Palace assures Filipinos: Duterte prioritizes local workers over Chinese

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2019 02:42 PM | Updated as of Dec 06 2019 08:33 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will “always” put Filipino workers first before foreign nationals, Malacañang assured the public Friday, after results of a survey showed that a majority of Filipinos are worried over the increasing number of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines.

Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo guaranteed Filipinos of strict immigration and labor policies in place for foreign workers even as he noted that the Chinese have "seamlessly assimilated in the Filipino way of life for centuries.”

“The Filipino people are assured that this administration is strict in enforcing the law, especially those pertaining to our immigration and labor policies,” Panelo said.

“The President, as always, will prioritize the interests of the Filipino people and our local labor force,” he added.

A September survey of the Social Weather Stations showed that 70 percent of adult Filipinos are worried about the rising number of foreign Chinese workers in the country. Of the said figure, 31 percent are “worried a great deal” while 39 percent are “somewhat worried.”

Panelo, however, noted that the results of the survey are no longer surprising given that questions were phrased with the assumption that “there exists a cause of worry.”

The results of the survey were released just days after President Duterte warned offshore gaming operators, which mostly employ Chinese nationals, to settle their dues with the Philippine government.