Palace: Government to study letting more foreign workers in for flagship projects
Worker presses his forehead as he is seen at a road reblocking activity in Caloocan on Apr. 30, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Palace: Government to study letting more foreign workers in for flagship projects
Alexis Romero ( - June 22, 2020 - 8:28pm

MANILA, Philippines —  The government will look into proposals to allow foreigners working in state flagship projects to come to the country.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said an embassy has requested for a report on visa holders performing work for flagship projects, permanent residents, retirees and special investors. He declined to identify which foreign government made the request.

"It is now being discussed. This was brought up by Secretary Meynard (Guevarra) of DOJ (Department of Justice) last Friday," Roque said at a press briefing Monday.

Roque said the matter is expected to be discussed during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases later Monday.

"This afternoon (June 22)...they (agencies) will present data and there will be a decision on whether to open our country to the foreigners," the Palace spokesman said.

The government has suspended the visa-free privileges of foreigners to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in the Philippines.

Only accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents; and foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals are exempted from the restriction

"Many have requested (to ease the restriction) and many foreign nationals are related to our flagship projects, especially But they cannot be allowed to enter because we cannot make a decision that applies to just one nationality.  We have an equal protection clause," Roque said.

"If we craft a policy, while only one embassy made the request it should be equally applicable to all foreigners in our country," he added

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