All countries have rules for alien employment and work permits. In the Philippines, we have employment and immigration rules that are similar to other countries like the U.S., Australia, South Korea, and Singapore where they closely evaluate the need and qualifications of all foreign workers. Under Article 40 of the Labor Code, as amended, any alien seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes and any domestic or foreign employer who desires to engage an alien for employment in the Philippines shall obtain an employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment.
The Alien Employment Permit (AEP) is a permit issued to a nonresident alien or foreign national seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes after a determination of the non-availability of Filipino citizen who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the alien is desired.
We have laws that govern employment of foreigners and to augment the strict implementation of labor and employment laws, the DOLE is augmented by labor inspectors to strengthen AEP enforcement mechanism through inspections at workplaces to check on the illegal aliens, as well as validate the issuance of work permits to foreign workers who might not have valid alien permits and also to check the nature of their work, particularly if the field of expertise can be done by a Filipino.
It should be stressed to the foreign worker and the petitioning company or establishment that the AEP is not an exclusive authority for a foreigner to work in the Philippines. It is just one of the requirements in the issuance of a work visa to legally engage in gainful employment in the country.
The foreigner must obtain the special temporary permit from the Professional Regulation Commission in case the employment is practice of profession, and authority to employ alien from the Department of Justice where the employment is in a nationalized or partially nationalized industry and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in case of mining.
Foreigners exempted from acquiring AEP are those who come to the Philippines to teach, present and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange or adjunct professors under formal agreements between the universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges; or between the Philippine government and foreign government, provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis; and permanent resident foreign nationals and probationary or temporary resident visa holders under Section 13 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.
Documentary requirements to be submitted in the application for a new AEP are the following: duly accomplished application form; photocopy of passport of the foreign national with valid visa and present original certificate of recognition for refugees or stateless persons; original copy of notarized contract of employment/appointment or board secretary’s certificate of election enumerating the duties and responsibilities, annual salary and other benefits of foreign national; and photocopy of valid mayor’s permit including Philippine Economic Zone Authority-registered companies.
If PEZA-registered, the following documents are to be submitted: PEZA registration or ecozone authority while for construction company, to be submitted are PCAB or DO 18-A Registration, two pieces of 2×2 ID picture with white background; and proof of taxpayer’s identification number.
If the applied position is in the negative list per EO-184, authority to employ, STP from DOJ or PRC or from the Department of Trade and Industry or Department of Environment and Natural Resources, whichever is applicable. If retailer or in the negative list, updated General Information Sheet and authorization letter from the company or foreign national and photocopy of their IDs. The original documents, upon filing, should be presented to the AEP frontliner for verification.
The AEP application fee is P9,000; P4,000 for renewal and P4,000 for every additional year of validity;and replacement of AEP card is P1,500. If found working without valid AEP prior application, the penalty is P10,000 for the employer and P10,000 fine for the foreign national.
Finally, the regional director may, motu proprio or upon petition, cancel or revoke an AEP, after due process, based on any of the following grounds: non-compliance with any of the requirements or conditions for which the AEP was issued; misrepresentation of facts in the application; submission of falsified or tampered documents; meritorious objection or information against the employment of the foreign national; foreign national has been convicted of a criminal offense or a fugitive from justice; employer terminated the employment of foreign national; grave misconduct in dealing with or ill treatment of workers; or disapproval of the application for an authority to employ alien or an STP.
END/Patrick T Rillorta