DOLE reviewing work permits to foreigners to check if jobs were not snatched from Pinoys

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 30) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be checking permits granted to foreigners working in the country to see if they did not take jobs meant for Filipinos.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they will be reviewing work permits issued to foreign nationals and catch those who may be overstaying.

The DOLE, Bureau of Immigration, and the Department of Justice are finalizing stricter rules for the issuance of foreign worker permits to be released Wednesday. Under these guidelines, blue-collar jobs like construction work, hairdressing and mining can no longer be given to foreigners.

Bello clarified the validity of the two types of permits given to foreigners: a special working permit is given to a non-resident who wishes to work here for three months, which can be given a three-month extension.

Beyond this, a foreigner must get an alien employment permit.

"That is now the subject of our inspection kung itong binigyan nila ng working permits ay nag-lapse na [if those working permits have already lapsed]," Bello told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Ngayon.

Members of the opposition have decried the influx of Chinese workers in the country. They said the Chinese workers have stolen opportunities from the local labor force.

The Bureau of Immigration said it has issued over 100,000 special working permits, largely for foreigners working in the Philippine online gaming operations (POGO) industry.

Meanwhile, the more permanent alien permits must be secured from DOLE.

"Sa Department of Labor, we will not issue an alien employment permit to any foreigner if the work that they will do here can be done by a Filipino. That is very clear," Bello said.

"'Yun ang pinag-aaralan namin, yung mga inissue-han ng permit ay tama ba, hindi ba kaya ng Pilipino?"

[Translation: "That's what we're looking at: if those who were issued permits were correct and are jobs that Filipinos cannot do."]

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that no less than Chinese President Xi Jinping assured Philippine officials that Filipinos will be the priority for new jobs by new infrastructure projects, even if the loans are provided by the Mainland.

The Department of Finance is also leading an inter-agency task force going after foreign POGO workers, as they chase after an estimated P32 billion in annual income taxes.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Rex Remitio contributed to this report.