Rules for Issuance of Employment Permits to Foreign Nationals Amended
Neptali B. Salvanera, Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW)
Certain provisions of the Revised Rules for the Issuance of Employment Permits to Foreign Nationals were revised by the the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) February 29.1
Among the notable amendments are the following:
- A change of position of the foreign national in the same company now requires the issuance of a new Alien Employment Permit (AEP). Before, what was required was only the publication of the change of position in a newspaper.
- The filing of any objection or information against the employment of a foreign national should be done within thirty (30) days after publication (Note that that the Regional Office of the DOLE shall publish all applications for new AEP, change or additional position in the same company or subsequent assignment in related companies within two  days from receipt of application). Before, the filing of any objection could be filed anytime during the employment of the foreign national.
- The requirement for on-site inspection by the DOLE within 2 days from receipt of the application to verify the legitimacy of the employment of the foreign national has been deleted.
- The verification inspection by DOLE of establishments employing foreign nationals after the issuance of the AEP to ensure that the foreign nationals are doing the job for which the AEP was issued has also been deleted.
- The provision in the Revised Rules on the Suspension of AEP has likewise been deleted.
- The following grounds for the revocation or cancellation of AEP were added: a) meritorious objection or information against the employment of the foreign national; b) foreign national has been convicted of a criminal offense or is a fugitive from justice.
- Employers found employing foreign nationals without a valid AEP shall pay a fine of Php10,000.00 for every year or a fraction thereof. There was no similar provision in the Revised Rules.
On the whole, the issuance of D.O. 120-12 is for the protection of both foreign nationals and their employers in the Philippines, although most of the changes are intended to make it easier for foreign nationals to seek employment in the Philippines. For example, items 2-5 above are favorable to foreign nationals as they facilitate the issuance of AEP. However, these changes notwithstanding, still the overarching consideration in the employment of foreign nationals in the Philippines is the absence of a Filipino national who is competent, able and willing to do the job intended for the foreign national.
1 Department Order No. 120-12.