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More than 1,000 illegal Filipinos in China deported last year, says PHL envoy

Chinese authorities have deported illegal Filipino workers last year, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said on Wednesday.

"Last year, I think our figure is about more than a thousand were deported by the Chinese," he added.

Sta. Romana was unable to provide the exact number of illegal Filipinos living in China.

"They’re not registered and because we only know when they surrender or they’re caught by the authorities," he said.

"Usually, they come here to work, to seek work, as domestic workers. They come in as tourists and they seek employment," he added.

The subject of the status of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines, Sta. Romana said, was not part of discussions with Chinese officials.

"It’s been a discussion in Manila within the government," he said.

He admitted though that Filipinos who are illegally staying in China is a cause of concern.

"But we have our own problem here of Filipinos who were --- they’re not in proper legal status," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte said earlier in the year that he would rather be "careful" in handling the issue of deporting illegal Chinese workers in the country out of concern for the Filipinos who are working in China.

The Chinese embassy, for its part, issued a statement saying China respects the laws and regulations of the Philippines regarding employment of foreign nationals and acknowledged that Chinese nationals "should not stay or work illegally in foreign countries including the Philippines." — Margaret Claire Layug/BAP, GMA News