Dole orders strict enforcement of foreign employment rules

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Monday, February 3, 2014


THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) directed its regional officials on Monday to strictly enforce rules on the issuance of alien employment permit (AEP).

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the strict implementation aims to prevent a repeat of having at least 13 Chinese nationals working in construction sites in Batangas without AEPs.

"This is about strictly enforcing the revised rules for the issuance of AEPs, which our regional offices have direct responsibility," said Baldoz.

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Based on AEP guidelines, Dole regional directors are authorized to conduct ocular inspection to verify legitimacy of employment of foreign national and a verification inspection of the establishment employing foreign nationals within 30 days after issuance of the AEP.

With regards to the Chinese nationals, Baldoz said they have already ordered the company employing the Chinese workers to comply with the AEP requirement.

The penalty on foreign nationals working without AEP is a fine of P10,000 for every year.

Meanwhile, Baldoz is urging the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) to file formal opposition to AEP applications if they fear that there is a possible foreign “takeover” of the labor market.

She said that the entry of foreigners can easily be prevented had there been formal opposition filed with the government.

"The publication of an AEP application is a labor market test requirement of the Labor Code. Its purpose is to let the public know that a company is hiring a foreigner with a particular skill, which may not be available locally. Anyone who can prove otherwise should come forward and file an opposition," said Baldoz.

But in a text message, TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay clarified that the group is not against the AEP.

"The TUCP does not oppose the AEP scheme. What we are after is that why there are Chinese nationals without AEP. We want Chinese workers to have AEP so that they can also be protected by our labor laws," he said. (HDT/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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