In recent days there has been a surge in anti-Filipino sentiment among Taiwanese citizens. This is following the Filipino government's handling of an event which saw a government vessel from that country fire upon, and kill, fishermen aboard the Guang Da Xing No. 28 fishing boat (廣大興28號) – leading to a succession of attacks on Filipino workers in counties and governments around Taiwan. Though these attacks have yet to spread to Taichung, members of the City Council including Lin, Ru-Zhou(林汝洲) and Lu Shih-Zhou(劉士州) still expressed earnest concern about the safety of the Filipino workforce during a Home Affairs question session on May 20 2013. They said they hoped that the Taichung City Labor Affairs Bureau would take active steps to find out more about the situation and lower the risk of Filipinos working in Taiwan being harmed.
There are 10,455 Filipino laborers within the Taichung jurisdiction, which is the most out of Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. Of these laborers, 7,670 work in the industrial sector and 2,785 work in the welfare sector. As a precautionary measure to prevent a hardening of resentment towards the city's Filipinos, in addition to daily checks on whether any employers have terminated their contracts with their Filipino workers or if any Filipino workers have submitted complaints, the Labor Affairs Bureau has been making daily visits to Filipino workers and their employers. As well as providing an information service for the management of foreign employees, the bureau has also encouraged employers and citizens of Taiwan to be cool and rational in their treatment of this event; they should focus on ensuring the safety of Filipino workers, and should be sure not take indignation about the fishing boat incident out on Filipinos working in Taiwan. This will ensure the safety of these Filipinos in their place of work. The Taichung City Labor Affairs Bureau said that it had yet to receive any complaints of discrimination, jostling or physical abuse from Filipino workers, and nor had any employers fired their Filipino workers as a result of the incident. However, the bureau still once more called upon Taiwanese citizens to be cool and rational in their approach to Filipinos working in Taiwan, and to avoid discrimination and mistreatment. The City Government also instructed the police force to step up patrols of areas in which Filipino workers frequently congregate to reduce the risk of them being harmed. If any Filipinos do find themselves under threat, for their protection they should request the assistance of a police unit as quickly as possible.
The Taichung City Government Labor Affairs Bureau once more called upon residents of the city to be the 'back-up protectors' of their country. As the country handles this foreign affairs incident with the Philippines, the people of Taiwan should come together to show that Taiwan is a modern, civilized country that cares about basic human rights. They should not take out personal sentiment on Filipinos working in Taiwan. If Taiwanese citizens or foreign workers have any questions relating to this issue they can telephone the Taichung City Government Labor Affairs Foreign Labor Information Center. The center provides and advisory service about the rights and interests of foreign workers and can help handle labor disputes and complaints. Please call 04-22289111 ext. 35528 (Filipino), ext. 35538(Thai), ext. 35548 (Indonesian), ext. 35558 (Vietnamese).