Chinese businesses on Boracay ordered to display signs in English

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Chinese business owners
Photographs by Twitter user Mariel Mationg, who wrote: “So sad to see Boracay turning into Chinatown.”

Chinese business owners on Boracay have been warned that they must display their trade names in English and employ Filipino workers.

Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing announced today (Friday, April 26) the foundation of a committee to “immediately look into issues” concerning the “sudden proliferation” of Chinese establishments on the island.

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Speaking after a Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force meeting, Mr Densing said the committee would include representatives of the Malay municipal government, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Justice and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The committee will review the issuance of licences and permits given to Chinese business owners as well as the employment status of Chinese workers.

A growing number of island residents and business operators have complained about the sudden proliferation of Chinese establishments on the island, especially those that do not have any English or Filipino signs. Some reportedly offer menus written exclusively in Mandarin Chinese.

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Residents and tourists have also claimed that some routinely refuse to serve non-Chinese customers. 

Mr Densing stressed the use of a Chinese trade name should be secondary and there should be at least an English translation.

“Since this is a tourist destination, the LGU [Local Government Unit] will advise the restaurants. They should be advised that it is for the general public and nobody should be driven away,” Mr Densing said.

“And if there is employment of non-Filipinos, they should have been issued the necessary permit from the Bureau of Immigration,” he added.

He also assured that the committee would be prompt in issuing notices and correcting erring establishments.

As we reported earlier this month, visitor figures for the first quarter of this year revealed that nearly half of all foreign tourists visiting the island were from China.

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