MANILA - (UPDATE) Online gaming is one of the factors that contributed to the rise of Chinese workers in the Philippines, a Bureau of Immigration official said Tuesday.
Immigration Spokesperson Dana Sandoval said they noticed the recent spike of Chinese workers in the country in 2017 with a record of about 22,599 of them holding working visas.
"We noticed the increase of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines. Online gaming—isa po ito sa mga factors why tumaas po itong bilang ng mga Chinese na nagtatrabaho dito," she said.
(Online gaming is one of the factors why more Chinese nationals are working here.)
The spokesperson was referring to Chinese nationals working for online gambling or for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).
Foreigners are only allowed to work in the Philippines for a certain period after the grant of a work visa, Sandoval. They are not allowed to do certain kinds of work that are only for Filipinos.
"Hindi po sila puwedeng mag-apply ng working visa pag construction worker sila kasi ito po ang mga trabahong para sa mga Pilipino lang... Unless they are technical experts," she said.
(They cannot apply for a working visa if they are foreign construction workers, unless they are technical experts, because this is the kind of job is only for Filipinos.)
Immigration intelligence operatives, she said, continue to monitor buildings or places where there are alleged illegal foreign workers.
The Immigration official urged the public to report sightings of illegal foreign workers to their email address or social media accounts.
The Senate had launched a probe into the rise of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines to check whether or not these foreigners are taking over jobs that could have been for Filipinos.
Labor officials told the Senate inquiry on Monday that some 50,000 of the 115,000 alien employment permits issued from 2015 to 2017 went to Chinese nationals.