President Rodrigo Duterte wants to ease up on the hunt for illegal Chinese workers, with concerns of a similar backlash for Filipino workers in China, local media reports.
During his speech at the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Laguna, Duterte said he would allow illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines because there were so many undocumented Filipino workers in China.
“Just allow the Chinese workers to work here. Let them be. Why? We have 300,000 Filipinos in China. That’s why I can’t say, ‘Oh, leave this country. We’ll have you deported’,” Duterte said.
“What if the 300,000 of them were asked to leave?” he asked rhetorically.
Duterte said the number of illegal Chinese workers in the country was equal to the number of undocumented Filipino workers in China.
Earlier, the Philippine consulate-general in Hong Kong estimated that there are 200,000 overseas Filipinos working as domestic helpers in China since 2016.
Industry insiders estimate there are between 100,000 to 250,000 Chinese nations illegally employed in the country.
Moves to deport illegal Chinese workers in the country come amid growing concerns over the rising number of Chinese nationals working illegally in the country’s online sector. The influx of mainland money into Manila has been pushing up property prices in the capital.