MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) expressed concern over the growing number of Chinese nationals working in the country without the necessary legal documents.
“It is therefore possible that a significant number of Chinese nationals working here are working without a permit,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.
Bello added that they are now verifying reports on the surge of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines and are planning to launch a crackdown against them.
Based on DOLE’s record, there are around 51,980 Chinese nationals granted with work permits in the country since 2015.
The issue was uncovered after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon mentioned in a Senate hearing that there are around 400,000 foreign workers in the country.
According to DOLE’s record, there were only about 115,000 foreign nationals granted employment permits so far.
Bello agrees that granting employment permits to foreign nationals should not be done in haste as it depends only on the skills on demand.
“Binibigyan namin sila ng permit to work pero ang binibigyan lang namin ng permit to work ay ang mga magta-trabaho ng isang klaseng trabaho na hindi kaya ng Pilipino. Kapag may Pilipino na kayang gawin ang trabaho na iyonn hindi namin ibibigay ang alien employment permit,” Bello said.
The Secretary said DOLE is not the only agency responsible for a foreign job applicant.
A work visa is provided by the Bureau of Immigration.
Workers in the mining industry are subject to the approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Bello vowed to look into the agencies compliance requirements even up to their respective regional offices to confirm if the granted alien employment permits were reasonable.
“Aalamin namin kung nabigyan nila ng AEP ay binigay sa isang Chinese na gagawa ng trabaho na hindi kayang gawin ng Pilipino,kasi kapag nalaman namin na nagbigay sila ng permit, halimbawa magluto ng pansit, eh kayang kaya naman niyan magluto ni Undersecretary Maglunsod, violation ng aming regulation iyan,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)