MANILA - The Department of Justice said it will no longer deport illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines but will cancel their visas instead.
In a statement released Sunday, DOJ said the decision was made in coordination with Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, who said it would be more cost-efficient to cancel the alien visas of said Chinese employees.
"Instead of deporting them, the cancellation of alien visas would simply allow the Chinese Nationals to voluntarily exit the country within a non-extendible period of 59 days," DOJ said.
The Chinese nationals were employees of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) whose licenses had been canceled.
The BI is set to cancel a total of 48,782 alien visas. The agency is also verifying whether these Chinese nationals are still in the country or have already left.
DOJ added that said Chinese nationals will be eventually deported once they refuse to leave the country after the allowable period.
Meanwhile, the 372 Chinese nationals who were arrested by law enforcers are set to be deported by the BI.
"The Department is aware of the effects this operation may have on the economy. However, given the many reports of murder, kidnapping and other criminal activities, the social cost of keeping illegal aliens heavily outweighs the projected effect it will have on the affected industries. Even so, the Department will be sure to coordinate with the National Economic team to counter any negative effects on the country," DOJ added.