Mamba:  Influx of Chinese students in Cagayan no cause for concern
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Mamba: Influx of Chinese students in Cagayan no cause for concern

Apr 17, 2024, 3:33 AM



The Cagayan provincial government on Monday said the reported influx of foreign students taking up graduate studies in the province is neither surprising nor threatening.

In a radio interview, Governor Manuel Mamba said the "vibrant" Chinese community in the province should not be viewed as alarming, considering the internationalization efforts of major universities in the area.

"More than a year na po ito (This has been ongoing for more than a year)... Well, sa akin (for me) if you promote something and they come over, you should not be surprised," he said.

Mamba argued that it seemed unfair to conclude that the Chinese students pose a threat to national security, as universities were given the autonomy to advance internationalization programs under the guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

"Parang racist tayo. ‘Wag naman po (We're like racists. We shouldn't be). And I respect so much the freedom ng (of our) universities natin," he said.

"Very welcoming po kasi ako. ‘Wag lang armed force ng ibang bansa (I'm very welcoming except for the foreign armed forces) I am welcoming all the Indians, lahat po ng (all the) Chinese, Americans, Japanese, in fact, there was a time na ang daming South Koreans dito nag-aaral po ng (that many South Korean students are here to study) English," Mamba added.

Tuguegarao City is home to four major universities -- St. Paul's University, University of Saint Louis, University of Cagayan Valley and the Cagayan State University (CSU).

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, Dean of San Beda University- Graduate School of Law and a consultant of the CSU, meanwhile, said he finds the influx of Chinese nationals "claiming to be graduate students" suspicious.

"Marami sila (they are many) and it's really an alarming presence... What's intriguing is how can you be a graduate student if you can't even understand English?" he said in a radio interview.

Aquino said the students even bring translators with them.

"The other disturbing phenomenon is that kapag nagrerenta sila ng isang bahay (when they rent a house) or even a hotel, they rent an entire hotel. They offer to rent it for long periods like five years pero ayaw ng mga hotel owners (but hotel owners won’t agree)," he added.

However, the provincial government maintained that there has not been any reported incident caused by Chinese students in the province, thus far.

CHED, meanwhile, has yet to release its response on the matter.

To date, the commission has been pushing to strengthen the Philippine higher education institutions through internationalization, both by joining the world university rankings and securing agreements with international counterparts and universities.

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