Not-so-merry Christmas for 21 Chinese illegal workers
It was not at all a merry Christmas for 21 Chinese nationals arrested recently by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for illegally working as vendors at two shopping malls in Pasay City.
The apprehended foreigners spent Dec. 25 in the BI detention facility at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, after they were found to have violated the terms of their stay in the country by working at One Shopping Center and Two Shopping Center without the necessary permits.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said he was appalled by the Chinese nationals’ disregard for the country’s immigration and labor laws, especially since BI personnel had just arrested last month several foreigners for working illegally in the same establishments.
“These illegal aliens are brazenly working out in the open, violating immigration laws and stealing jobs from Filipinos. We will not stop hunting them down and sending them out,” Morente told reporters on Wednesday.
Fortunato Manahan Jr., BI acting intelligence chief, said that earlier, the bureau received a tip that Chinese nationals selling wares in the two malls did not have valid working visas.
Upon investigation, some of them were found to possess just tourist visas while the rest could not even present any travel document.
The influx of Chinese workers, both legal and illegal, has sparked a Senate inquiry as senators lamented that not only were they taking jobs away from competent Filipinos, they were also causing a surge in property prices.
Manahan said that the Chinese nationals would soon be sent back to China.
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