By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
HAINAN, CHINA — Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana said last April 9 the official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte will likely pave the way for China and the Philippines to sign a deal that will hire more Filipino English teachers.
In a report by GMA News, Sta. Roman said the deal will be one of those that will be signed while President Duterte is in the country to ““further deepen and broaden the economic relations” of the two nations.
“There are some minor details still being ironed out. But if everything works, the agreement to open, to hire more Filipino English teachers for China to open the Chinese market (will be signed),” Sta. Romana said.
“The President is on his third visit to China for the Boao Forum for Asia, an international economic forum that serves as a dialogue platform for leaders in the Asia Pacific,” according to a report by The Philippine Star.
Sta. Romana said there are Filipino teachers here but they found the jobs on their own.
“There used to be a Chinese rule that excluded the Philippines as a legal source or as a source that they encouraged. They wanted to emphasize, you know, what they called native speakers but they have relaxed it now,” Sta. Romana said via The Philippine Star.
“We noticed that they were allowing certain countries that were not strictly speaking native speakers but rather were former colonies of native speaking countries and so…when they allowed that, it was very clear the Philippines was part of that, it could not be excluded,” Sta. Romana added.
Sta. Romana said the improved ties between China and the Philippine played a role in the readiness of Beijing to welcome and hire more Filipino teachers.
“Whereas before, in the period of contentious relations, you know, they did not discuss this or no, that’s not possible. They became more open. So now they are more open, they are more accommodating and there’s growing need in China to learn English,” Sta. Romana said.
Sta. Romana said President Xi Jinping and President Duterte could also sign an agreement to further deepen and broaden economic relations, “the final loan agreement for the Chico Dam project, and an agreement to open the Chinese market to Filipinos.
“According to Sta. Romana, China is now more interested in hiring so-called “non-native” English speakers, or those from colonized countries (as was previously done),” according to report by The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Filipino Domestic Workers
In a report by GMA News, Sta. Romana said the Philippines could also soon bring up the possibility of China opening up its doors to the entry of Filipino domestic helpers.
“The Chinese middle class is growing, they look at what’s happening in Hong Kong, and there is a growing demand for English-speaking helpers,” Sta. Romana said.
“But of course, there are a lot of problems to be solved. You know, we want to make sure they are covered by social security, that they’re not subject to unfair rules. So, we want assurances,” Sta. Romana added.