The big MACC is on the table

The Small Business Design-Build Multiple Award Construction Contract or MACC offers contractors another opportunity to be part of a team for work at “federal or military” installations in Guam, as well as the prospect of some work in the Northern Mariana Islands “and the outlying Pacific Islands,” according to the solicitation issued by Naval Facilities Engineering and Systems Command Marianas, with bids due June 10.  The maximum dollar value, including the base period and all options, for all contracts combined is $600 million. Task Orders  range from $1 million to $20 million, according to the solicitation. A task order for the minimum guarantee will be issued concurrently with the award of the contract, according to NAVFAC.

In other MilCon news, NAVFAC PACIFIC awarded May 10 a $45 million mamizu- funded task order for the Medical and Dental Clinic on Marine Corps Base Guam, which is also known as Camp Blaz to the JV of CoreTech-HDCC-Kajima LLC in Guam.


Good news roundup:

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is updating policy guidance for certain H-2B employers on Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands to explain that “certain projects that are supporting or adversely affected by the military realignment, in addition to those that are associated with or directly connected to the military realignment, are exempt from the temporary need requirement.”

The new guidance interprets the expanded parameters under the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2021, so an H-2B employer who qualifies under the expanded parameters is not required to demonstrate that the service or labor is temporary in nature if the employment start date is before Dec. 31, 2023. Priority will also be given to federally funded military projects. Petitioners must still comply with other H-2B requirements, including submission of an approved temporary labor certification issued by Guam’s Department of Labor or the U.S. Department of Labor, as appropriate. Employers on Guam and in the CNMI remain exempt from the statutory H-2B cap until Dec. 31, 2029. Additional about the H-2B program can be found on the H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers page. and is also available in the USCIS Policy Manual.

According to the Guam Chamber of Commerce, it worked with the help of Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress to instigate these changes.

  • Vaccinated travelers to Guam will be exempted from quarantine as of May 15. In a May 13 Executive Order from Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero social gatherings have been raised to 100, according to the EO. Further details released May 14 are as follows:

“Those who are fully vaccinated with a U.S. FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine may be exempt from quarantine. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Those seeking exemption from quarantine must present:

Photo identification (e.g. passport, driver’s license, state-issued identification);

COVID-19 vaccination record card, which includes the patient’s name, date of birth, vaccination date(s), and the brand of COVID-19 vaccine administered; 

Secondary form of COVID-19 vaccine verification such as a:

Vaccinating health authority record, vaccinating provider letter, receipt of COVID-19 vaccine administered or another form of secondary verification, to be approved at the reviewing officer’s discretion

NOTE: Individuals vaccinated in Guam, whose vaccination information are verifiable utilizing the WebIZ Application will not be required to present a secondary form of vaccine verification.

  • Declaration of Individual Attesting to COVID-19 Vaccination, signed under penalty of perjury

Children 12 and older in Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands may now receive vaccinations, with

Leon Guerrero said at a May 14 news conference, “Should the number of hospitalized increase, know that I am prepared to reimplement restrictions. Again, this is a fluid situation and we will adapt as needed to safeguard our community.”

What that might mean, would depend, she told the Journal. “It may, or it may not” mean quarantine is re-introduced. One factor that might trigger action in the community would be if there were 10 or more hospitalized in Guam, she said.

While the Centers for Disease Control have said that fully vaccinated individuals may cease wearing masks in a variety of situations, including outdoors, she said, “Right now I am not implementing the CDC guideline for masks. There’s still a risk of transmission if you are not wearing a mask.”

The governor said that a negative PCR test only for incoming visitors will be possible in the future and was something she and the Governor’s Economic Council had discussed. “Certainly, I am very open to considering that negative PCR to come in … if we feel comfortable our people will be protected.”

The governor said the relaxing of quarantine would be monitored in the next three to four weeks.”

Cabrera said arrival for returning residents would be as simple as presenting their CDC vacation card, and monitoring through the SARA app. For people requiring a secondary form of proof of vaccination, he said, “We’re being pretty liberal.”

  • Through the American Recovery Plan Act, Guam is due to receive $553.58 million and the NMI $481.88 million swiftly from the ARP Act, plus additional funding that includes education and health care, additional funding under the Counties designation — $32.66 million in Guam’s case and $10.14 million in the NMI’s case.

The U.S. Treasury’s portal opened May 11 for governments to upload spending plans and published its Interim Final Rule on how governments may spend funding. Final figures are expected to come close to estimated disbursements: $661 million in the case of Guam and $507 million for the NMI.

Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress, also held a press conference on May 11, the recent American Rescue Plan Act and the $553 million afforded to Guam through it.

San Nicolas said that, according to his office, the list of priorities from the legislature can mostly all be funded, or a case can be made for funding, with the exception of very few items.

He said his office “will do a formal write-up to show the alignment” of list items to what is allowed through the act, but he is pleased with the amount that Guam will be receiving.

“If we were to, on a per-capita basis, evaluate all the funds we received, we received more than a lot of other states. All-inclusive, for all the funding throughout the pandemic, we have exceeded many, many states… On a net basis, we came out very, very ahead.”

As to the capital improvement fund, San Nicolas said, “There’s another $10 billion in the capital projects fund that the Treasury has not yet decided how to allocate.”


And the not so good news:

No funds have been received in Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund or the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program, as of May 13.


NMI governor guarantees funding for technical institute; NMI still on track for tourism

While the incoming board and CEO at the Northern Marianas Technical Institute seeks to divine where are funds given to the institute before their appointment, Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres told the Journal at a May 14 news conference that $150,00 has been transferred to institute by his administration. “I will make sure the NMTI is well funded,” he said. … They are not short of funding.” Torres made that assurance to families “and especially the students,” he said.

The governor also said he expects at least half of the NMI’s initial ARPA funding of about $500 million to arrive soon.

Warren Villagomez, chairman of the COVID-19 task force for the Northern Mariana Islands previously said on May 7 that an advance group from Korea will arrive June 15, with the first official flight scheduled for July.

Speaking at a news conference on May 14, he said, “We are working on the details as we speak.” Villagomez told the Journal that the slow rate of vaccination in Korea “was not part of the discussion” with the NMI, though he said, “They are working hard on vaccinating their people.” The NMI and had focused on discussing COVID testing, he said.

Villagomez said 44,511 persons had been vaccinated as of May 14, or 55% of the NMI’s population. As to encouraging further vaccination for younger residents, he said, “There are incentives that are being look at” for those aged 30 and below. The NMI has additional nursing resources from a U.S. mainland-based agency to assist with vaccinations, Villagomez said.


GVB approves marketing money for “Air V&V” program

The Guam Visitors Bureau board of directors spent several hours between May 13 and May 14 deliberating a motion to approve funding for the vaccine tourism program, “Air V&V.” Their meeting was recessed on May 13, as the board did not have a quorum to vote on the motion and resumed on May 14.

The “Air V&V” program will be marked to American expatriates living abroad in Asian countries and will encourage them to travel to Guam for “vaccination and vacation.” There are an estimated 560,000 expats living in nearby Asian countries. Since Guam is the closest U.S. territory to these countries, the island has a prime opportunity to appeal to those niche markets.

GVB is working closely with travel agents in-country as well as marketing. representatives to create price-stratified packages that will include all aspects from travel until departure.

Board members were uncertain about the proposed amount of $3 million for the program and whether the marketing should extend to non-U.S. citizens and the typical tourist market, as well as the timing of the approval.

Ben Ferguson, vice chairman of the Reopening Task Force, was concerned about approving funding for Air V&V before the new quarantine protocols for incoming travelers is announced.

“If quarantine protocols don’t change, we’re kind of dead in the water,” Ferguson said. “The current quarantine protocols do not benefit the industry as a whole.”

Nadine Leon Guerrero, director of global marketing for GVB, saw value in expanding Air V&V beyond expats.

“It’s not just our major markets, there’s other markets out there,” Leon Guerrero said.

Board members also contemplated the $3 million; some wondered if it was too much, others questioned the funding before concrete plans and travel package options were in place.

Eventually, the original motion was withdrawn, and a new motion was brought to the table. The new motion proposed $1 million for Air V&V to market exclusively to expats. The motion passed unanimously. mbj