Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has sought an inquiry into the alarming increase in the numbers of “illegal” foreign workers in the Philippines.
Santiago filed House Relolution #1298 directing a Senate committee to probe the news report quoting the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines as saying that more foreign workers are entering the country to illegally seek employment in recent years.
“The alleged proliferation of illegal foreign workers in the Philippines should be the concern not only of the Bureau of Immigration, but also of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and other related agencies,” said Santiago.
“Congress, through relevant legislation, must address the issue of illegal foreign workers in the country, especially as the Philippines continues to register high unemployment and underemployment rates,” she said.
Quick estimates show that over 3,500 foreigners are working illegally within the country – that number will rise sharply as the country undertakes the measures to crack down on such activities.
Government officials say that the bulk of undocumented foreign workers are Chinese – with South Koreans, Japanese, Indonesians, Malaysians and Vietnamese making up the rest of those workers.
Officials say that the increasing number of migrants working without government permits and without fulfilling other requirements for alien workers has very serious implications in the current employment and underemployment situation.
Santiago said that the Constitution provided that:”The practice of all professions in the Philippines shall be limited to Filipino citizens, save in cases prescribed by law.”
The Charter also says that:”The State shall afford full protection to labour, local and overseas, organised and unorganised, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.”