Duterte on illegal Chinese workers: Let them work here
President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said the Chinese nationals should be allowed to work in the country.
“Those Chinese (living) here let them work. Let them,” Duterte said during his speech at the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban campaign rally in Laguna.
He said if the country deports all the working Chinese here, China might also do the same thing to Filipinos working in their country.
“Why? We have 300,000 Filipinos in China. That’s why I can’t tell them to leave or deport them. They might immediately deport the 300 of them,” Duterte said.
In an interview with reporters last November, the President said the government should be cautious in the deportation of undocumented tens of thousands of Chinese working in the Philippines as this could also boomerang to the Filipinos illegally working in China and other countries.
"Yes, they (Chinese) should be deported. But in the same manner, you should be careful because when you point to the Chinese, you are also pointing yourself at us. There are so many thousands of Filipinos working there or went inside China as tourists and working there," Duterte said.
He said it was not okay to have many Chinese illegally working in the country, "but there has to be an arrangement there."
The Department of Labor and Employment, in an earlier Senate hearing, revealed that some Chinese who entered as tourists in the country later obtained special working permits.
Based on its record, DOLE said there were 115,652 alien employment permits issued to the foreign nationals from 2015 to 2017 where almost half or 51,980 were given to the Chinese nationals, including those working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).
"So if you think that you are at a lost, at the disadvantage because there are so many Chinese nationals who are working here, remember that we have seen equal amount of people of Filipinos who are there working in China. But they have not deported anyone. So maybe you can just tell them to go home," Duterte said.
According to the Bureau of Immigration, 393 Chinese nationals were arrested last year as a result of the agency’s intensified campaign against illegal aliens. Ella Dionisio/DMS