Demapan wants Philippines included in visa-waiver program

REPRESENTATIVE Angel Demapan has drafted a resolution asking the governor to seek the inclusion of the Philippines on the list of countries eligible for the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program pursuant to the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.

Angel Demapan
Demapan will introduce the resolution during a House session on Tuesday.

According to the resolution, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 or U.S. Public Law 110-239 provides the governor of the CNMI with the discretion to ask the secretary of the Interior and the secretary of Homeland Security to add a particular country to the list of countries approved to participate in the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver program.

The resolution stated that the Philippines was not included on the original list of approved countries based on a determination by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at that time.

But in the eight years since the implementation of the visa waiver program, the resolution added, an adequate arrival-and-departure control system has been developed.

The resolution said including the Philippines on the list of eligible countries does not represent a threat to the welfare, safety or security of the United States or the CNMI.

Over the years, it added, the Philippines has realized significant decreases in visa rejection rates. Tourism, in the meantime, remains the primary economic driver for the commonwealth and the inclusion of the Philippines on the list will help increase visitor arrivals for the CNMI, the resolution stated.

The addition of the Philippines to the visa-waiver program, coupled with the new direct flight service between Manila and Saipan as offered by Philippine Airlines, will help the CNMI bolster its destination promotion strategies, the resolution added.

The resolution states that based on recent global GDP rankings, the economy of the Philippines is showing “tremendous potential for significant economic growth that may be beneficial to the CNMI.”

Related posts