Foreigners can't work in jobs fit for Filipinos: labor chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2019 01:39 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2019 01:53 PM

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

MANILA -- Foreign nationals doing jobs that can be done by Filipinos should be deported and blacklisted, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Monday, after a lawmaker sought a ban on Chinese construction workers.

Bello said a total ban of foreign workers is not feasible since locals may not be able to do some tasks.

"Mayroon talagang general rule na hindi natin pahihintulutan na magtrabaho ang dayuhan dito kapag ‘yung trabaho ay kaya ng Pilipino. Proteksyon ‘yan sa ating mga kababayan," he said. 

(There is a general rule that we cannot allow foreign nationals to work here if Filipinos can do the job)

Sen. Nancy Binay earlier called for a "total ban" on Chinese workers in construction to protect Filipino laborers. Bello said foreign nationals would not be given work permits for jobs that could be done by Filipinos.

"Hindi mo naman pwedeng gawin na total ban kasi mayroon din namang trabaho na hindi natin kaya o hindi tayo naangkop," Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III told DZMM Teleradyo. 

(A total ban cannot be implemented since there are jobs that we cannot do or does not suit us)

The influx of Chinese nationals working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) has prompted the government to compile a list of foreign workers to ensure that they are paying the correct taxes.

Offshore gaming firms hire native Chinese speakers to converse with clients in China but the issuance of special permits for Chinese nationals in construction violates Philippine laws, Bello said.

The labor department currently has 800 inspectors, with an incoming augmentation of 1,000 law compliance officers. But the “ideal” number of inspectors is at least 5,000, Bello said.