MANILA, March 13, 2019–Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday has called for the resignation of Ramon Tulfo, a special Envoy to China, after the latter branded Filipinos workers as “slowpoke” and “lazy.”
In a dispatch from Camp Crame, de Lima said that if Tulfo cannot stop insulting Filipinos or apologize for his “offensive and baseless” remarks against them, he should just resign.
Responding to the influx of Chinese workers in the country, Tulfo during an interview with CNN Philippines explained that Chinese workers “are better” than their Filipino counterparts because they are “hardworking.”
“Do you know why the developers prefers Chinese workers? Because they are hardworking. The Filipino workers, pardon me, when they go to the job site, that’s only the time they would prepare their tools – whereas the Chinese workers are already prepared – and then they always smoke cigarettes and talk nonstop,” the former columnist said.
After drawing flak from the public, Ramon Tulfo in a Twitter post said he would not apologize for telling the “truth” that Filipino workers are “lazy and slowpoke.”
De Lima said the public official, whom she categorized as a bully under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “officialdom,” draws his salary from government funds that come from taxes paid by the same workers he “attacks and vilifies.”
The senator added that Tulfo has a “problem” distinguishing between his private persona and his public position.
“He also forgets that being Special Envoy to China means advancing Filipino interests, and not defending the Chinese takeover of Philippine jobs,” said the detained senator.
The lawmaker from Bicol further suggested that Filipino workers should stop paying Tulfo’s salary. “[But] as long as they are being paid by Filipino taxpayers, they have no right insulting Filipinos.” she added.
Several labor groups, and even Malacañang Palace itself, clapped back against the former journalist’s remark.
Moreover, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III disagreed with the envoy’s statement, saying Filipinos are the most “sought” workers in the world.
“You go in any other country and they always give preference to Filipinos because Filipinos are very industrious, very efficient, and they are very good workers,” he said in a separate CNN Philippines interview.(Joel Cristobal/PacificTimes)