DEPARTMENT of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he has ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to cancel the visa of illegal Chinese workers particularly in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) in the country instead of deporting them.

In a statement, Remulla said the cancellation of visa is more cost efficient and humanitarian than deportation.

Once their visas have been cancelled, the workers will be given 59 days to leave the Philippines.

If they refuse to leave, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will go after them for deportation.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said 48,782 alien visas of Chinese nationals employed in Pogos whose license to operate have been revoked are set to be cancelled.

He said they are finalizing the list of these illegal Chinese workers.

The DOJ also said the 372 foreign nationals, including 331 Chinese, were set to be deported.

They were those who were nabbed in operations conducted by authorities in Pasig and Angeles City last month.

Meanwhile, in a press conference, PNP Chief Rodolfo Azurin said a total of 3,198 Pogo workers in the country have so far been issued with police clearance.

Azurin said they are in close coordination with the local government units for the documentation of Chinese Pogo workers in the country.

He said the documentation procedure aims to establish a recording and monitoring system that will keep track of activities of Pogo workers and ensure their compliance with government requirements.

The Philippine government is conducting more stringent monitoring on Pogo workers amid the increase of crime cases related to Pogo, such as kidnapping and illegal detention that spread fear among the public. (SunStar Philippines)