5:02 am | Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has ordered an investigation into reports that some 3,000 Chinese nationals were illegally working at construction sites in the country.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, citing a report by DOLE Region IV-A Director Zenaida Angara-Campita, said that at least 13 Chinese nationals had been found working for a big construction company in Batangas without alien employment permits (AEPs).
Baldoz said Campita had ordered the company to obtain AEPs for the Chinese nationals.
“This is about strictly enforcing the revised rules for the issuance of AEPs over which our regional offices have direct responsibility,” Baldoz said in a statement.
She said she had instructed the DOLE regional directors to look into the matter and, if found to have basis, act to strictly enforce the rules.
“They need to submit to me a report on the results of their investigation. I will not tolerate lax enforcement of the rules on the issuance of the AEP,” Baldoz said.
She added that the Department of Justice would be given a copy of the report through the Bureau of Immigration for appropriate action.
Baldoz’s order to the regional directors included an inventory of the databases on foreign nationals who were issued AEPs and crosschecking this with the companies that applied for the AEPs in their areas of jurisdiction.
“They have to check the contracts of employment of these foreign nationals, the mayor’s permit to operate the business and the certification from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority if the company is located in an economic zone,” said Baldoz.
The labor official said authorized representatives of the DOLE regional director may conduct an ocular inspection to verify the legitimacy of the employment of foreign nationals and a verification inspection of the establishment employing foreign nationals within 30 days after issuance of the AEP.
The DOLE shall penalize foreign nationals working without an AEP with a fine of P10,000 for every year or a fraction thereof.
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