Press Release
October 21, 2020

With about 28,000 Chinese 'retirees' in PH
Nancy to PRA: Review policies, do background check and implement stricter vetting process
...says intent to 'retire' poses question on national security

Senator Nancy Binay urged the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) to review its existing policies to lessen the probability of foreign nationals exploiting the special resident retiree visas (SRRV) to stay in the Philippines.

Binay said PRA should also implement a stricter vetting process for foreign retirees after it was revealed in a senate hearing that foreigners aged 35 years old and above are eligible for the SRRV.

"It's high time to review the policy na 35 years old ka lang ay puwede ka na mag-retire dito sa Pilipinas kasi ang kailangan lang po ng magre-retire ay either mag-deposit siya ng US$50,000 sa bangko, or bumili ng condo unit worth P2.5 million at puwede nang mag-retire dito," she pointed out.

The senator expressed alarm over the seemingly relaxed national security policy on allowing Chinese nationals who are 35 years old, which falls in the bracket of the so-called "soldier's age".

"Siguro dapat dagdagan din ang security measure at baka dapat higpitan ang vetting process ng mga tatanggapin natin regardless of nationality," Binay added.

Binay said she finds PRA's age limit concerning and noted how foreigners can exploit this to work in the country without going through the proper channels.

"Alam naman natin at 35 years old malakas pa po ang katawan niyan. Lalong-lalo po mayroon tayong problema ngayon na kung saan may issue tayo na apparently ang mga kababayan natin ay nagkakaroon ng job displacement pagdating dito sa pagpasok ng mga Chinese nationals sa ating bansa," she said.

PRA records show that there are about 28,000 Chinese "retirees" who have been allowed to permanently reside in the country.

"Puwede (ang mga yan ay) nagtatrabaho sa POGO, or puwede din po baka nandiyan sila sa Divisoria. Kaya nga po magandang tingnan at pag-aralan kasi baka kumbaga ginagamit nila itong paraan to circumvent the law na hindi sila puwedeng mag-trabaho dito," Binay added

Based on the PRA's list, there are a total of 70,520 foreign retirees in the Philippines. Of this number, the Chinese comprise the highest number of foreign retirees or about 40%, followed by Koreans at around 14,000, and Indians at about 6,000.

During the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Binay questioned if the PRA has a way to monitor if these retirees have truly stopped working since the probability of them competing with local jobs is high.

"Ang laki ng Chinese retirees natin. I don't know if we have the budget to monitor na hindi nagtatrabaho sa POGO ang mga Chinese retirees na ito. Kasi kung ang demographics nila ay 35 years old, the probability of them working ay napakataas," she said.

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