Vice President Leni Robredo urged the administration to keep a close eye on the influx of Chinese workers coming in the Philippines, especially those who are in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO). 

VP Leni reiterated the concern caused by the rising number of Chinese workers in the country, especially amid reports of those who illegally enter the country. 

For Robredo, the government in particular must review and regulate the entry of POGO workers from China. 

“[B]akit natin pinapayagan dito na iligal nga sa kanila? Iyon iyong number one. Pangalawa, parang hindi nga masabi kung ilan eksakto iyong nandito na sa atin, eh,” she said on her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DZXL 558.

“Tingin ko kailangan talagang balikan iyong polisiya, tingnan iyong mga nandito, ano iyong ginagawa nila, ligal ba iyong pag-stay nila nang matagal,” she added. 

VP Leni’s comments came after Malacañang vowed to run after offshore gaming firms said to illegally hire Chinese nationals—a response to the Chinese Embassy’s call for the Philippine government to the “maltreatment” of Chinese workers in POGO firms. 

Robredo questioned why the Philippines takes in Chinese workers for POGO when any form of gambling—including those online—is prohibited by Chinese law for its citizens. 

“[B]akit sila pinapayagan? Tapos iligal sa kanila kaya pumupunta dito. Kung iligal sa kanila, bakit tayo iyong nagha-house?” she said. 

VP Leni said she is hopeful that the matter will be addressed after several key officials have spoken on the matter. 

Earlier, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said he has “the tendency to look at” the influx of Chinese workers here “as a threat.”

In response, Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin Jr. has said that the government needs “to put an end to visas upon arrival; all visas should be issued by consular offices after vetting.”