Guam Visitor Bureau President and CEO Carl Gutierrez says that GVB “will use the United States Indo-Pacific Command’s overriding defense objectives in Guam and the Philippines as leverage to push Washington, DC for visa waivers for Filipinos seeking to visit Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”
According to Gutierrez, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program currently allows passport holders of several nations visa-free access to the US territories of Guam and the CNMI.
However – those that hold a Philippine passport are not on that list and are not eligible for visa free travel to both territories.
Gutierrez’s push comes as the Philippines introduce their House Resolution, numbered 332.
332 urges that Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs “undertake a concerted effort to request that the President of the United States of America include the Republic of the Philippines in the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Guam-CNMI visa waiver program.”
PNC reached out to Democratic Senator Will Parkinson, who recently introduced a resolution asking Governor Lou Leon Guerrero to do something similar.
Senator Parkinson’s resolution, 14-37, urges Governor Lou Leon Guerrero to petition the Department of Homeland Security to add Filipinos within the list of Guam only visa free travel.
In a statement to PNC, Parkinson said in part, “Guam has strong ties to the Philippines, and many Filipinos who chose to stay on Guam, do so because they can keep one foot in the Philippines and one foot in America. An unrecognized third leg of our economy has always been trade with the Philippines.”
Further adding, “these economic, cultural, and historic ties align with the USINDOPACOM strategy of closer American ties with the Philippines.”