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Philippine proposal to limit Chinese gambling workers’ interactions with Filipinos worries Beijing

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Beijing has expressed concern over a proposed plan by a Philippine government agency to confine Chinese online gambling workers to “self-contained” communities to limit their interaction with Filipinos.

The proposal may infringe on the basic legal rights of the Chinese citizens concerned, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Thursday.

The embassy strongly urged the Philippine government to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interest of Chinese citizens in the country.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) came up with the proposal amid complaints of unruly behaviour of Chinese citizens working in online gaming companies and casinos.

“These hubs will be self contained communities so we can limit the interaction between Filipinos and foreign workers,’’ Pagcor vice president for offshore gaming Jose Tria told a Manila television interview on Tuesday night.

The Chinese Embassy said it has repeatedly reminded its citizens to abide by local laws and regulations and not to work illegally in foreign countries.

It lamented that a large number of its citizens have been illegally recruited and hired by online gambling firms and casinos in the Philippines.

The workers are allegedly maltreated by their employers and suffer extortion, physical abuse and torture, it added.

The online gambling industry in the Philippines caters mostly to Chinese citizens, because gambling is illegal in China.

Operators in the Philippines hire Chinese workers who know the language and cultural nuances of the market.

Edited by Halima Sheji

 

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