Freeman Cebu Business

Influx of Chinese in Phl not good for local firms

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — While the entry of Chinese nationals in the Philippines has given boost to the economy, their business dealings however are threatening the local players.

For this reason, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Virgilio Espeleta suggested that the government should regulate the new businesses built by Chinese nationals, which are primarily supporting the online gaming operations here.

“It is good that they are here, they are spending. But, if when they start to compete with existing players, regulating them is important,” said Espeleta in an interview.

Aside from noticing Chinese nationals operating retail shops in POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) infested sites, Espeleta said local players are also seeing wholesale buying of condominium units, which is not good for the property sector in the long run.

Espeleta echoed the statement made by Filipino Homes founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Anthony Gerard Leuterio, saying that Chinese’s strong interest to buy properties in the Philippines, specifically condominiums is something that should be monitored because the bulk-buying trend will push up real estate rates further.

This development is seen to deprive local or Filipino buyers to buy the real cost of the properties, and the high demand (created by Chinese buyers) makes real property cost higher.

Leuterio, who founded the Filipino Homes Group of Companies, further explained Chinese buyers are buying condominiums in by bulk (like one floor or more), as investment for renting or re-selling purposes. These buyers are paying spot cash.

While the existing 70-40 rule applied to foreign buyers are properly complied by developers, Leuterio said some buyers are clever enough to break the rule by using local dummies.

“This is loss of income opportunities for Filipinos,” said Leuterio, if not being monitored well,

Chinese capitalists will dominate the property selling and rental business in the Philippines, including Cebu.

Espeleta also mentioned the existence of Chinese workers here, not just in POGO companies, but also in construction, Chinese-owned restaurants, among others, that should be monitored closely by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

What is happening now, Espeleta said is these Chinese traders are creating the own ecosystem, such as forming their own business groups, which in a way affecting the local businesses.

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