Solon tells Duterte: Help 200k undocumented OFWs in China become legal
A party-list lawmaker on Monday appealed to the Duterte administration to work out the legalization of around 200,000 undocumented overseas Filipino workers in China.
ACTS-OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto "John" Bertiz III made the appeal on the heels of President Rodrigo Duterte's four-day visit to China from October 18 to 21, in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
"Iba't iba ito (na OFWs), household workers, tutors, private teachers na wala po talaga itong formal agreement sa ating bansa at ang China, hindi po nagbibigay ng work visas on those categories," said Bertiz during a media briefing at the House of Representatives.
"Sa ngayon kasi, ang mga OFWs (nasa) 200,000 very undocumented. Very few lang ang documented.
"Ang sa akin lang, sana lang magkaroon ng balance," said Bertiz. The lawmaker described the economic relationship between China and the Philippines as being "negative" to the latter.
He said undocumented OFWs in China do not get to enjoy the same benefits that Chinese nationals get in the Philippines, including Chinese students who study in the Philippines but end up applying there knowledge once they return to their country to work.
"Ano benefits ng bansa natin sa pagpunta nya (Duterte) doon... Most of the Chinese na nag-aaral dito sa atin, sa UPLB... they are getting technology from us, pati natututunan nila, doon nila ginagawa sa China and we are buying from them. They are selling at a cheaper price," said Bertiz.
"Dapat magkaroon ng linaw sa agriculture, territorial dispute, pati na rin sa dispute sa Filipino workers na nagtatrabaho sa China," he added.
"Marami pang dapat balangkasin sa agreement (between the two countries)."
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay earlier said the Duterte administration is open to holding bilateral talks with the Chinese government and will prioritize looking after the welfare of OFWs. —JST, GMA News