Alien workers

February 08, 2019

DESPITE government efforts to generate more local job opportunities, many Filipino workers still prefer to seek employment abroad because of low pay of employees in the Philippines.

But lamentable, disgusting and saddening are reports that more and more foreigners are now employed in the country, including construction workers, cashiers and even janitors.

Thus, it is no wonder that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has set stricter requirements and procedures in the issuance of special work permits (SWPs) and provisional work permits (PWPs).

“This is to ensure that these work permits are issued only to aliens whose jobs could not be performed by Filipinos,” according to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

Among the requirements to be submitted by the work permit applicant include the validity of stay as tourist, address, nature of business and financial viability of petitioning company.

The bureau, which is under the Department of Justice (DoJ), will not grant work permits to foreign nationals seeking blue collar jobs to ensure that they don’t “take away jobs” from Filipinos.

Aside from construction workers, cashiers and janitors, other blue-collar workers from overseas are not allowed to work in the country, which is still teeming with jobless Filipinos.

Likewise, workers whose professions are classified as “regulated” by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) will not be allowed to work in the country without its approval.

In this impoverished but manpower-exporting Southeast Asian nation of English-speaking people, joblessness and underemployment continue to worry government authorities.

In the view of well-meaning Filipinos, including the ordinary citizens, imposing stricter requirements in the issuance of work permits to foreign nationals is a move in the right direction.