Press Release
May 17, 2019

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the rescue of nearly 100 Filipino workers at an alleged illegal factory of cigarettes in Marilao, Bulacan run by illegal foreigners

We took notice of an ABSCBN news report on May 16, where nearly 100 Filipino workers were rescued by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation from an apparent illegal factory of cigarettes in Marilao, Bulacan.

Nakakapanlumo at nakakagalit po ito, sa sarili nating Bayan inaalila at tinuturing hayop ang ating mga kababayan ng mga illegal foreigners! Hindi po ito katanggap-tanggap!

At first glance, the labor violations are blatant. The gates are locked from the outside. The sleeping quarters of the workers are inhumane, and based on one worker's account, the working conditions barely comply with prevailing labor laws, primarily the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Act that we pushed and legislated into law this Congress.

We likewise take exception to the fact that it appears that foreigners supposedly running this illegal enterprise could barely present any documents to prove their legitimate stay in our country. This is the problem we want to address when we launched an inquiry into the influx of illegal foreign workers in the country.

Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa agarang responde ng mga tauhan ng National Bureau of Investigation sa pangunguna ng hepe ng kanilang opisina sa Bulacan na si Noel Bocaling. Hinihikayat po natin sila na magsampa ng kaso laban sa mga tao na nagpapatakbo ng iligal na pabrika na ito.

We call on our authorities, particularly the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Justice, to look into this incident. We hope that the victims get all the help they need from appropriate intervention measures to job placement so we can restore the dignity of their labor that these illegal foreigners took away from them.

We also ask the Department of Trade and Industry and our counterparts in the local government units to intensify their efforts to stop the proliferation of illegal businesses. Let's work together for the good of our people and our country.

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