THE labor sector in Negros Occidental has slammed the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Western Visayas for its alleged inadequacy and inefficiency.
Wennie Sancho, labor representative to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas, said the regional line agency has failed to respond to their request for the data on the special permits it issued among foreign workers especially Chinese.
Sancho, along with fellow labor representative Hernani Braza, raised such concern before other members of the RTWPB-Western Visayas during their regular meeting in Iloilo City Tuesday, June 4.
He said that they, through the Wage Board, have been pressing the BI as early as April this year to provide them the data on how many Chinese workers are employed in the region.
“They have not practiced transparency for not giving a data that is for public consumption,” Sancho said, adding that “this is inadequacy and inefficiency on the part of the BI.”
During the meeting, RTWPB-Western Visayas chairman Cyril Ticao informed the members that even he also requested for the same data from the BOI.
Ticao, who is the regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Western Visayas, has not also received any response from the agency, Sancho said.
“What are they hiding?” he asked, adding that “we are taken for granted, this is a major issue that we have to face.”
In the next Wage Board meeting, the labor representatives will pass a resolution condemning the “inadequacy and inefficiency” of the BI.
SunStar Bacolod remains open to the agency for its comment on the claim of the labor.
Moreover, it can be recalled that local labor groups have been raising the issue on the alleged proliferation of Chinese workers in the country, including in Western Visayas.
In an earlier pronouncement, they said about 181,000 workers in the region were unemployed as of April 2018, but it was reported that a significant number of Chinese workers were employed in Panay particularly in Boracay Island.
“The Filipinos rights to work in their own country were stolen by Chinese foreigners who are receiving salaries three times higher than a Filipino minimum wage earner,” they added.