Nothing to fear from Chinese workers — Bello

December 28, 2018
Silvestre Bello III
Silvestre Bello III

THE Department of Labor and Employment has allayed fears that Filipinos may be losing out on job opportunities due to the continued influx of Chinese workers.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said there is “no rampant” case of jobs reserved for Filipinos that ended up with foreigners.

Under labor rules, the government can only issue an alien employment permit if a foreign national is going to do a job or a service that cannot be performed by a Filipino.

Bello said he has issued an order for the DoLE to review the issuance of AEPs to the foreign workers, particularly in fields where Filipinos have the expertise.

He is also looking into the possibility of revoking the DoLE order authorizing the Bureau of Immigration to issue work permits to foreign nationals.

“Now with the concern being raised by some sectors that there are so many foreigners working without permits, some foreigners doing business without permit, we are studying the possibility of revoking that delegation of authority in coordination of course with the Department of Justice who has supervision over the [Bureau] of Immigration,” the labor chief said in a press conference.

Bello also added that an inter-agency body will study concerns about online gaming operations that tend to cater to Chinese nationals.

Data from the Bureau of Local Employment showed 115,652 foreign nationals were issued with AEPs, of which 51,980 are Chinese, while 12,177 are Japanese and 11,780 Korean from 2015 to 2017.

In a Senate hearing last month, labor and Immigration officials revealed that the bulk of foreign nationals that obtained work permits in the country are Chinese individuals who work in online gaming as language interpreters.

The officials also said that many of the Chinese come to the country on tourist visas, then later secure special work permits for longer employment in the Philippines.

There have also been instances of Chinese individuals being nabbed for working in online gaming operations without work permits or other necessary documents.