The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) on Wednesday warned against the potential dangers posed by an influx of more Chinese workers in the country’s critical industries.

ofw - Labor groups warn of perils posed by foreign workers in PH
(AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, the country’s biggest labor group said the influx of more Chinese workers into the country’s critical infrastructures and several industries brings more serious implications to local employment and to national security. 

“The Chinese are in strategic sectors – power, water, communications, transport, and construction where they not only take away jobs from Filipinos, but also embed themselves (in) our economy,” TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said. 

“There are not only negative employment implications but also national security implications,” he added.

According to TUCP, Chinese workers are present or are coming in to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, through “tied-aid” projects such as water sector projects like the Kaliwa Dam, the third Telecommunications provider, and railways projects.

“These are strategic industries that are of public interest and have national security implications,” said Tanjusay.

“With unemployment at 10 per cent, this surrender of jobs to Chinese is just going to make worse the plight of Filipino workers who can do the job that Chinese are being given in our own country,” he added.

Labor groups welcome the Senate’s initiative to investigate in aid of legislation the growing incidence of undocumented foreign workers not just in construction and POGO online gambling and its impact on national security.

The Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) said it welcomes the probe to determine how best the country can protect migrant workers here, both documented or undocumented. 

Sentro Secretary General Joshua Mata stressed that such probes must look at workers of all nationalities and not just Chinese. 

“We need to make sure they are given the standards provided by the labor code. We need to show the world that we are doing exactly what we demand for our own OFWs abroad – providing them equal protection, ” he said.

Gerard Seno, National Executive Vice President of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), echoed this sentiment.

“Facing exploitation and abuse, these hidden undocumented workers often work in inhumane conditions and zero legal protection,” he said.

“We therefore welcome the Senate probe on all ‘foreign’ workers as a way for our nation to once and for all make these invisible workers visible and extend to them the full protection of our laws,” added Seno.

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