Following a call by Senator Nancy Binay that Chinese nationals should be banned from doing construction jobs in the country, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello on Monday declared that foreign nationals doing jobs that can be done by Filipinos should be deported and blacklisted.
Bello, however, said he is against the total ban of foreign workers because local workers may not be able to do some tasks that can only be accomplished by skilled professionals from other countries.
general rule na hindi natin pahihintulutan na magtrabaho ang dayuhan dito kapag ‘yung trabaho ay kaya ng Pilipino. Proteksyon ‘yan sa ating mga kababayan
,” he said. (There is a general rule that we cannot allow foreign nationals to work here if Filipinos can do the job.)
He added that foreign nationals would not be given work permits for jobs that could be done by Filipinos.
“Hindi mo naman pwedeng gawin na
total ban kasi mayroon din namang trabaho na hindi natin kaya o hindi tayo naangkop
,” Bello said. (A total ban cannot be implemented since there are jobs that we cannot do or does not suit us.)
The recent influx of Chinese nationals allowed to work in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators has prompted the government to compile a list of foreign workers to ensure that they are paying the correct taxes.
Offshore gaming firms usually hire native Chinese speakers to converse with clients in China but the issuance of special permits for Chinese nationals in construction violates Philippine laws, the Labor chief said.
Bello said DOLE currently has 800 inspectors, which will be augmented by 1,000 law compliance officers, although the “ideal” number of inspectors should be at least 5,000.