Malacañang backs probe into Chinese-only establishments

PALACE VIEW. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo holds a Malacau00f1ang news briefing. RTVM screenshot

PALACE VIEW. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo holds a Malacau00f1ang news briefing.

RTVM screenshot

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang supports an investigation into establishments and other businesses that reject Filipino customers and cater only to Chinese nationals.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday, May 6, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will be asked to begin a probe.

"We have to investigate that, if that is true. We cannot allow that to happen. They cannot be discriminating against Filipinos. It's a public business and therefore it should cater to all," said Panelo during a Palace news briefing.

"We will ask Secretary Bello to conduct [an] investigation into the same," he added.

Panelo also advised Filipinos who encounter such Chinese-only establishments to file a complaint with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or the local government of the area where the business is located.

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier called for the closure of Chinese-only businesses, saying Filipinos are "being treated like second-class citizens in our own land."

He also said allowing Chinese nationals to put up small and medium enterprises in the Philippines could deprive Filipino entrepreneurs of opportunities and markets.

The Duterte administration has led the charge for increased Chinese investments and financial assistance for government projects. Some economic experts and critics had warned the government before against overdependence on China's economic promises.

Many have also slammed the alleged abuse by Chinese nationals of tourist visas and work permits, leading to an influx of Chinese workers with jobs that some say shoud have gone to Filipinos.

The government has promised stricter measures to curb illegal immigration. President Rodrigo Duterte, however, does not favor deporting illegal Chinese workers.

Lacson also wants the DTI and the Bureau of Immigration to look into what kinds of investments Chinese citizens are making in the country. (READ: China's 2018 investment pledges to PH grow 20 times)

A Chinese restaurant called China Food City in Alabang had gone viral for supposedly prohibiting Filipinos from its premises. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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