Thursday, January 22, 2009

CNMI --- For better or Worse

I've had opportunities to move away from the CNMI, a job waiting 10,000 miles away from the place we call home.  I've chosen to stay on the basis of supporting our islands growth, the need for intervention, the need for dreams to make this island beauty attractive for generations to come, I am here for better or worse...

Recent findings on the federalization issue prompted me to write this post.  I fear some would disagree and may be offended by such comments on their job security, but I ask that you keep an open mind about what the true picture is that is slowly redeeming itself upon us. As of todays paper (January 22, 2009), there is an article about the Visa Waiver Program, for short we will call it "VWP".  It now states that after June 1, 2009, all those holding legitimate IR Visa, Work Permit Visa, Investment Permit Visas, etc, have no use nor any value.  Should you leave the CNMI after June 1, 2009, you may re-enter as a tourist, but not of business status that you are commonly using today.

The good, it will weed out the fly-by night operators, the bad, it poses a threat to future investment and business closure due to the difficulty in doing business in the CNMI.  I am quite concerned about this issue, I have foreign partners and there is no way they will succumb to being ill-treated in this manner especially after investing over 3.5 million into the CNMI.  

Another article today mentioned about President Obama holding all new Federal Regulations that have not been posted yet in the registrar.  This could work towards our benefit but only for a short period of time (180 days?).  What's next? I attended a meeting todayb that discussed that very issue, our letters of concern, our point we made as a community was not really heard, and I enjoyed the discusion I had today on "humanizing the effects" of the Federalization implementation.  Take a look at what the circumstances are;

1. Businesses and its senior management are already contemplating or have done pay cuts to keep business going;
2. Further cuts are imposed on the employees themselves or face closure;
3. With the Immigration federalization, we are to lose our workforce continued with the dwindling population; 
4. Loss of jobs and other money making income for the workforce, where will they go? How will they survive?

How is this possible? How are we to survive or find economic solvency?

On the humanizing effect, it is imperative that we all understand where this is headed and what is there to expect, as far as most people were concerned, they say, "not to worry, this is for the better"....Really?  Think about this, there will be more loss of jobs, no work to be found, business closures, less tax in coffers, etc.  The only ones who don't realy feel the pinch are the secured government workers, even with an austerity Friday, if they receive $600.00 this week, two weeks later they will still see their $600.00 again, not much would care about this issue as security is on their side, but in the private, it's horrible...You worry, you try to be resilient, but impossible today, the effects causes so much hardship in this business climate that already some are thinking to pack up and leave, businesses I mean.  Can the CNMI survive with these new regulations?

I humbly ask for everyone to understand the effects, where do you see yourself in a year from now?  I think we should all express ourselves in writing to the new President Obama via our channel, our delegate, our hope for better change and support, Mr. Kilili.  Why wait, send it in!


Marianas Pride said...

Niao, I feel you, and I agree...I'm here, for better or worse. Sadly, it has been only getting worse.

Federalization is perceived as a necessary evil by some...intervention that was caused by our failures.

Can things get better? Certainly, with or without federalization. Remember, for 10 years in a row, we have seen our revenues decline.

The real road map to better times begins and ends with each and every one of us...

Jeff said...

Most countries do that kind of thing. Korea makes a big fuss of trying to "bust" English teachers trying to make a few extra bucks tutoring.

The way of the world is big business. Big companies can manage investor visas simply, but small businesses can't, and most of what you'll get in Saipan are small businesses and they aren't a priority.

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Just a simple man who loves and cares for his family. Personal views with life in general, business and challenges in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Sharing what we have through publications BISON Relations push out for everyone to keep abreast of what's happening in our beloved island home, Saipan.