guam and the Philippines.”
During their four-day visit, the MWO Los Angeles team visited job sites, met with Overseas Filipino Workers on Guam, employers and contractors, as well as reviewed and approved over 200 job positions. Maglanque and her team plan to return to Guam regularly to provide services while a new MWO is being established in the territory.