48 Panhua Workers for SteelPlant in Philippines in Immigration Net
Minda News reported that Philippine authorities held at least 48 Chinese nationals at a compound where Chinese firm Panhua Group is allegedly building a steel plant in neighbouring Maasim in Sarangani province of Philippines. Bureau of Immigration agents, accompanied by soldiers, swooped down on 30 April the compound in Barangay Kamanga, which is near a coal-fired power plant of the Alcantara-owned Sarangani Energy Corporation. Immigration agents were there to investigate reports that the Chinese nationals allegedly used false claims in their sworn documents, which were submitted to support their application for special work permits, which is in violation of Section 45 (f) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 as amended.
The police report said that the immigration officers seized several documents, including biometrics and other items from the compound, which can support the investigation on whether the Chinese were indeed skilled or just plain common workers.
Last month, Barangay Kamanga chair Ms Rosadelima Mangelen said they learned about the presence of the Chinese who will be working to build a steel plant. The area where the plant is to be built is within the Kamanga Agro-Industrial Ecozone, which used to be owned by Ms Mangelen’s family until it was sold. Ms Mangelen told MindaNews at her residence last month that they were asked by officials of the Panhua Group for a certificate of no objection in their bid to get a clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for their project.
In 2019, the Panhua Group has forged an agreement with the Philippine government to put up a PHP 3.3 billion steel plant, but at the Phividec Industrial Park in Misamis Oriental, which is in Northern Mindanao.