MANILA - Sen. Joel Villanueva on Tuesday urged the government to address the "unabated influx" of illegal foreign workers in the country, saying the presence of criminal elements within their ranks was an additional headache for police.
"Marami na pong trabaho ang ating mga pulis sa pagsugpo ng kriminalidad. Sa kasamaang palad, dagdag pa sa kanilang trabaho ang pagtugis sa mga banyagang dumadayo sa atin para magdala ng kanilang ilegal na gawain tulad ng prostitusyon at panlilinlang sa kapwa," Villanueva said in a statement.
(The police are already overwhelmed with solving crime. Unfortunately, foreign nationals involved in crimes such as prostitution and fraud add up to the police’s problems.)
"One question that lingers on our minds is how did the perpetrators manage to enter the country?"
Villanueva said loopholes in immigration laws and cracks in the government’s systems have been abused by unscrupulous foreign nationals.
“Unfortunately, we see very little, if at all, changes in the policies and practices of our Bureau of Immigration, in regulating the entry of illegal aliens in our country, especially those who have questionable backgrounds, and those who, in the guise of entering as a tourist, intend to work in the Philippines,” Villanueva said.
"We reiterate our call to the government to become more resolute in addressing our problem with illegal foreign workers. It's bringing us crimes that have no place in our society.”
Villanueva issued this statement following the rescue late Monday night of 35 Chinese women from a Makati hotel allegedly used as a prostitution den.
This was the fourth raid on a sex ring involving Chinese nationals in Metro Manila in 2 months. Those arrested will face trafficking charges.
Villanueva earlier raised concerns about the rise of Philippine offshore gaming operations or POGOs, saying it would not create jobs for Filipinos and bring a host of problems for the government.