Thus said Guam Senator Edward Calvo in addressing the Filipino and local chief executives and businessmen who attended the third annual Association of Pacific Islands Local Government (APILG) conference at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center and Olongapo City Convention Center.
Senators Calvo and Tina Rose Muña Barnes are eyeing former U.S. Naval base employees and other skilled workers of Olongapo for the military build up on their island in connection with the transfer of the American base from Okinawa, Japan.
“We simply do not have the manpower required and so the number of foreign workers involved in the project will increase by the thousands in the next few years. The people of Guam are facing a significant impact as a direct result of the relocation of the US base in Okinawa,” Barnes said.
“There are a lot of opportunities in Guam, the $15 billion military build-up is unlike anything that we have seen before”, Calvo added.
Barnes also expressed concern on the project’s impact on the environment. She said waste management should be handled properly because “we expect an increase in Guam’s population once the build-up is realized, we are looking at an influx of some 70,000 individuals.”
Mayor James Gordon, Jr. assured the Guam officials that the city is willing and ready to help. “We are all looking forward for this tremendous opportunity that the Guam government has offered us. With the former US base employees and our skills training program, we can assure you that we will provide the needed skills and manpower for this project”.
Guam Senators Edward Calvo, Tina Rose Muña Barnes and some of the Association of Pacific Islands Local Government (APILG) delegates with Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. seen here holding the symbolic key of the Sisterhood relationship of Olongapo City and Guam.