Senators express concern over foreign workers in PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2018 02:40 PM | Updated as of Nov 26 2018 03:40 PM

Chinese flags are displayed on Roxas Boulevard in downtown Manila on Nov. 19 for Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- (UPDATE) Senators on Monday expressed concern over the growing number of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines, and its effect on the local workforce.

Illegal foreign workers in particular are "taking away the jobs and livelihood" of Filipinos, said Sen. Joel Villanueva, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources.

Some 50,000 of the 115,000 alien employment permits issued from 2015 to 2017 went to Chinese nationals, including those working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGOs, labor officials told a Senate hearing.

Villanueva said that based on what he saw, the number of Chinese workers could be more than the estimate provided by the labor department.

"Personal ko hong nakita parang may people power ang China doon," said Villanueva, citing his experience in the cities of Makati and Pasay.

(I saw for myself how there's a seeming people power from China.)

"Yung 50,000 na sinasabing AEPs eh kulang na dito sa nabanggit natin. Definitely something is wrong,” he said.

(The 50,000 AEPs mentioned seems short of what we mentioned. Definitely something is wrong.)

Sen. Grace Poe said the government should show that it is "serious" in "taking care of our borders." She said the labor department should provide skills training for Filipino workers to help them compete with the Chinese.