Philippines, China in 'crackdown' on crime vs Chinese workers: envoy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2019 04:12 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2019 04:17 PM

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MANILA -- The Philippines and China are jointly cracking down on alleged crimes against Chinese workers here, Manila's chief envoy to Beijing said Thursday.

China's statement on Thursday calling on the Philippines to punish casinos and offshore gaming firms that illegally employ Chinese nationals made the joint crackdown public, said Philippine Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana.

Beijing's concerns over the transfer of Chinese workers to POGO hubs could be the result of a "misunderstanding" and such worries will be "addressed," Sta. Romana told ANC.

"This is the criminal aspect, the illegal aspect that China and the Philippines are already engaged in a crackdown," he said.

"In a sense, what is happening now is that it came out in public
there had been cooperation between the 2 sides in terms of law enforcement, in terms of tracking down particular cases and criminals," he said.

Sta. Romana said Chinese media reported that some Chinese nationals were unaware that they were going to work in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations or POGOs. Some were reported to have been kidnapped, he said.

China's worry over the POGO hubs "is a matter of concern that will be addressed."

Filipino immigration authorities will address a "leakage" in the visa system to ensure that tourists would not stay in the Philippines for work or study, he said.