Villanueva: BI should stop issuing work permits to foreigners, leave job to DOLE


Posted at Jun 06 2019 01:05 PM | Updated as of Jun 06 2019 02:36 PM

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 The Bureau of Immigration should stop issuing special work permits to foreigners and leave this to the sole jurisdiction of the labor department, a lawmaker who led inquiries into the influx of Chinese workers said Thursday.

"Why would the Bureau of Immigration issue such work permits? The Department of Labor and Employment is the only agency in the government that can vet... whether or not this particular job can be offered to a foreigner," Senator Joel Villanueva told ANC. 

DOLE issued 169,000 alien employment permits from 2015 to 2018, while the BI issued 185,000 special working permits in the first 11 months of 2018, said Villanueva. 

The BI "fully respects" the view of Villanueva, but the "intricacies" of the arrival of expatriate workers require "collaborative efforts" of national government agencies, said its spokesperson, Dana Sandoval.

"Thus, it is but imperative that the regulation should be a shared responsibility of the BI and DOLE," she said in a text message to ABS-CBN News. 
Roughly half of permits issued by the DOLE in the last 3 years went to Chinese nationals, a third of which are in support services, including offshore gaming, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III told a Senate hearing in February. 

Last Labor Day, authorities signed an agreement updating rules for the issuance of work permits and requiring foreign nationals to show proof of taxes. 

ANC, June 6, 2019