Lawmakers probe influx of illegal Chinese workers - The Daily Sentry

Monday, November 26, 2018

Lawmakers probe influx of illegal Chinese workers

Senators Joel Villanueva and Grace Poe / compiled photo from Google

Manila, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Monday has urged the Immigration bureau to raise “red flags” when a Chinese who enter the country as a tourist then applies for a work permit.

This call from Poe was made during the public hearing on the reported influx of Chinese workers in the country.

More Chinese in the Philippines

Chinese in the country have found employment in online gaming, Business Process outsourcing (BPO), construction, and food related jobs.

“Dapat ganito, ‘pag sila ay humingi ng tourist visa, pumunta sila dito, nagpapalit sila ng status, hindi ba dapat red flag na sa atin ‘yon (It should be like this, if they apply for tourist visa, they arrive here, they seek a change in their status, shouldn’t that be a red flag already)?” Poe said.

Reportedly, since year 2016, over 3.12 million Chinese tourists have arrived in the Philippines as the Immigration declared that it issued Special Work Permits (SWPs) to foreigners without Alien Employment Permits (AEPs).

Foreigners, taking away the job

Along with Poe, other senators like Joel Villanueva have also pressed the authorities the crackdown of thousands of illegal foreign workers in the country as the lawmakers warned the Duterte administration that the foreigners are not only taking away jobs from local workers but could also threaten national security.

“There is a clear neglect on the part of government agencies in promoting the preferential use of Filipino labor as mandated by the Constitution,” Villanueva said, noting that last Nov. 22, 93 Chinese workers were arrested in an illegal online gaming facility in Pasig City.*

Likewise, there were 34 Chinese caught working in a construction site in Pasay City.

“No matter how many raids we conduct, there will still be many illegal Chinese establishments with illegal Chinese workers if the proper government agencies can’t stop their influx through illegal means,” Villanueva also said.

Jobless Filipinos

Villanueva lamented the situation saying that adult joblessness in the country increased to 22 percent or equivalent to 9.8 million unemployed Filipinos in September this year.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said it issued 115, 652 AEP since 2015 up to 2017. Almost 50 percent of the numbers were issued to Chinese individuals.  

“I think we should have a policy that says unless necessary, they shouldn’t come in here under false pretenses,” Poe, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said.

104 nabbed for illegal online gambling in Pasig raid including 93 Chinese nationals via Philippine News Agency