Bureau of Immigration reminds firms to secure work permits for foreign workers
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration authorities reminded local companies hiring foreigners to secure special work permits for them to avoid penalties and imprisonment after authorities received reports that many foreign workers, mostly Chinese nationals, have been illegally working in the country.
Immigration Commissioner Siegfred B. Mison issued the stern warning after Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) earlier reported the presence of Chinese in construction projects in several regions, which could be an indication of the looming invasion of foreign workers in the country.
“All companies are reminded not to hire or engage the services of foreigners who do not have the proper work visa and work permit,” Mison said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
Under the Philippine Immigration Law, a foreigner hired to work in the country must secure a pre-arranged employment visa.
Prior to applying for a working visa, Mison said, the foreigner or the petitioning company must secure the required alien employment permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment.
Earlier, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz announced that 10 Chinese nationals have been made to face deportation proceedings after their failure to show any required AEP to authorities.
The DOLE and BI are also jointly investigating 70 Chinese nationals working for a company called Scitel Customer Care Phils., Inc.
Mison said that companies hiring foreigners for temporary or short-term employment or consultancy contracts must immediately secure a special working permit for each foreign employee.
He said owners of companies who have been employing aliens without the proper visa or permit might be fined not less than P5,000 up to P10,000, or may be an imprisoned for five years. Foreign company owner would also be deported if he or she was a foreigner.
“Dismissal by the employer before or after apprehension does not relieve the employer of the offense,” Mison said.
Mison said he was disturbed by the TUCP report of illegal foreign hiring, which, if true, “robs Filipinos job opportunities and undermines their job security.”
“Should our investigation confirm the presence of these illegal foreign workers without the requisites permit and visa, we will immediately initiate deportation proceedings against them for violating our immigration laws, he said.
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