The Department of Labor and Employment will implement stricter measures in the issuance of Alien Employment Permit or AEP following reports on the rising number of foreign workers in the Philippines.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that the granting of employment permits to foreign nationals should not be done in haste as it depends only on the skills on demand.
Meanwhile, various labor groups called on both Senate and the House of Representatives to conduct a probe and come up with measures to curb the rising number of foreigners working in the country without government permits because this has adverse implications on local industries and in the employment situation of Filipinos.
Under the law, foreigners seeking employment in the Philippines are required to apply for an AEP, Bello said.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said the growing number of foreign workers in the country undermines the job security of Filipino workers as they compete with the already limited jobs generated for the Filipinos.
Silvestre said the department will also conduct inspections at workplace levels to check on the foreign workers and to validate the issuance of work permits to foreign workers.
Other agencies that issue working permit to foreign workers include the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for geoscience and mining industry; the Professional Regulation Commission for the practice of regulated professions; the Department of Justice for nationalized or partially nationalized industries; and the Bureau of Immigration, for the pre-arranged employment visa or 9G.
The BI also issues Special Working Permit, allowing foreigners to work for three months and can be extended for another three months or more.
The bureau did not release records on the number of SWPs issued for 2018, raising suspicion that the agency was responsible for the rise in number of foreign workers in the country.
Based on the latest data of the Bureau of Local Employment, there are 115,652 foreign nationals that were issued with AEP, of which 51,980 are Chinese, while 12,177 Japanese and 11,780 Korean for a three-year period from 2015 to 2017.