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‘Constitution is clear on preference for Filipinos’

05:02 AM February 12, 2019

This pertains to the editorial “I thought I was in China” (2/1/19). We are grateful for your coverage to present this pressing issue before your readers. Please allow us to add a development on the topic.

At the budget deliberation of the Bureau of Immigration, we took the floor to ask the bureau the express legal provision on its charter that allows it to issue special work permits, citing the fact that only the Department of Labor and Employment has the technical competence to vet a foreigner’s capacity to work in the country. Unable to provide a clear legal provision authorizing the bureau to issue work permits, we moved to include a special provision mandating the bureau to cease from issuing work permits.

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We reiterate the fact that we are not against the entry of foreign workers in the country. In this globalized world, our country benefits from the technical knowledge that foreign workers share with our countrymen whenever they work here. The same is true with our overseas Filipino workers when they share their talent in different parts of the world.

What we are against is the proliferation of foreign workers whose jobs — call center agents, construction workers and kitchen staff, among others — can be done by Filipinos. Our Constitution is clear about the preferential selection of Filipinos for jobs.

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We reiterate our sincerest gratitude for your paper’s interest in covering the issue of illegal foreign workers. By explaining the issue, we hope that the general public becomes more enlightened as to why this issue concerns everyone.

SEN. JOEL VILLANUEVA

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TAGS: 1987 Constitution, Bureau of Immgration, foreign workers, Inquirer letters, Joel Villanueva, work permits
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