Special envoy to China Tulfo defends Chinese workers in PH, says they're better than Filipinos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 7) — Special envoy to China Ramon "Mon" Tulfo Jr. on Thursday defended the influx of Chinese workers in the country, touting them as better than their Filipino counterparts.

"Alam mo bakit nila preferred, 'yung mga developers, 'yung mga Chinese worker? Masipag. 'Yung mga Pinoy worker, mawalang galang na, 'pag pupunta sa job site tsaka lang dun magpe-prepare ng kanilang tools, whereas 'yung mga Chinese preparado na.. tapos sigarilyo nang sigarilyo, salita nang salita," he said on CNN Philippines' On The Record.

[Translation: You know why developers prefer Chinese workers? They're diligent. Pinoy workers, on the otehr hand, when they go to a job site, that's the time they will prepare their tools, whereas Chinese always come prepared. Filipino workers also always smoke and keep talking.]

"Mga Chinese worker diretso na, di sila nag-uusap, talagang trabaho," he added.

[Translation: Chinese workers really work, they don't talk.]

Compared to Filipino workers, according to Tulfo, Chinese workers get the job done faster than Filipinos.

"'Yung mga Pinoy they take time, they sweep time, pupunta sa CR, iinom ng tubig, iihi," he said.

[Translation: Filipino workers take time, they sweep time, they go to the comfort room, drink water, urinate.]

"May nagsabi pa nga sa akin, what takes Chinese workers eight months to finish a certain project, sila, ang mga Pinoy, isang taon," he said.

[Translation: Someone even told me what takes Chinese workers eight months to finish a certain project, Filipinos, they take a year.]

Tulfo added that some contractors are even complaining that Filipino workers are noisy at work and slow.

"Ang nalalaman ko umaangal 'yung mga developer, 'yung mga foreman inaamin nila na 'yung mga Chinese worker kapag nagtatrabaho, trabaho. Itong mga Pinoy salita nang salita, maingay pa, tapos mabagal.

[Translation: What I know developers, foremen complain and admit that Chinese workers just do their job while Filipinos keep talking, noisy.]

A larger number of Chinese nationals have flown to the country since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016. Duterte had established ties with China, which provide funds and loans for several projects under the administration's massive infrastructure program.

Amid the Philippines' stronger relationship with China, the number of Chinese nationals flocking to the country to work have also increased.

Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay said from 2015 to 2018, there were 169,893 foreign nationals working in the country--about 51 percent of them are Chinese.

Citing data from the Immigration Bureau, Tutay said in 2018 alone 185,000 foreign nationals were given special work permits by the agency, and 127,033 of the applicants for such permit were Chinese.

A foreigner on short-term employment in the country is required to get a special work permit from the Immigration Bureau while those working longer need an alien employment permit from the Labor Department.

Tutay said a large portion of Chinese workers in the country are employed in the gaming industry.

Meanwhile, only half of the about 10,000 foreign nationals with alien employment permit under the construction sector are Chinese.

"Dumagasa po ang Chinese nationals when it comes to online gaming. Medyo mababa lang naman ang bilang ng Chinese nationals in the construction sector," she said.

[Translation: There's an influx of Chinese workers in the online gaming sector. The number of Chinese nationals in the construction is kind of low.]

For Tulfo, the influx of Chinese nationals will benefit the country in the long run.

"Our country has become a good place to invest in. We've opened our doors to China kaya dumami sila (that's why there's an influx)," he said.

"We have everything to gain, ang laki laki ng (there are big) investments na dumadating (coming in)," he added.