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Sunday, October 18, 2009

DOLE adopts stricter rules for foreign workers in RP

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has revised the rules on the
issuance of employment permits to foreign nationals to provide for stricter
regulations and protect local jobs from foreigners.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said foreigners are only
allowed to work in the country in case no local workers are available to
fill up the posts.

Roque said DOLE Department Order No. 97-09, series of 2009, provides for
revised rules laying down stringent regulations on the issuance of alien
employment permits (AEPs) to foreigners seeking to work in the country. He
said the D.O. will prevent the foreigners from taking local jobs that may be
filled up by local workers in accordance with Article 40 of the Labor Code.

The Code provides that any alien seeking admission to the Philippines for
employment purposes and any domestic or foreign employer who desires to
engage an alien for employment in the Philippines shall obtain an employment
permit from the DOLE.

The DOLE Chief said an AEP may be issued to a non-resident alien or to the
applicant employer after determining the non-availability of a local worker
who is competent, able and willing at the time of AEP application to perform
the services for which the alien is desired.

Foreign nationals may only fill up local jobs that can't be filled up by
local workers, Roque said adding that D.O. 97-09 has been issued to protect
local jobs that can be filled up by local workers from foreign incursions.

Under the Order, the DOLE may conduct ocular inspection of establishments
employing foreign nationals to verify the legitimacy of the foreign
nationals' employment and ensure that the foreigners are doing the job for
which their AEPs were issued.

The DOLE may deny applications for AEPs based on any of the following
grounds: misrepresentation of facts in the application, submission of
falsified documents, the foreign national has a derogatory records, or
availability of a Filipino who is competent, able, and willing to do the job
intended for the foreign national.

In addition, a foreign national whose AEP has been denied will not be
allowed to reapply in any of the DOLE regional offices, unless said foreign
national has provided proof that the ground for denial has been corrected.
Foreigners found working without an AEP will also be fined P10,000 for every
year of their employment in the country.

The DOLE may also suspend the issuance of AEPS if the continued stay of the
foreign nationals may result in damage to the interest of the industry or
the country and if the employment of the foreign nationals is suspended by
the employer or by the order of the Court.

All DOLE regional offices will also publish applications for new AEP, change
or additional positions for foreign nationals in the same company or
subsequent assignment in related companies within two working days upon
receipt of application. Any objection or information against the employment
of the foreign national may be filed with the regional office anytime during
the foreign national's period of employment.

Nonetheless, even as D.O. 97 provides for stringent rules on the issuance of
AEPs, it at the same time extended the period of AEP filing for newly hired,
elected or appointed foreign officers from 10 to 15 working days without
penalty after signing of contract, election, or appointment, or before the
start of actual term of office.

Roque said this will provide the foreign nationals ample time for the
preparation of necessary documents in line with efforts to help the country
attract foreign investments and technology transfer, noting that the foreign
nationals are bound to train Filipino understudies in the course of their
employment in the country.


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