FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of People’s Republic of China shake hands after declaring their joint press statements during the successful expanded bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on November 20, 2018. | PCOO\Alfred Frias
PASAY CITY, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. believes there must be an established cooperation between the Philippines and China against illegal online gambling.
On Wednesday (November 28), Locsin said such a measure will prevent misunderstanding between the two countries on matters concerning their respective migrant workers living and working in both of their soils.
Locsin’s suggestion comes after calls from senators who were pushing the government to launch a crackdown against Chinese foreign workers.
Most of the Chinese migrant workers in the Philippines are into the online gaming industry.
“But far from endangering or anyway affecting our relations with China, apparently we are going to do two things. One, online gambling is illegal where gonna stop it out with the help and not against the objection of China,” Locsin said.
Locsin said it is likely that the countries would join hands and help each other in addressing the issue.
“Two law enforcement agencies will be able to coordinate without it looking as we had surrendered our sovereignty,” the Foreign Affairs secretary said.
During Wednesday’s deliberation of Locsin’s confirmation, senators expressed concern that Filipino workers will end up competing with illegal aliens seeking for employment opportunities in the country.
This, according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, is a ‘direct assault’ on our sovereignty and economy.
For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III reminds the government to be careful in mentioning the number of alleged illegal Chinese workers in the country as it would bring a negative effect on Filipino workers in China.
‘Iyong undocumented na nahuli is not less than 1,000. We must remember that there are over 200,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong that are undocumented,” Sotto said.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be forming a special task force to check on the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming operators (POGO) in the country.
Majority of Chinese workers with valid working permits are linked to POGO industry. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)