12,000 foreign workers unlicensed, inspections show: finance official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2019 12:00 PM | Updated as of May 22 2019 12:17 PM

Chinese flags wave with Philippine flags along Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – Some 12,000 foreign nationals were found to be working in 33 offshore gaming firms in the country illegally, preliminary results of an industry-wide inspection showed, a finance official said Wednesday.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez instructed an inter-agency body to hasten the inspection, aimed at ensuring the tax compliance of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations, said Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino.

Authorities will determine whether the 12,000 will be deported, Lambino told dzMM.

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"Meron hong nakakalusot. Kailangan talagang ayusin ang system," he said, describing the haul as the "tip of the iceberg."

(Some operate undetected. We really need to fix the system.)

Operators and illegal workers should be held liable under Philippines laws, Lambino said.

The task force is composed of the Department of Finance, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, Bureau of Immigration, Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, among others.