Concern In Philippines Over Chinese Gambling Workers

Philippines flag

Lawmakers in the Philippines are concerned about the number of work permits issued to Chinese workers, and the influx of Chinese workers employed in gambling operations in the country.

According to figures released by the Department Of Labor a majority of the 119,814 Special Work Permits given out by the Bureau Of Immigration during the last three years went to Chinese workers. At the same time, nearly 52,000 of the 115,652 Alien Employment Permits issued through the Department of Labor were given to Chinese individuals.

The figures came to light during Monday’s inquiry into the number of foreign workers coming into the country, held by the Senate Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development Committee, and some politicians on the committee criticised the ease with which permits were obtained.

According to officials, a Special Work Permit is only given to foreign nationals who will be working for three months in the country, and can be renewed for a further three months. If the foreigner is working for longer than six months, they have to apply for an Alien Work Permit.

Illegal gambling operations

Evidence from the Bureau Of Immigration shows that since 2016, 3.12 million Chinese individuals had visited the Philippines, but it was common for Chinese visitors on tourist visas to seek to convert these to work visas once they were in the country.

Senator Joel Villanueva also expressed concern over the link between illegal gambling and Chinese workers. In recent months there have been several examples of Chinese nationals caught working in illegal gambling operations, including an incident last week, when 78 people were arrested in Pasig, and Senator Villanueva said that the country should put Filipino workers first:

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