Pimentel calls for crackdown vs illegal Chinese workers

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    BY NOEL TALACAY

    A GOVERNMENT crackdown on Chinese illegally working in the country will cut back, if not totally stop, online prostitution which has now leveled up by using messaging applications to lure customers.

    Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, said the PNP, the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Labor and Employment should work together in stopping the continued influx of illegal Chinese workers, mostly employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

    “Most of them (prostitutes and customers) are POGO workers. If they are all illegal, there should be a massive crackdown on them. Send them home,” Pimentel said.

    “There are Chinese nationals coming in the Philippines using visa upon arrival, and that is for tourists only. They should not be working here,” he noted.

    Aside from being employed by POGOs, Pimentel said he has also received information that Chinese nationals are also working in the construction industry.

    A Senate panel on Tuesday unraveled a new prostitution tactic to sell prostitutes to customers, many of whom are Chinese: the use of messaging applications using food codes.

    During the Tuesday hearing, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy director Vicente de Guzman told senators that sex trafficking involving Filipinas and other foreign women have increased due to the proliferation of POGOs in the country.

    Pimentel said his committee will look into the possibility of permanently terminating the visa upon arrival policy for Chinese visitors.

    Interior Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now stepping up its monitoring of POGO centers in the country.

    Año was at the Senate as resource person by the of the Senate committee on national defense for the hearing discussing the proposed creation of the Department of Disaster Resilience.

    “I will personally coordinate this to the PNP to ensure that there is enough personnel to handle this,” Año said when asked about the Senate discovery.