The Reason Singaporeans Wanted to Boycott Jollibee: Pinoy-First Policy


A blog article published on a site called The Real Singapore calls for mass boycott of “Pinoy-first businesses”, like Jollibee, that prioritize Filipinos over locals.

From the blog titled “Boycott Pinoys-First Businesses: Jollibee Singapore”:

Unlike other multi-national fastfood restaurants like Macdonalds and KFC which hire mainly Singaporeans and even the disabled and elderly, Jollibee Singapore [Source] intends to hire their fellow pinoys to fill up jobs in their latest Singapore venture. The Filipinio fastfood chain will be opened in Q1 this year but locations remained unknown.

Singaporeans are encouraged to boycott Jollibee Singapore to send a message that foreign businesses which hire foreigners first are not welcome in Singapore, and, businesses which targeted the Singaporean market share and profit off Singaporeans should prioritize job opportunities for Singaporeans first.

If this is true, then some Filipino-owned businesses in Singapore voluntarily implement the Philippine government’s long-standing Filipino First Policy. 

In 1987, the Corazon Aquino government preserved the country’s protectionism by preventing foreign ownership of lands, limiting foreign investment through the 60-40 rule, and banning foreign professionals to practice their respective professions here in order to protect local industries, Filipino businesses, professionals and workers.

So, is it wrong for some Singaporeans to exact the principle of “reciprocity” against Filipino-owned businesses in Singapore?

Who knows? Perhaps some of the Filipino owners of Singapore-based establishments expressly or privately support and campaign for Filipino First policy and protectionism in the Philippines.

The blog article also states:

Unfortunately, this exploitation is only possible in Singapore because of a weak and incompetent government behind the foreigners’ back. The PAP government has announced that it plans to increase Singapore’s population to 6 million by 2020, it is no surprise why they are now welcoming any unskilled foreigners simply to make up the number. Over the past decade, the PAP government has bent forward pandering to businesses’ appetite for cheap foreign labor. This has in turned resulted in a depression of salaries especially for the bottom 20% income earners who see their salaries stagnated over the past 13 years despite charting record GDP that the Prime Minister is so proud of. Foreign professionals, managers and engineers have also taken up jobs of Singaporeans who are seeing more retrenchment in the guise of restructuring, and salary growth below inflation rate.

However, I believe that boycott should only be a private matter and choice. As long as the Singaporean government does not officially call for mass boycott of Filipino-owned businesses, private boycott is valid.

I made the following comment on the blog post:

The only reason for Singaporeans (and I am a Filipino) to BOYCOTT Jollibee and other fully Filipino-owned businesses in Singapore is that Singaporeans are NOT ALLOWED the same rights or privileges (that Filipinos enjoy in Singapore) in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, Singaporeans cannot fully own businesses unless they partner with Filipinos who must own at least 60% of business equity.

In the Philippines, Singaporeans cannot own lands.

In the Philippines, Singaporean professionals cannot practice their respective professions. Singaporean doctors, nurses, engineers, architects, among others are TOTALLY BANNED in the Philippines.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying I agree with the Singaporeans. However, what I find very ironic is that the Singaporeans who are calling for mass boycott of Filipino-owned establishments appear to be left-leaning or socialists.

Isn’t it ironic? The Filipino socialists openly call for closing our doors to foreign investors. Now it’s time for them to meet their socialist counterparts in Singapore.

So, you want to limit foreign participation and involvement in the Philippines? If your answer is yes, then you’re as irrational, bigoted and close-minded as the Singaporean protectionists who strongly oppose the Singaporean government’s immigration plan to increase the city-state’s population.

Meanwhile, here’s a related issue: Singapore’s new immigration program and stricter labor policies.

Filipinos need to understand the Singaporean policy toward immigration. Here’s former Prime Minister and Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew’s attitude toward immigration:

“If you get immigration of the fruit pickers you may not get very far.”

Simply put, the government wants to attract only the best of the best– the scientists, the investors, the IT experts, the intellectuals, and highly skilled workers. However, the city-state’s new immigration policies are being opposed by left-leaning Singaporeans who are worried that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) are allowing too many immigrants into Singapore.

The left-leaning anti-immigration Singaporeans are the equivalent of anti-foreign investment protectionists in the Philippines. Both groups are afraid of foreigners and foreign involvement.

The Singaporean government has every reason and right to carefully select foreigners who may join its workforce and industries.

The PAP came up with a plan to increase the city-state’s population through immigration.

The ruling party’s white paper titled “A sustainable population for a dynamic Singapore” states that Singapore’s population must rest on the following three key pillars:

  • First, Singaporeans form the core of our society andthe heart of our nation. To be a strong and cohesive society, we must have a strong Singaporean core.
  • Second, our population and workforce must support a dynamic economy that can steadily create good jobs and opportunities to meet Singaporeans’ hopes and aspirations. Many Asian cities are modernising rapidly, and catching up on us. Singapore must continue to develop and upgrade to remain a key node in the network of global cities, a vibrant place where jobs and opportunities are created. A dynamic economy will provide us with more resources and room to pursue inclusive growth strategies to benefit all segments of our society.
  • Third, we must continue to keep Singapore a good home. Our city must continue to be well-managed, well-planned, and well-developed. We must meet the infrastructure needs of a changing population and economy in a timely and efficient way, while preserving and enhancing a green environment, so that Singapore can be a unique, bustling ‘City in a Garden’.

The paper also proposed hitting the following population parameters:

  • 2012 – A total population of 5.31 million comprised of 3.82 million residents (of which 3.29 million are citizens) and 1.49 million non-residents
  • 2020 – A total population of 5.8 to 6 million total comprised of 4 to 4.1 million residents (of which 3.5 to 3.6 million are citizens) and according to Rappler’s calculation 1.7 to 2 million are non-residents
  • 2030 – A total population of 6.5 to 6.9 million comprised of 4.2 to 4.4 million residents (of which 3.6 to 3.8 million are citizens) and according to Rappler’s calculation 2.3 to 2.7 million are non-residents

This immigration plan simply proves that Lee Kuan Yew really regretted imposing population control measures in the past.

Here are some “anti-Pinoy” (allegedly) blogs posted on The Real Singapore site:

“We are not stirring hatred towards the Pinoys but are just highlighting that the pinoys in Singapore tends to not integrate with Singaporeans that well in certain areas of life. For more information you can visit the (Fillipinos in Singapore) facebook page with over 6,500 likes and you can see some pinoys showing a large degree of Anti-Singapore sentiments even though they are working and living in our country.”

“Have you noticed the growing number of filipinos working in Singapore?  This site is just one example of online guides that encourage Filipinos to come and work in Singapore. It advocates how cheap and easy it is to apply for jobs in Singapore and promotes the fact that it’s easy to get PR and citizenship. They even say that they can bring their families along if they decide to stay…”

“Pinoy ‘FT’ Rosario Garcia Tenorio was told by her company to delete her Facebook account after an irate netizen called up to lodge a complaint against her for making derogatory remarks about a native Singaporean working as a Crew Leader at McDonald’s.”

NOTE: Just read the comments on the post.


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