Duterte: Let the Chinese work here

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to have slightly changed his tune in deporting illegal Chinese workers.

“Hayaan mo ‘yan dito magtrabaho (let them work here),” Duterte said in a campaign rally for the PDP-Laban party in Laguna Saturday.

The President reasoned that this is because of the number of Filipino workers in China.

“We have 300,000 Filipinos in China, kaya hindi ako makasabi o umalis ka dito, deport ka doon. E, kung bigla silang paalisin doon? 300 of them,” he said.

[Translation: We have 300,000 Filipinos in China so I can’t say ‘o, leave this country, we’ll deport you there.’ What if the (Filipinos) were suddenly deported? There’s 300,000 of them.]

Duterte previously talked about the possibility of deporting illegal Chinese workers from the country last year. While he was for it, he had also asked for the consideration of the Filipino workers in China.

Government data showed that almost 400 foreign nationals were arrested in 2018, 304 of which were Chinese nationals who were overstaying or were working without permits.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, in an interview last Thursday said that he wants stricter penalties against companies who continue to hire illegal foreign workers.