City Legal Officer Manuel Arbon clarifies that the feared influx of Chinese workers to the Proposed Smart City Project will not happen as our existing labor laws give priority to local workers (mason, laborers, engineers, carpenters, painters, etc.) except when the task requires highly technical skills not available in the city, province, region or the entire country.
WATCH the actual exchange between Councilor Michael Bandal and Atty. Manuel Arbon:
Councilor Michael Bandal: With respect to the limitations of the hiring of foreign workers because there are some concerns that there would be an influx of Chinese citizen here, do we have a protection for that?
Atty. Manuel Arbon: Regarding hiring of foreign workers, it’s not automatic. They still have to go through the protocols under the Department of Labor and Employment. So they need to qualify. And I think if I’m not mistaken, in my labor law. You can only hire foreigners when their services could not be provided by the local workers.
So kung ilang kargador, naa pod ta’y kargador, atoang kargador. Og ilahang mason, naa pod ta’y mason, so atoang mason ang paboran.
Pero pagnaa sila’y highly technical people nga wala ‘ta —pwede silang ma hire.
But you are only talking of what? Less than 10 siguro. The bulk of the workforce, I assume, would be coming from the local population whether in Dumaguete City or the other parts of Negros Oriental.
So, regarding foreign workers, I think that too will have to abide by our existing labor law and regulations.