THE FILIPINO government is planning to cut down the number of expatriates amid reports of the rising number of foreign workers employed in the country.
The restriction on foreigners will involve stricter measures on the issuance of the country’s Alien Employment Permit (AEP) by the Department of Labour and Employment, the Manila Standard reported.
However, Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III insists the granting of the permits to foreign nationals would not be rushed as it depended on the skills on demand in the country.
The announcement came amid complaints by various labour groups which have called on lawmakers to investigate and come up with measures to curb the reported rising numbers of foreigners working in the country.
Bello said foreigners must apply for the AEP if they intended to work in the Philippines.
The proposal for the new regulation also comes after the Trande Union Congress of the Philippines pointed out that the rising number of foreign workers had undermined the job security of Filipinos struggling in a limited job market.
Bello said the department would mount inspections at workplaces to validate the permits held by the foreign workers.
Currently, there are 115,652 foreign nationals that posses an AEP, according to latest data from the Bureau of Employment.
The bulk of workers are Chinese nationals (51,980), while 12,177 are Japanese and another 11,780 are from South Korea between 2015 and 2017.
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, are among the other agencies to issue the AEP.
The Bureau of Immigration, on the other hand, issues the pre-arranged employment visa or 9G, and the Special Working Permit that lasts for three months that could be extended for the same period of time or more.