Drilon questions huge number of Chinese nationals working in PH
Sen. Franklin Drilon expressed concern on Wednesday about the huge number of Chinese workers in the country, as he noted that their presence was depriving Filipinos of the opportunity to be gainfully employed.
During the deliberation of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (Dole) 2019 budget, Drilon said he learned from “industry people” that there were about 400,000 foreign workers in Metro Manila alone.
Of this number, 150,000 workers are supposedly located in Parañaque’s Entertainment City.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III disputed Drilon’s figures, pointing out that the Dole issued 40,000 Alien Employment Permits (AEP) only over the last 18 months. Of these, about 25,000 went to Chinese nationals.
Bello said that while he stood by the figure, it was “possible” that this only represented the number of legitimate foreign workers.
Under the Dole Department Order No. 97-09, an AEP application will be denied if there is a Filipino who is “competent, able and willing to do the job” intended for the foreigner.
Drilon said that since most of the 25,000 Chinese nationals with AEPs worked in the online gaming and business process outsourcing industries, he could not accept the idea that Filipinos did not possess such skills to be in these jobs.
“The granting of permits to aliens where skills is abundantly available in the country is something not acceptable to us,” the senator said.
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