Senate probes influx of illegal Chinese workers
The Senate labor committee is conducting an investigation into the influx of illegal Chinese workers into the Philippines. This is in the wake of an illegal gambling operation in Pasig City where 93 Chinese nationals were arrested. Senator Joel Villanueva, who chairs the committee, slammed government agencies for not monitoring the stream of incoming Chinese workers. The majority are reportedly working in online gaming, construction, food, and the business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors. He said 34 Chinese were also caught working on a construction site in Pasay City. Villanueva added that the Chinese are stealing jobs from Filipinos. Senator Grace Poe asked the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to raise red flags whenever Chinese tourists apply for a work permit. The BI admitted issuing special work permits to foreigners with alien employment permits (AEPs). The labor department issued 51,890 AEPs to Chinese nationals, including 24,000 in 2017. Since 2016, over 3.12 million Chinese tourists have arrived in the country.