Acting swiftly on published allegations about illegal Chinese workers working in construction sites in Batangas and Bataan, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday ordered Regional Directors Raymundo Agravante and Zenaida Angara-Campita of the DOLE Regional Office Nos. 3 and 4-A, respectively, to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations, saying it is a matter strict enforcement of the rules and regulations on the issuance of employment permits to foreign nationals.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines has alleged the other day that some 3,000 Chinese nationals are working in construction sites in Bataan and Batangas.
“This is about strictly enforcing the revised rules for the issuance of alien employment permits (AEPs) which our regional offices have direct responsibility. I have already instructed the two regional directors concerned–and in fact this goes true with the other DOLE regional directors–to look into this matter and, if found to have basis, act to strictly enforce the rules,” said Baldoz.
“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,” she added.
Department of Justice will be given a copy of the report thru the Bureau of Immigration for any appropriate action under their mandate.
Baldoz, however, said that to be fair, DOLE Regional Office No. 4-A Director Zenaida Angara-Campita, acting on an official information, had already conducted an investigation even before the allegation of the TUCP came out, and had found out that 13 Chinese nationals have been working for a large construction company in Batangas without any AEP.
“Director Angara has informed the construction company about the matter and ordered it to obtain AEPs for the Chinese nationals,” said Baldoz.
She said her order to the regional directors include the inventory check of the data bases of foreign nationals issued the AEP and cross-checking this with the companies that applied for the AEPs in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
“They have to check also the contracts of employment of these foreign nationals, the mayor’s permit to operate the business, and certification from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority if the company is located in an economic zone,” said Baldoz.
Baldoz said authorized representatives of the DOLE regional director could conduct ocular inspection to verify legitimacy of employment of foreign national 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 AEP with a fine of P10,000 for every year or a fraction thereof.