Bill regulating employment of foreigners nears House approval

November 17, 2018
Karlo Nograles
Karlo Nograles

A measure seeking to regulate the employment of foreign nationals in the country was approved on second reading by the House of Representatives.

House Bill 8368, principally authord by former Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, will amend the Labor Code of the Philippines and adopt the Labor Market Test consistent with Philippines' commitments as basis in determining non-availability of a qualified and willing Filipino national to do services, for which the foreign national is being hired.

The bill mandates that foreign nationals, who are issued employment permits, shall transfer their skills and technology to Filipino understudies within a prescribed period.

Moreover, the bill increases fines and penalties for violations by foreign nationals and their employers to deter transgressions.

Any foreign national and his employer, who violate Articles 289 and 290 of the Labor Code, shall pay a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 or suffer imprisonment of six months to six years, or both, at the discretion of the court.

The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) shall impose a fine of P50,000 for every year of fraction thereof to both the foreign national found working without valid employment permit and his employer.

All non-resident foreign nationals seeking employment in the Philippines shall obtain an employment permit from the DoLE.

An employment permit may be issued to a non-resident foreign national subject to a Labor Market Test based on the non-availability of qualified and willing Filipino nationals.

After the issuance of an employment permit, the foreign national shall not transfer to another job or change his employer without prior approval of the DoLE Secretary.

Subject to existing laws and agreements and after consultation with the National Tripartite Industry Peace Council, the DoLE Secretary shall grant  exemption to foreign nationals from the Labor Market Test where there is a short supply of qualified and willing Filipino nationals in industries, occupations, and professions.

Any employer shall submit a list of such nationals to the Labor Secretary and concerned regional director who has jurisdiction over the employer within 30 days after hiring, indicating their names, citizenship, foreign and local addresses, nature of employment, and status of stay in the country.