By Analou De Vera
The Philippine government is mulling to make working visa a requirement for foreigners who intend to work in the country.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that a working visa from the country of origin might become a requirement before a foreign worker can work in the Philippines.
Bello said that the measure was proposed during an interagency meeting participated by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Immigration, Department of Finance, and Bureau of Internal Revenue.
“We agreed that before an alien can come in, they already should get a working visa from his place of origin,” said Bello during an interview.
“When you come here, you must come here to work. And for that purpose, you must have a working visa from the place of origin,” he added.
The labor chief said that it will be the first time that such measure will be implemented in the country.
“Now, anybody can come here as a tourist and then apply for a special working permit. Hindi na pwede iyan [It will not be allowed],” said Bello.
The foreign workers should secure the working visa from the Philippine embassy in their respective country.
With the said measure, Philippine authorities can properly screen foreigners who intend to work in the country.
“We need to be certain that the work they will do here cannot be done by a Filipino. This way, we can already control the entry of foreign workers,” said Bello.
The labor chief clarified that the current system will be retained: wherein for foreign workers who will be engaged in short-term employment will need to secure a Special Working Permit from the Bureau of Immigration; and for long-term employment, an Alien Employment Permit from the labor department is needed.
Bello said that a joint memorandum, which contains the provisions of the said measure, will soon be issued.
Recently, the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Development conducted a probe amid the influx of illegal foreign workers in the country.