Thousands of Koreans leaving Baguio City

Posted at 09/18/08 12:49 PM

Thousands of Koreans have left and business establishments owned by the foreigners in Baguio City have closed due to bankruptcy.

The Bureau of Immigration said from 10,000 last year, only 4,000 Koreans are living or studying in Baguio City.

The Baguio City government said many Korean establishments have been closed because of bankruptcy.

Koreans interviewed by ABS-CBN News said the establishments went bankrupt because of the worsening economy of the Philippines.

The city treasurer's office, meanwhile, said Baguio doesn't look at the situation as a big loss when it comes to business tax. It said Korean establishments have a minimum share to the city's revenue.

The treasurer's office, however, admitted Koreans' purchasing power would be missed by the city.

Baguio City is one of the Koreans' favorite destinations in the country because of its climate and availability of English tutorial centers.

In Cebu City, Koreans said they are pleased with how the Cebuanos handle their visitors. The foreigners said aside from the various English tutorial centers in Cebu City, they appreciate the warm culture of the Filipino people by staying in the Visayan province.

Asked about the dangers of staying in the Philippines, the Koreans could not give a modicum of an unfavorable answer. They said the Philippines, especially Cebu, "is as peaceful as it can be."

From 2003 to 2006, the Korean population in the Philippines grew by at least 50 percent. Government data says that from 378,602 in 2003, the number of Koreans staying in the country ballooned to 572,133.

The influx of Koreans in the country, dubbed "the Korean invasion," became more obvious with the sprouting of hundreds of Korean business establishments in the Philippines. With Carmi Cavanlit, ABS-CBN Cebu