By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives, voting 215 in favor and 0 against, has approved on third and final reading House Bill 8368, which proposes to impose stricter and clearer regulations in the hiring of foreign nationals for local jobs.
It also passed on final reading a bill making mandatory the activation of motorcycle headlights while being operated at any time of the day.
HB 8368, authored by resigned Rep. KarloNograles, proposes to adoptThe Labor Market Test as basis in determining non-availability of a qualified and willing Filipino national to doservices, for which the foreign national is being hired.
HB 8368 mandates that foreign nationals, who are issued employment permits, shall transfer their skills and technology to Filipino understudies within a prescribed period.
It also increases fines and penalties for violations by foreign nationals and their employers to deter transgressions.
Approval of the measure came in the wake of reports that at least 400,000 foreign workers are currently employed by various local firms.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that if the figures are indeed correct, this will indicate that there are over 250,000 foreigners illegally employed in the Philippines.
HB 8368 proposes to regulate the entry of foreign workers whose employment contribute to the worsening unemployment record in the country.
Under the bill any foreign national and his employer, who violate Articles 289 and 290 of the Labor Code, shall pay a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 or suffer imprisonment of six months to six years, or both, at the discretion of the court.
In addition, the alien worker shall be deported after serving his sentence.
The secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall impose a fine of P50,000 for every year or fraction thereof to both the foreign national found working without valid employment permit and his employer.
All non-resident foreign nationals seeking employment in the Philippines shall obtain an employment permit from the DOLE.
An employment permit may be issued to a non-resident foreign national subject to a Labor Market Test based on the non-availability of qualified and willing Filipino nationals.
After the issuance of an employment permit, the foreign national shall not transfer to another job or change his employer without prior approval of the DOLE Secretary.
Subject to existing laws and agreements and after consultation with the National Tripartite Industry Peace Council, the DOLE secretary shall grant exemption to foreign nationals from the Labor Market Test where there is a short supply of qualified and willing Filipino nationals in industries, occupations,
In a similar vote, the Lower Chamber approved HB 8322 making it mandatory of motorcycle riders and operators to turn on headlights of their ride at all hours of the day when being driven on the road.
Authored by BuhayPartylist Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde, HB 8322 seeks to reduce accidents involving motorcycles by making it mandatory for riders to activate headlights to make them visible on the road.
Velarde said the bill requires motorcycle manufacturers, assemblers and distributors to ensure that all motorcycles sold to the public are equipped with automatic headlights on system mechanism or device.
HB 8322 bans the importation of a motorcycle that is not equipped with automatic headlight on system.
Motorcycle manufacturers and assemblers found guilty of violating the headlights on regulation face a graduated penalty that includes fine and suspension of trading licenses.
Offending riders, on the other hand, will be slapped with a fine not exceeding P5,000 on a graduated basis.