Malacañang ‘worried’ over Chinese workers influx
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Thursday expressed concern over the influx of Chinese nationals in the country, backing National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.’s claim that the staggering spike in the number of Chinese workers in the country is a “security threat.”
“Yes (we are) worried. Kasi nga masyadong marami, may influx na magtataka ka kung paano sila nakakapasok? So hindi lang worry sa number, may worry pa kung paano sila nakakapasok,” Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
The country’s top security adviser, in a press briefing Wednesday, also said he was concerned with whether or not immigration and labor laws are being followed by Chinese nationals.
“We want more tourists but there is still another side of the coin, so to say. So we must not let our guards down,” Esperon said.
In line with this, Panelo said the Bureau of Immigration should step up its campaign against illegal aliens.
“Kung ‘yung kanilang pag-stay dito more on they want to work here but they are still violating immigration laws, eh madaling gawan ng paraan ‘yun. We will just expel them legally,” Panelo said.
However, Panelo did not categorically answer whether the government is open to putting a threshold or limit on the number of Chinese nationals in the country.
“Ang policy natin doon, kung kailangan natin ng Chinese workers na hindi kaya ng Pilipino, we will allow that. ‘Yun ang ating policy,” he said.
The number of Chinese nationals in the Philippines has noticeably increased with the majority of them working for the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo). But despite the country’s economic gains, there has been a mounting fear that Chinese workers are taking jobs, evading taxes and committing crimes.
Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte said he is in favor of allowing Chinese nationals to work in the country, likening the presence of Chinese workers in the Philippines to Filipinos working in China.
“Iyong mga Chinese dito, hayaan mo ‘yan na dito magtrabaho. Hayaan mo. Bakit? We have 300,000 Filipinos in China. Kaya hindi ako maka — sabihin, o umalis kayo dito, deport ka doon. Eh kung bigla paalisin ‘yun doon 300 [thousand] of them?” he said. /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.