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Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Filipino Guam senator visits Pinoys in Saipan

Guam Senator Shirley "Sam" Mabini, the first Filipino woman elected as senator in Guam, met with Filipino community leaders at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) in Saipan last June 21.

Mabini was among the visiting dignitaries attending the 31st General Assembly Conference of the Association of Pacific Island Legislature (APIL), hosted this year by the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)Legislature.

"Senator Mabini... was born and raised in Guam to a mother who worked as a seamstress and her father a carpenter and was among those recruited in the 1960s to rebuild Guam following the Second World War," the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

At the meeting, Mabini reminded some 60 Filipino leaders from Saipan and Rota and Tinian islands about their value as part of the Commonwealth's workforce.

She said their "biggest asset" is their own contribution to the economic development and success of the islands.

Mabini also reiterated how the Filipino workers in the CNMI serve as the "backbone" of the island's economy.

Mabini also guested at a local radio station, Magic 100.3 FM KWAW, hosted by Filipino program director Rovel Caberos.

During the radio program, she said coordination is being undertaken by both Philippine Consul General to Saipan Medardo Macaraig and Consul General Bayani Mangibin, for the smooth transition of the consular jurisdiction to Guam, and the continuity of providing efficient service to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Embassy Officer-In-Charge Jose Sto. Domingo, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) officer-in-charge Julia Fabian, and the staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Saipan joined the 2012 APIL members and staff of the CNMI Legislature in welcoming Mabini and other delegates.

Other delegates to the APIL were from Hawaii, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, Kosrae and Kiribati.

This year's gathering of the "Blue Continent" leaders conference focused on economic development challenges and solutions, particularly in the field of tourism, airlines, and the environment.

The four-day APIL meeting concluded on June 23. — LBG, GMA News

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