Feds: Philippine labor necessary for military buildup on Guam, CNMI

Territorial leaders elated at the Philippines' reinstatement to H2-B program

Labor is the Philippines ' main export industry.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted the ban on Philippine labor, reinstating the country's eligibility for the H-2B program in the final rule that applies to Guam and the CNMI where the Department of Defense is expanding military presence.

"The U.S. military realignment away from Japan and subsequent military construction on Guam requires a sizeable workforce that cannot be sustained by the local workforce in Guam," the DHS stated in the final rule posted on the Federal Register.

Federal officials have determined the Philippines' inclusion in the H-2B non-immigrant visa program "is in the U.S. interest."

The new rule paves the way for construction companies on Guam and the CNMI to resume their recruitment of workers from their main source of manpower in Asia.