House pressed to probe Manila Bay reclamation projects

House pressed to probe Manila Bay reclamation projects

/ 01:52 PM July 08, 2024

House pressed to probe Manila Bay reclamation projects

FILE PHOTO: Sunset at Manila Bay. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives was asked to take action on a resolution calling for an investigation of Manila Bay reclamation projects after nine Chinese nationals were arrested for allegedly working illegally in vessels involved in dredging.

ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo said the House should start the discussions on the issue, especially since he had filed a resolution urging for such a probe almost a year ago.

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“Ito ‘yung sinasabi ko noon na bumababa ng barko nila ang mga manggagawa na Chinese at umiikot dito sa Metro Manila. Ang tanong ngayon, ano ang pakay nila para gumala sila sa Maynila gayong wala silang mga visa?” asked Tulfo.

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(This is what I have been saying before, Chinese nationals are disembarking from their ships and roaming Metro Manila. The question now is, what is their goal for moving around Metro Manila when they do not have visas?)

“The US Embassy was the first to express concern about the Manila Bay reclamation after they noted a Chinese company involved in the reclamation project,” he also said in a statement released Sunday, July 7.

READ: 9 Chinese illegal workers arrested in Manila Bay

Last July 2, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said nine Chinese men were caught illegally disembarking from three motorboats along Manila Bay’s shoreline in Parañaque City.

Immigration intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. said they conducted months of surveillance following reports of Chinese nationals boarding and disembarking from vessels along Manila Bay.

Tulfo and other lawmakers filed House Resolution No. 1171 on August 8, 2023, asking the House committees on national defense and security, ecology, and other appropriate panels to check on the Manila Bay reclamation projects.

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Back then, Tulfo said Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez received reports that Chinese workers at dredging ships had been leaving their vessels and joining parties at nightclubs despite the absence of a working visa.

READ: Tulfo seeks probe of Chinese dredging ships in Manila Bay

Tulfo further said the dredging operations may pose a national security threat if the workers are members of the Chinese military.

He likewise noted that China-owned China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) is in charge of the dredging and reclamation operations – the same company responsible for the construction of air and naval bases at Philippine-claimed territories in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

According to Tulfo, the government needs to look into these issues amid the reported proliferation of illegal Chinese immigrants in the country.

“Kailangan na talaga nating tutukan itong seguridad ng ating bansa dahil nagkalat na ang mga ‘yan (Chinese) sa ating bansa,” he stressed.

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(We really need to focus on the security of the country because these Chinese nationals are roaming around the country.)

TAGS: House of Representatives, Manila Bay reclamation

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