Robredo says influx of Chinese ‘retirees’ dangerous to PH national security
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed alarm over the arrival of nearly 28,000 Chinese tourists who were allowed to enter the Philippines as retirees, saying that this may pose a threat to the country’s national security.
“Isipin mo, Chinese retirees, 27,678. At dito ay— iyon nga, 35 years old, considered ka nang retired,” Robredo said in her weekly radio program.
“Ito, marami na tayong aral sa kasaysayan, baka ano ito, Ka Ely, dangerous sa national security natin. Napakadami na natin. Iyon iyong isang danger,” she added.
During the Senate budget briefing of the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Monday, Sen. Richard Gordon asked the DOT to review its policies allowing in as retirees Chinese who are aged 35 years old, which, he said, is “soldiers’ age.”
Several senators even raised the possibility that these “retirees” are secretly working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
Robredo echoed this, lamenting that they are also limiting employment opportunities for Filipino workers.
“Unang una, iyong POGO dapat hindi pinapayagan dito, kasi number one, ilegal nga siya sa China, ilegal siya sa China tapos pinapayagan natin dito,” the opposition stalwart said.
“Number two, kung kukuha sila ng trabaho dito, maraming Pilipino ang walang trabaho, makikiagaw pa sila sa mga Pilipino,’ she added.
According to Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), an attached agency of the DOT, Chinese nationals top the list of foreign retirees staying in the Philippines with 27,678 followed by Koreans with 14,144.
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.