MANILA - A senator on Thursday urged government to form an inter-agency committee that would look into the surge of Chinese tourists into the country in what he called a "21st century colonization."
Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the justice department should head the committee as the immigration bureau is an attached agency. He made the call after a Senate committee hearing revealed some 3.8 million Chinese tourists entered the country since 2017.
"We have to know at the minimum naririyan pa ba ang mga yan, pabalik-balik lang ba sila? Kung naririto sila, nasaang sector sila? Meron tayong dispute sa West Philippine Sea…meron silang layunin, interes dito," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(We have to know at the minimum if they're still here or do they go back and forth? If they're here, in what sector are they? We have a dispute in the West Philippine Sea…they have an interest here," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"Kung naririto dahil sa panunuhol, undesirable aliens 'yan, dapat ma-deport 'yang mga 'yan. Meron tayong pwedeng gawin, hindi tayo pwedeng inutile."
(If they're here because of bribery, they're undesirable aliens, they should be deported. We can do something, we can't be inutile.)
Pangilinan said 45 percent of workers under government's Build Build Build program consists of Chinese nationals, adding that the public works department has a P600 billion budget for infrastructure.
"Ilang trabaho ang pwedeng ibigay n'yan sa ating mga kababayan kaya unahin natin. Kung ipa-prioritize natin ang kababayan natin maraming matutulungan, 'yun namang ang dahilan ng Build Build Build, " he said.
(It can give many jobs to our fellow Filipinos. Many can benefit if we prioritize our countrymen, which is the goal of Build Build Build.)
"Ang problema ang sektor ng Build Build Build ang nakikinabang mga dayuhan, di pala mga Pilipino."
(The problem is foreigners are the ones benefitting from the Build Build Build sector.)
Malacañang earlier said Chinese millennials who are retiring in the Philippines are required to invest in businesses that employ Filipinos while the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) has suspended issuance of retirement visa to foreigners.