Department of Labor and Employment
23 September 2019
One-stop shop for alien workers’ permit now available
To address the surge in Alien Employment Permit applications, especially for those employed by the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), the labor department last week launched a one-stop shop at the DOLE National Capital Region.
Located at the ground floor of the DOLE NCR building in Malate, Manila, the one-stop shop drew in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) counters for the issuance of Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN) and Special Temporary Permit (STP), respectively.
In his message, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III thanked the POGO agents and principals who heeded the call of the government to secure AEP for their foreign workers and assured that applications will be fast-tracked with the help of BIR, PRC, Bureau of Immigration, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“Similar one-stop shops will be established in other AEP application-rich areas such as Cagayan Region, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, and Davao Region,” he added.
To avoid nefarious activities in the issuance of AEP, the Labor Secretary issued a stern warning to unscrupulous individuals who give and accept bribes, that the “DOLE is being watchful.”
Meanwhile, Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay said that for the first semester of the year, 51,000 AEPs were already issued to POGO workers.
She added that based on inspection of 177 POGO service providers, 171 of which are based in NCR, it was found out that 8,000 foreign workers were working without AEP.
Of the number, over 1,000 foreign workers have secured their AEP, while around 6,000 have not complied. The DOLE has submitted the list of the 6,000 non-compliant foreign workers to the Bureau of Immigration.
To intensify the inspection of POGOs, Director Tutay also said that there will soon be a joint inspection team composed of DOLE, BI, and BIR personnel.
DOLE NCR Regional Director Atty. Sarah Buena Mirasol, on the other hand, said that they are addressing the influx of AEP applications through additional equipment and manpower.
They are also set to establish an online system for easier tracking of AEP applications.
Prior to the launching, DOLE has met with some POGO service providers to reiterate the government’s call to comply with the AEP requirement and to encourage the human resource practitioners in the industry to organize themselves for easier representation at the labor department.
To set stricter measures on the entry of foreign nationals who wish to work in the country, DOLE, along with various government agencies, issued this year the Joint Guidelines on the Issuance of Work and Employment Permits to Foreign Nationals and the Rules and Procedures Governing Foreign Nationals Intending to Work in the Philippines.