‘Gov’t, not the Chinese, to blame for lack of jobs’
The labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) said the Philippine government and not the Chinese migrant workers should be blamed for the lack of regular jobs in the country.
“As a country with a proud history of anticolonial struggles and as a responsible member of the community of nations, we should not tolerate encroachments of any foreign power to our sovereignty but neither should we approve of xenophobia and racism,” said Leody de Guzman of BMP.
He said Sen. Joel Villanueva should be criticized for fanning the flames of hatred against the Chinese workers and its people.
Villanueva earlier pressed for a crackdown on illegal Chinese workers as he claimed that they were competing with Filipino workers in the domestic labor market.
‘No different from OFWs’
“We should learn to demarcate between the government of China and its people. Chinese migrant workers, who come to the Philippines to work, are no different from overseas contract workers, who seek greener pastures abroad because of the lack of regular jobs with decent wages in the country,” De Guzman said in a statement.
“As a workers’ organization, the BMP extends its class solidarity with the Chinese migrant workers and calls on the Duterte government to guarantee their safety against racist attacks, verbal or otherwise, in the same way that we want host countries to protect and safeguard overseas Filipino workers,” he said.
Citing data from the labor department, De Guzman said 119,814 special working permits had been issued to foreigners from 2015 to 2017.
Of the total, 51,000 permits were issued to Chinese nationals, with some 2,000 related to jobs in construction in the past three years.
9.8M Filipinos unemployed
“It is evident that the seething anger to Chinese migrant workers, as evident in various comments in social media, is rooted in the desperation of our countrymen for the lack of decent jobs in the country. The recent Social Weather Station survey points to eroding job optimism with an estimated unemployment of some 9.8 million Filipinos,” De Guzman said.
Barking up the wrong tree
“Some of our irate countrymen, unfortunately, are barking up the wrong tree. They should blame the Duterte regime and its predecessors for the tacit policy of labor export, which relied on OFW remittances to keep the economy afloat, and for the state abandonment of local agriculture and industry, sectors that traditionally composes the bulk of the jobs generated for our labor force,” he added.
However, De Guzman said that if Filipino netizens were condemning the President’s apparent subservience to the Chinese government, his group would gladly join them in protests.