More than 1.5 million Chinese tourists are expected to flock to the Philippines this year, according to an official from the Chinese Embassy on Tuesday.
“With a 29.6 percent yearly increase, China is now the second largest tourist origin of the Philippines,” Chargé D'affaires Ad Interim Tan Qingsheng said during his speech at the Boao Forum in Manila.
“Every week nowadays, more than 300 flights are shuttling between the cities of our two countries,” he added.
The Chinese official claimed this would generate P32 billion of revenue for the local economy.
Around 1.2 million Chinese visited the Philippines last year, according to Tan, and the number of tourists from China is expected to increase as people-to-people exchanges between the two countries continue to thrive.
During a Senate hearing in 2018, Labor and Immigration officials disclosed that the bulk of foreign nationals who were issued alien employment permits (AEPs) in the country were Chinese who usually work in the online gaming industry.
They added that most of the Chinese nationals enter the Philippines using tourist visas and secure work permits later on.
The influx of Chinese workers in the country recently hit the headlines. Many of in the construction industry.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he would rather be “careful” in handling the issue of deporting illegal Chinese workers in the country out of concern for the Filipinos who are working in China.
The Chinese embassy, for its part, said that it respected the laws of the Philippines regarding employment of foreign nationals.
“The Chinese government has always requested Chinese nationals in the Philippines to observe the Philippine laws and regulations,” it said. (GMA News)