INDIANS make up the largest number of foreigners working in Davao Region, according to Department of Labor and Employment regional office in Davao (Dole 11).
According to Dole's Alien Employment Permit (AEP) data from January to June this year, there are 72 Indian workers recorded, followed by Chinese with 57, while Pakistanis and Korean tied with 18.
Unlike in the same period of 2018, there were only 27 Indian workers recorded. In 2018, Chinese topped as the largest number of foreigners working in Davao Region at 68. Japanese (16) and Koreans (11) were also among the largest group of foreigners working in the region.
Overall, there have also been an increase of AEPs issued. This year, there are 218 working foreigners recorded in the region as compared in 2018 with only 156.
Despite the increasing number of foreign workers in the country, Dole 11 assistant regional director Jason Balais said it should not be considered as a threat because there are still many job vacancies for Dabawenyos.
"218 (recorded foreign workers) is not significant with respect to the total number of work available in the Davao Region. Daghan pa gihapon vacancies reserved sa mga kaubang Dabawenyos and Filipinos (There are still reserved job vacancies for Dabawenyos and Filipinos)," Balais told Sunstar Davao.
He also said the increasing number of foreign workers is due to the favorable business climate in the country, particularly in Davao City, in terms of peace and order, political stability, and economic growth.
"It is expected that foreign investors will have their eyes focused on Davao City as a possible investment destination," Balais said.
As to the huge increase of Indian workers, he said it can be seen with the increasing number of Indian establishments to cater to the needs of the Indian foreign exchange students, mostly taking up medical courses.
He, however, said that the slight decrease of Chinese workers is not due to the ongoing tension between the Philippines and Chine due to territorial claims.
Balais said Dole is strictly monitoring all nationalities who intend to work in the country, particularly in Davao Region.
Currently, he said his office have not yet received any complaint coming from them, which signifies that they are properly treated in their stay here.
"In fact, the employers help them secure the alien permit," Balais said.
AEP is a document issued by Dole through its regional offices as one of the requirements for a foreign national to work in the country.
According to Dole, foreign nationals, their employers, and/or authorized representatives may file for an AEP.
Foreign nationals required to secure an AEP are those: intending to engage in gainful employment in the country with an employer-employee relationship; allowed by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to practice profession in the country; and holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa 47(a)2, who occupy any executive, adivisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is now working with Dole in developing an interagency database of foreign nationals working in the country to effectively monitor them and ensure that they pay the correct amount of taxes to the government.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said revisions were made to a draft joint memorandum circular (MC) being crafted with the Dole on the issuance of work permits to foreigners to include a provision on setting up the database.
“To effectively pursue our mandate (of taxing foreign workers), we need accurate data on foreigners working in the Philippines,” Dulay said during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting.
Dulay also reported that several of the 15,176 foreign nationals working in 174 establishments, mostly Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), that the DOLE said had no working permits were subsequently determined by the BIR to have the proper working permits and visas. “DOLE was informed of these findings,” Dulay said.
BIR has also sent out 29 letter-notices to several POGO service providers telling them to remit the taxes due them as withholding agents in the amount of P4.44 billion.