MANILA– Chinese businesses operating in the Philippines cannot discriminate against Filipinos, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement when asked to comment on operations of businesses that supposedly cater to Chinese nationals only.
"We have to investigate that if that is true. We cannot allow that to happen. They cannot be discriminating against Filipinos," he said during a Palace briefing.
"It's a public business and therefore it should cater to all," he added.
Panelo said the Department of Labor will be asked to investigate the matter.
"We will ask Secretary Bello to conduct investigation into the same," he said.
Chinese restaurants and mini-groceries have popped up in various areas as more Chinese workers are spotted in Macapagal area in Manila, Las Pinas City, and Paranaque. Often, these establishments only have Chinese characters in its names and menus, making it hard for some Filipinos to order food.
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier urged the government to close restaurants and other businesses that cater only Chinese nationals in the Philippines.
The lawmaker also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and local government units to use their power to keep Chinese investors out of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).