PH govt mapping new rules to address illegal foreign workers

    The Philippines is finalizing new rules that will be able to weed out illegal foreign workers and ease concerns over tax evasion and loss of job opportunities for local Filipinos.

    On Saturday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that a new framework for the issuance of special working permits (SWPs) and alien employment permit (AEPs) has now been mapped out, and will be “coming out anytime”

    The new rules require foreign workers to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) before they can get the AEP from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), ensuring that they pay the appropriate taxes, said Bello.

    The framework will also clarify the list of jobs in the country that are open to foreigners.

    “We give an AEP to any foreigner if the work that they will do in the Philippines cannot be done by Filipinos or if it can be done but no Filipino would want to do it,” Bello explained.

    An AEP will last for two years, while a SWP is good for three months and can be renewable for three more.

    Citing an estimate from the immigration bureau, Bello said there are 164,000 foreigners with valid SWPs in the Philippines. For its part, DOLE has issued 58,000 AEPs to foreigners in various fields and of various nationalities.