The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), is set to reassess the age requirement for foreign nationals seeking retirement in the country after senators raised concerns over national security on Monday.
The issue stemmed during the Senate budget hearing for the DOT when the senators were caught by surprise after PRA general manager Atty. Bienvenido Chy revealed that the agency has been accepting foreign immigrants as retirees who are as young as 35 years old.
Sen. Richard Gordon and Sen. Nancy Binay were alarmed as Chinese topped the list of foreign retirees, at a time when the country faces the threat of the growing number of illegal Chinese workers from the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs).
But Chy cited that he had already inherited the policy and did not attempt to change it, to which Gordon expressed dismay.
In a message to reporters, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who also chairs the agency, said the Board of Trustees will meet to reassess the policy, stressing that they will move for its immediate repeal.
“I have directed GM Bienvenido Chy of the PRA to review and change this long-standing policy,” she said.
Based on the Cumulative Gross Enrollment of foreign retirees in the Philippines as of Dec. 31, 2019, there are 26, 969 Chinese nationals from China who decided to retire in the country, followed by Korea (13, 912), India (5,971), Taiwan (4, 801), Japan (3, 950), United States of America (3, 615), Hong Kong (1, 836), Great Britain (1, 571), Germany (778), and Australia (743). An additional 4, 069 foreign nationals also chose to enroll as retirees in the Philippines.
According to PRA, the Cumulative Gross Enrollment also includes all active retirees or active Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) holders.
These are retirees who continue to keep their retirement visa as their status of stay in the Philippines.
Aside from the principal retiree, SRRV holders were also joined by their spouses and dependents to stay in the Philippines.
The PRA data also revealed that Chinese top the list of foreign principal retirees belonging to the 35 to 49 years old age bracket, which prodded the senators to grill the PRA chief for job sufficiency issue.
The data said that the greater majority of foreign retirees reside in the National Capital Region with 36,862 immigrants or 52.63 percent.
Others were scattered in Region 1, Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 2, among others.