MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday called for urgent action on immigration personnel after a lawmaker bared a scheme where Chinese tourists allegedly pay grease money to enter the country to work in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry.
“Sana sa lalong madaling panahon maaksyunan ito,” Robredo said Wednesday.
(I hope there will be action as soon as possible.)
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, citing an informant, earlier said Chinese nationals pay an additional P10,000 to travel agencies in China as fees for immigration personnel in Manila airports, tour operators and "syndicates" who facilitate their transfer to POGO sites.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has relieved five of its officials in connection with the controversy.
BI and airport officials, however, were quick to deny they had knowledge of the alleged bribery scheme.
The expose will be investigated, Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said.
The Vice President reiterated her earlier warnings against the influx of Chinese nationals into the country.
“Paano nakakapasok, inaagawan pa nito ng trabaho ang mga Pilipino. Bakit ang ilegal sa ibang bansa pinapayagan natin dito?” Robredo said.
(Why are they allowed, they're taking jobs away from Filipinos. Why is it we allow what is illegal in other countries?)
Robredo thanked Hontiveros and the witnesses for coming forward and revealing the supposed bribery scheme.
“Ngayon, mabuti na may nag-reveal kasi kung walang nag-reveal, parang helpless tayo sa nangyayari,” Robredo said.
(Now, it's good that someone revealed this, because if no one did, we're helpless in what's going on.)