MANILA — Filipino workers are industrious, Malacañang said on Monday contrary to a recent tweet made by special envoy to China Ramon Tulfo that Filipinos are “lazy.”
“Ang tingin natin siyempre, ang mga Pilipino talagang masisipag; in fact, ang impression sa abroad eh masisipag talaga (Of course we think Filipinos are industrious; in fact the impression abroad is Filipinos are really industrious),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Talagang magaling ang mga Pilipino. If we put our hearts into it, magagaling talaga ang mga Pilipino (Filipinos are really good. If we put our hearts into it, Filipinos are really good),” he added.
Panelo, however, acknowledged that there are some Filipinos who are lazy.
“Pero depende rin eh, mayroon namang tamad na worker. Pero ang general impression talaga masisipag tayo (But it depends, there are some lazy workers. But the genera impression is we’re industrious), we are preferred in other countries,” Panelo said.
Panelo said the special envoy was entitled to his own opinion since it was part of freedom of expression.
“That is freedom of expression, everyone is entitled to make his opinion on any matter concerning the country or the people or anybody,” Panelo said, noting that it was Tulfo’s call to apologize.
Panelo said he was not concerned that Tulfo’s remark would endanger the employment opportunities of Filipino workers since the special envoy was simply relaying what developers told him.
“I don’t think that is the opinion of Mr. Tulfo, I think he was just relaying what he heard or what was said to him by the developers. Pakinggan—tingnan ninyong maigi iyong statements niya, so hindi galing sa kaniya (Listen–check his statements properly, it’s not his own),” Panelo said.
“Let’s not put words into his mouth unless he restates it and say ‘hindi (no), that’s also my opinion,’” he added.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has also defended Filipino workers’ work ethics saying he “violently disagrees” with Tulfo’s statement that they were less efficient than Chinese workers.
Bello emphasized that Filipinos were the most sought after employees abroad.
Last week, Tulfo, in an interview over CNN Philippines, said developers prefer Chinese workers over Filipino workers since they were more hardworking than Filipino workers.
“You know why developers prefer Chinese workers? They’re hardworking. When Filipino workers go to a job site, that’s only when they will start preparing their tools, whereas Chinese workers are already prepared. Filipino workers always smoke and keep talking,” Tulfo said.
On his Twitter account, Tulfo also called Filipinos “lazy” and “slowpoke” and refused to apologize for his remark.
“To the Filipino construction workers: Why should I apologize to you for telling the truth that you’re basically lazy and a slowpoke? Does the truth hurt?” Tulfo said in his tweet. (PNA)