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PHILIPPINES – Stricter Employment Permit Rules Introduced

Effective 28 August 2015, the Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued revised Alien Employment Permit (AEP) rules. Among the major changes are stricter labour-market testing and understudy training rules, and new employment permit exemptions.

Main Changes

Labour-Market Testing Strengthened

The labour market test conducted by DOLE will now include publication of the AEP application details in a general circulation newspaper, and also on the DOLE website for a period of 30 days. This now also applies to an applications for an additional position in the same company or a subsequent assignment in any related company.

The published notification must now include more details, including the foreign national applicant’s name, position, employer, address, qualifications, job description, salary and any other benefits.

Any Filipino national who is “competent, able and willing” to do the job for which the foreign national is requesting an AEP may file an objection at the DOLE Regional Office of application within thirty days after publication.

A foreign national whose AEP has been denied or cancelled may appeal within ten days of this decision.

Understudy Training Program Reinforced

The employer must now submit an understudy training programme to be conducted by the foreign national to transfer their skill or knowledge to two Filipino workers. This requirement only applies to technical positions, and not to executive or managerial positions.

New Categories of Exemptions and Exclusions

The new rules list categories of foreign nationals who are exempt from requiring an AEP due to international agreements, and also those “excluded” from the requirement to obtain an AEP because they are not considered to be working in the Philippines. The latter include:

  • Company Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers and non-executive board members;
  • Consultants who are not employed in the Philippines;
  • Intra-company transferees and contractual service providers who are executives, managers or specialists and who have been employed by the foreign service supplier for at least one year.

Action Items

  • Take into account that some applicants now qualify to work in the Philippines without an Alien Employment Permit;
  • Ensure that an understudy training plan is submitted in support of the AEP application;
  • Be prepared for possible delays due to the implementation of the new labour market testing and understudy program rules.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Follosco, Morallos & Herce.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.