Illegal aliens now into sidewalk vending in Boracay, barangay officials report

By Jun Ramirez

KALIBO, Aklan – After a government task force padlocked foreign-owned and unregistered restaurants and lodging houses in Boracay, many aliens are now into sidewalk vending business.

Barangay officials in the island-resort and in this town made the disclosure and requested the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to stop the proliferation of these ambulant vendors by arresting and deporting them.

They cited the case of a group of foreigners, mostly women, posting themselves right at the single arrival-exit point of the island selling swimsuits and other ready-to-wear dresses to local and foreign tourists.

The same sources reported that foreign nationals, who are reportedly undocumented, are also employed as construction workers.

The sources also reported that a group of laborers who are all aliens, had recently completed the construction of a commercial building in this capital town depriving local workers of job opportunities.

However, locals admitted that the foreign laborers are more skilled and experienced in installing floor tiles, electrical wires, water pipes and other finishing jobs.

Barangay officials said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente should also order immigration officers stationed there to go after the foreign nationals like what their counterparts in Metro Manila have been doing.

BI agents arrested 35 Chinese laborers in a construction site in Parañaque last week, and 34 in Pasay City last year.

Morente vowed to conduct a no letup drive against the undesirable foreign visitors.

Barangay officials agreed with Morente's pronoucement that the presence of foreign laborers are "robbing our Pilipino workers job opportunities."