House aims for stiffer penalties on foreigners working sans permit

By on October 20, 2015


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MANILA — The House of Representatives is expected to pass on final reading, come resumption of session in November, HB 5887, which strengthens the regulation of employment of foreign nationals.

“We must protect the welfare of the country’s human resource against undue incursion of foreign labor in consonance with our commitments to international labor agreements,” Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, principal author, stressed.

HB 5887, which is in substitution of the original HB 5470, is entitled “An Act strengthening the regulation of employment of foreign nationals, amending for the purpose Articles 40, 41 and 42 of Title II, Book One of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as The Labor Code of the Philippines.”

Nograles is also chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment which earlier approved the bill on March 4, 2015, and steered it through plenary until its second reading passage before the current recess.

The bill provides that an employment permit may be issued to a non-resident foreign national but subject to the labor market test based on the non-availability of a qualified Filipino national.

One of the key provisions mandates that foreign nationals who are issued employment permits shall transfer technology to Filipino understudies within a prescribed period, Nograles underscored.

The proposed amendatory statute requires that “any non-resident foreign national who shall work without a valid employment permit, as well as the employer who hires him, shall be imposed a fine of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) for every year of a fraction thereof.”

“Likewise, the violation of a provision of Title II, Book One of the Labor code of the Philippines shall be penalized with a fine of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) to One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000) and/or imprisonment of sic (6) months to six years.”

HB 5887, seeks to “update the terminologies used in the country’s policy on employment of foreign nationals, in consonance with those we have used in our agreements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS),” the author explained.

“The measure also seeks to improve the mentioned policy according to our commitments to the WTO and the GATS, and in preparation for the regional integration envisioned in the ASEAN Economic community (AEC) Blueprint,” Nograles concluded.