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DOLE to release guidelines for foreign workers

/ 05:36 PM April 04, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — New guidelines for allowing foreign workers into the country will be released soon, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Thursday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the guidelines will indicate whether Filipinos can do a particular job.

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“This will all be addressed when we release a memorandum or guidelines governing the entry of foreign workers. It’s not about the nature of the job, it’s whether the job can be done by Filipinos,” DOLE quoted Bello as saying.

During an inter-agency meeting last week, DOLE and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) submitted a list of foreign workers employed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo), and those working without the required Special Working Permit (SWP) or Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, however, noted that some of the names in the list do not have Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs). The monthly salary of foreign workers was also “ridiculously low” for skilled foreign workers in Pogos.

The labor secretary reiterated that foreign workers must first secure a TIN from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to receive their Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

Bello added that foreign workers in the country must also pay proper taxes.

READ: Gov’t loses P3B/mo in tax revenues from foreign Pogo workers

More labor inspectors needed

Bello said that for the labor department to strictly monitor foreign workers in the country, they would need an additional 5,000 additional labor laws compliance officers (LLCO’s).

“Considering the numbers involved, we need additional LLCOs, and he (Finance Sec. Dominguez) said, how many do you need? I said ideally we need 5,000, then they computed and said it will cost about P2.5 billion, but it will also result in tax collection of about P22 billion to P40 billion pesos, so he said go,” Bello said.

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“As soon as we receive the positions, we will deploy them immediately. Talks are ongoing. We will make representation with the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management,” the labor secretary added. /ee

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