According to DOLE there were over 400,000 Chinese Pogo workers as of February this year. The numbers could be higher due to the large numbers of Chinese workers flooding the country every day. In fact, the lobby of the Bureau of Immigration headquarters in Manila was bursting with scores of young Chinese seeking visas to work in the Philippines. Dozens more were being held in a cordoned-off area on the second floor.
The number of Chinese nationals arriving in the country has nearly tripled since Duterte came to power in 2016. They filled hotel rooms and office towers previously intended for U.S. Call centers, snapped up condominiums and boosted retail sales. But despite the economic benefits, there has been a mounting backlash from locals who fear Chinese workers are taking jobs, evading taxes and committing crimes.
The government don’t really know the real numbers of Chinese workers in the Philippines
In a blog post published by veteran journalist Raissa Robles. She detailed how she filed a Freedom of Information request to the Bureau of Immigration but found the data quite skimpy and shady at best. Worse, it doesn’t match up with the data coming from DOLE. So technically? The government is absolutely unaware of the real numbers of Chinese workers working in the country.
The reason why we have to be really concerned is that these Chinese workers are using our public transportation, sharing government services, etc. And worst these people weren’t even paying a single centavo of tax would be hugely unfair for the hardworking Filipinos who shed their every sweat to pay them all up.
But why is Duterte mum and silent on this issue? Some experts speculate that this could be Duterte’s strategy in keeping warmer ties with China brought about about by the release of billions worth of infrastructure projects.
The Federation of Free Workers, a local labor group, has urged the government to “focus on protecting our jobs from being taken by illegal aliens.” The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, also a labor group, reminded the government that “all jobs, including skills and professions must be given to Filipino workers and professionals” unless there is no one available in the local labor market.
More than 4 Billion pesos worth of taxes unpaid by Chinese workers
According to BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay that many POGO firms were employing illegal aliens in their operations. “The BIR matched the list of foreigners hired by local companies with the records provided by government agencies which showed big discrepancies on the number of foreigners employed and reported by them to the BIR.
Though it seems that certain government agencies were adopting a tougher stance in keeping track of these illegal immigrants in our country. However, it seems their actions brings us more questions than answers. And it appears that the policy of allowing the entry of thousands of illegal Chinese workers to compete with the local labor market.
I hope the government gets to explain these issues and imposed tougher sanctions to offending Chinese POGO agencies who continuously employs illegal aliens in their operations. This must be stopped and fully investigated. The Filipino people need answers.