Teach Filipinos foreign languages so jobs won't be taken away from them, Alunan says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — Filipinos should be taught Chinese and other foreign languages to ensure that foreigners do not take away their jobs, senatorial candidate Rafael "Raffy" Alunan said Saturday.

Asked what the government should do to ensure that Filipinos are not denied jobs amid the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines, Alunan, who is endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte, said the country's educational system should be improved by teaching foreign languages in schools.

"In our education, we should be multi-lingual, we should know Chinese, we should know Japanese, we should know English, so that we can take the place of these people who are taking out our Filipinos, and our Filipino-Chinese in our own country," he said during the CNN Philippines Senatorial Debate.

"If we have enough Filipinos talking and speaking in Chinese and in other languages, we'll be able to prevent foreigners from working in our country," he added.

Aside from education, Alunan said, the government should also "revive our agriculture, manufacturing, and our tourism, so we can get as many jobs as possible and livelihood opportunities."

A larger number of Chinese workers have flown to the country since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016. Duterte had cultivated close ties with China, which has provided funds and loans for several projects under the administration's massive infrastructure program.

In a previous interview on CNN Philippines On The Record, Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay said from 2015 to 2018, there were 169,893 foreign nationals working in the country--about 51 percent of them are Chinese.

Tutay said a large portion of Chinese workers in the country are employed in the gaming industry while half of the about 10,000 foreign nationals with alien employment permit under the construction sector are Chinese.