Philippines Report

Panelo: “We Need Chinese Workers Kasi We Lack Filipino Construction Workers”

Chinese workers

Malacañang sees nothing wrong with presence of Chinese workers in the Philippines because of the lack of skilled Filipino laborers currently in the country.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after former President Benigno Aquino III raised concerns over the presence of Chinese workers in the country and taking over jobs supposedly for Filipinos.

In his Palace press briefing, Panelo brushed aside Aquino’s concern, saying there is no problem with having Chinese workers in the Philippines as long as they entered the country lawfully.

“Sabihin na lang natin, if he is concerned, we will also be concerned if his basis is correct,” Panelo said.

“We lack so many construction workers. Siguro (Maybe) that’s why maraming Chinese na kinukuha dahil walang mga Pilipino (a lot of Chinese are being hired because of the lack of Filipinos),” he added.

“If they came here through lawful means then I am not alarmed. I will be alarmed if they are here because they violated the law,” he continued.

According to Panelo, there are many Filipinos who do not have jobs but said they do not possess the appropriate skills.

“Maraming Pilipinong walang trabaho (Many Filipinos don’t have jobs) and yet they lack the skill so we need to teach them. And most likely ‘yan ang magandang project ng TESDA (Most likely that would be one good project for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority),” he said.

The Palace official added that it is not TESDA’s fault if the country lacks skilled workers.

“Kung halimbawa (If) suddenly we have 300,000 construction worker biglang nagpuntahan sa abroad ano naman ang kasalanan ng TESDA dun (and they all went abroad, then what is TESDA’ fault there)?” Panelo said.

“TESDA has to do something about it ‘pag na realize nila na may problema na tayo doon (once they realize that we are starting to have a problem in that area); and then it has to do something training people with no jobs, no employment to fill up the vacuum,” he added.

Panelo also addressed Aquino’s remarks that the strategic comprehensive cooperation between the Philippines and China is disadvantageous to the former, claiming Duterte is shelving the arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea to favor loans and investments from China.

“No, it’s not shelving the arbitral ruling. Sinasabi niya lang na (President Duterte is just saying that) it’s impractical for now since unang-una (first of all), we cannot enforce it, nobody wants to enforce it,” Panelo said.

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