Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated that the government must prioritize the welfare of Filipino workers, and to enforce the law properly, amid the reported rise in the number of undocumented Chinese workers in the country.
VP Leni underscored the importance of providing better working conditions and opportunities for skills improvement for Filipinos—a call that comes after the President said that Chinese workers should be allowed to remain because there are some 300,000 Filipino workers in China.
The Vice President said there’s something “patently wrong” with such argument as it sharply contradicts the government’s avowed priority for law enforcement.
“[H]indi naman natin binabawalan iyong ibang mga citizens ng ibang bansa na magtrabaho dito. Pero very specific kasi iyong batas natin. Ang batas natin, ang priority iyong mga Pilipino. Puwede tayong kumuha ng workers galing sa ibang bansa kung walang Pilipino na kaya iyong trabaho niya,” she told reporters on Tuesday (Feb. 26), at the sidelines of the Ka Pepe Diokno Human Rights Awards 2019 in Manila.
“So ang unang tanong, iyong trabaho bang ginagawa nila dito, hindi ba iyon kaya ng Pilipino? Kasi kung kaya ng Pilipino iyong trabaho nila—ang taas ng unemployment natin—bakit hindi i-prioritize iyong mga Pilipino? Kung mangangailangan ng special skills na hindi kaya ng Pilipino, saka siguro, pero dapat iyong pinu-pursue natin na path, na kailangan mag-train na ng mga Pilipino sa paghahanda sa ganoong klaseng specialized na trabaho,” she added.
VP Leni had made a similar call earlier this month, when the President blamed the lack of Filipino skilled workers for the supposed delay of his administration’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” program.