SENATOR Grace Poe yesterday urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to launch an all-out crackdown on illegal Chinese workers in the country.
In the hearing of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources, Poe said that the number of Chinese workers working and staying illegally in the Philippines is now a big concern especially since these aliens are feared to be stealing jobs from Filipinos.
Poe said that the Senate is ready to cooperate with DoLE and BI particularly in conducting surprise inspections of the places employing Chinese workers or where they are staying.
The lady senator also urged the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cooperate in combating the influx of illegal aliens who are using fake Philippine passports to enter the country.
She added that the Senate may also investigate if the three agencies are too lax resulting in the alarming increase of Chinese in the country.
The Senate also criticized the DoLE and BI for allegedly making it easy for aliens to get employment permits.
In the hearing, it was learned from DoLE that from 2015 to 2017, around 115,652 Alien Employment Permits (AEPs) were released; 51,000 of these for Chinese applicants. In the first quarter of 2018, around 21,320 AEPs have been released.
The Immigration bureau meanwhile reported that 218 illegal Chinese were arrested and charged while around 170 were deported.
But Senator Joel Villanueva countered that since 2016 around 3.12 million Chinese have entered the country. He said that this should be a cause for alarm because the foreigners are not just snatching jobs but also shelter from Filipinos.
DoLE later admitted that the Chinese entered the country using tourist visa but later on applied for work permit.
Villanueva then announced his intention to amend the country’s Labor Code and obliged employers to make sure that 80% of their workforce are Filipinos.