Bello defends Filipino workers amid Tulfo's comments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III quickly came to the defense of the work ethics of Filipinos after criticisms of special envoy to China Ramon "Mon" Tulfo Jr.

Bello countered the comment of Tulfo that Chinese workers are preferred over Filipino workers who are less professional and inefficient.

"I violently disagree with his opinion on our Filipino workers. He should know that the most sought after workers in the world are the Filipinos. You go in any other country and they always give preference to Filipinos because Filipinos are very industrious, very efficient, and they are very good workers," he said.

Tulfo told CNN Philippines on Thursday that Chinese workers are better than their Filipino counterparts.

"Alam mo bakit nila preferred, 'yung mga developers, 'yung mga Chinese worker? Masipag. 'Yung mga Pinoy worker, mawalang galang na, 'pag pupunta sa job site tsaka lang dun magpe-prepare ng kanilang tools, whereas 'yung mga Chinese preparado na.. tapos sigarilyo nang sigarilyo, salita nang salita," he said.

Tulfo added, "Mga Chinese worker diretso na, di sila nag-uusap, talagang trabaho... "'Yung mga Pinoy they take time, they sweep time, pupunta sa CR, iinom ng tubig, iihi."

Tulfo defended the influx of Chinese workers in the country. A big number of Chinese nationals have flown to the country since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016. Duterte had established ties with China, which provides funds and loans for several projects under the administration's massive infrastructure program. Amid the Philippines' stronger relationship with China, the number of Chinese nationals flocking to the country to work have also increased.

Dominique Tutay, Bureau of Local Employment director, said from 2015 to 2018, there were 169,893 foreign workers in the country; about 51 percent of them Chinese.

Citing data from the Immigration Bureau, Tutay said in 2018 alone 185,000 foreign nationals were given special work permits by the agency, and 127,033 of the applicants for such permit were Chinese.