IMPACT – MEDIUM

The Department of Labor and Employment has issued an order amending numerous rules governing the issuance of employment permits

Key provisions:

  • Alien employment permits – additional documents. Employers must provide additional documents, including the business name registration and application form, with the Department of Trade and Industry or SEC registration and GIS. If the foreign national is filling a position on the list of regulated professions, they must submit a special temporary permit issued by the Professional Regulations Commission. If the employer is covered by the anti-dummy law, it must obtain an Authority to Employ Foreign National letter from the Department of Justice, or from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in case the employer is engaged in mining.
  • Renewals of alien employment permits. Renewals must be filed no earlier than 60 days before expiration. Expired alien employment permits will be processed as a new application subject to the payment of required fees and applicable penalties. If corporate officers are appointed before the permit expires, the renewal must be filed no later than 15 working days after the appointment or before expiration, whichever is later. If a corporate appointment is made after expiration of the permit, the renewal must be filed before expiration for a one-year renewal, and the foreign national must file a secretary’s certificate within 15 days after the appointment or the permit will be revoked.
  • Denial of alien employment permit applications. Alien employment permit applications and renewals may be denied if the applicant worked without a valid permit for more than a year or applied for renewal with an expired visa or with a temporary visitor’s visa. If a foreign national’s permit was denied or canceled because he or she misrepresented facts, submitted falsified documents with the intent to deceive, conceal or omit material facts, he or she will be barred from reapplying for five years. Employers and their agents who file fraudulent applications for three counts will be barred from filing for alien employment permits for five years.
  • Other Penalties. Apart from a fine of 10,000 Philippine pesos (about US$200) each for both an employee who is working without a valid permit and for an employer who is hiring an employee without a valid permit, employers who fail to pay the penalty for employing workers without an alien employment permit will be barred from employing foreign nationals.
  • Exclusions. The position of secretary has been removed from the list of corporate officers who are excluded from the employment permit requirement, and the position of representative of the foreign principal/employer assigned in the office of a POEA-licensed manning agency has been added. Presidents and treasurers must be part-owners of the company to qualify for the exclusion. Those seeking an exclusion must pay a government fee of 500 pesos and apply for a certificate of exclusion.
  • Exemptions. Refugees are added to the list of those exempt from the employment permit requirement.

BAL Analysis: The department is tightening rules on the employment of foreign workers and strengthening enforcement and penalties. Employers should be aware of the new rules and the stricter penalties.