DOLE: No surge in foreign workers despite new pact

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    THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday gave assurance that there won’t be a surge in foreign workers despite the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement among 15 countries, including the Philippines.

    In a virtual press briefing, Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said the RCEP won’t lead to the abolition or amendment of existing rules on the issuance of Alien Employment Permits (AEPs).

    “Our rule when it comes to foreign nationals will be the same, it will still be observed,” said Tutay.

    An AEP is a permit issued to a non-resident alien or foreigner seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes.

    An AEP can only be issued by DOLE after it has been determined that there is no Filipino citizen who is competent, able, and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the foreigner is desired.

    Tutay said what the RCEP only provides is the “intra-corporate transferring” and “business visitors” among trading partners.

    “We opened that up so that they can see that there is a good climate to invest here in the Philippines,” said Tutay.

    What can be ascertained, she said, is that the RCEP will result to more employment opportunities for Filipinos.

    “It means more employment because we will be opening our doors to other trading partners. More investment in the country means more jobs also for our people,” said Tutay.

    Last Sunday, the Philippines and 14 other countries signed the world’s largest free trade agreement that aims to build a more robust and conducive investment and business environment.