MANILA A majority of Filipinos have expressed worry over the growing number of Chinese workers in the country, the results of the Social Weather Stations' (SWS) September poll revealed.
The SWS survey, conducted from September 27 to 30, found that 70 percent of adult Filipinos were worried about the surge of Chinese nationals working in the Philippines.
The respondents were asked: How worried are you about the increasing number of foreign Chinese working here in the Philippines?
Of the 70 percent, 31 percent were worried a great deal, while 39 percent were somewhat worried.
About 19 percent told SWS that they were not too worried and the remaining 11 percent said they were not at all worried.
The Bureau of Immigration has estimated that 3.12 million Chinese nationals have entered the country from January 2016 to May 2018.
From 2016 to 2018, about 335,800 working visas and special permits were issued to Chinese nationals.
The influx of Chinese citizens visiting and seeking jobs in the country was observed since President Rodrigo Duterte sought friendly and improved ties with China upon assuming office in 2016.
Some 12 percent of Filipinos believed that very many Chinese nationals were working in their locality, 19 percent said there were somewhat many, 25 percent think there were a few, and the remaining 44 percent were convinced that there were almost none, the SWS survey noted.
Visibility of Chinese workers was highest in Metro Manila (43 percent), followed by the Visayas (37 percent), Balance Luzon (28 percent), and Mindanao (19 percent).
Filipinos who raised worry over Chinese workers' presence in the country was also highest in Metro Manila (75 percent), followed by the Visayas (71 percent), Balance Luzon (28 percent), and Mindanao (67 percent).
The poll also bared that 27 percent strongly agree and 25 percent somewhat agree that the rising number of Chinese workers in the Philippines is a threat to the country's overall security.
Nineteen percent, however, somewhat disagree, 13 percent strongly disagree, and 21 percent were undecided, SWS said.
The Filipinos' stance that the influx of Chinese nationals working in the country is a threat to national security yielded a net agreement of very strong +38 in Metro Manila, and moderately strong in Balance Luzon (+27), Mindanao (+21), and the Visayas (+15).
On July 31, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. viewed the surge of Chinese nationals in the country as a security threat.
The SWS used sampling error margins of 2.3 percentage points for national percent for national percentages, 4 percentage points each for Balance Luzon, and 6 percentage points each for Metro Manila and the Visayas when it interviewed 1,800 adult Filipinos. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency