A militant lawmaker on Saturday cried foul over the government’s seeming preference of Chinese workers to Filipinos on the belief locals lack skills compared to their foreign counterparts.
“The Palace claim that Filipino working class lacks skills that is why it prefers Chinese migrant workers for Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ projects is highly insulting to Filipino workers who, as OFWs, have proven their excellence in working in different fields of work in so many countries abroad, be it as a construction worker, IT technician or domestic helper,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said.
“Name it and there is an overseas Filipino worker who excels in it. That is why our OFWs are preferred in the Middle East and other continents,” added Casilao, a member of the Makabayan Bloc.
Casilao said this “misguided statement of preference” from the administration was nothing but another justification for a foreign and economic policy of cozying up to China that now includes allowing more Chinese workers to work in China-funded projects under the government’s BBB program.
The Makabayan Bloc earlier filed House Resolution 2336, urging Congress to call on the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Energy, and the National Economic and Development Authority to explain the provisions of 29 various agreements with China.
The Philippines is one of the leading exporters of workers in the world because “Duterte failed to provide decent living wage in the country,” Casilao said.
“Worse, majority of the Filipino working class are hired as contractual workers, which aggravates their already abject condition in which their wages are depressed, and their rights curtailed,” he added.
Citing statistics from the Ibon Foundation, Casilao said job generation under the Duterte government is way too small despite the hype that the “Build Build Build” program will create more jobs.
The government aims to create one million jobs annually in the medium term through the program, but Ibon said the average annual job creation for 2017 and 2018 is only 81,000.
The number of employed only increased by 162,000 from 41 million in 2016 to 41.2 million in 2018, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Casilao added.