|Screen grab of INQUIRER.net's website|
By Jung Min-ho
Philippine authorities have launched an investigation into some business owners accused of exclusively catering to Chinese customers in the country.
According to local media Monday, the country's presidential office ordered the Department of Labor and Employment to look into allegations that some Chinese-owned restaurants and other businesses refuse to serve Filipino customers.
The move comes a day after Senator Panfilo Lacson urged the government to "shut down" such businesses.
"We should prioritize Filipino entrepreneurs," Lacson was quoted as saying in a radio interview. "If investors coming from China would do business even in SMEs, that will be alarming because many of our countrymen will be deprived of investment opportunities."
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III also criticized them.
"Business firms operating in the Philippines are not allowed to discriminate," Pimentel said. "Limiting customers to Chinese people only is a form of discrimination … Close them down for violating the Constitution."
Previously, netizens accused a Chinese restaurant in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, on social media of refusing to serve Filipino customers. There have also been reports that some stores in Makati and Pasay do not welcome Filipinos.