Despite the growing number of foreign workers in the
Philippines, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is yet to enter
pact with any foreign government for the protection and well-being of its
the local labor market.
Instead, the International Labor Office of DOLE
(ILAB) Alice Q. Visperas said countries with existing bilateral agreements
agreement (BLA) with the Philippines, tend to discuss only the conditions
of Filipino overseas workers (OFWs) entering their territories.
"There may be from the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Bureau of Immigration, but with respect to DOLE, there is no
agreement, "she said.
Currently, the country has active agreements related to working with
at least 21 states.
Most of these deals are in the Middle East and
African countries, including Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
(UAE), Israel, Libya and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
In the Asia-Pacific region, Visperas said, the country has a
pact with Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand,
Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and China.
There are also similar agreements with Canada, Germany, Italy,
Spain and the United States, she added.
"We have not yet dealt with [BLAs] in which they will be sending
their workers in the country and ensure their well-being, "Visperas told BusinessMirror.
in an interview.
But even if there is no such agreement, she pointed out,
foreign workers are protected by the country's Labor Code, provided that
they have the necessary visas and permits.
"Generally, our laws and the Labor Code already
protection not only to our workers, but also to foreign workers, "
"Since they [foreign nationals] are remunerated,
they enjoy provisions of the law on working hours, overtime pay,
salary, etc., since our law is very lenient, "he added.
The Philippines is known internationally as
country and not as a receiver.
However, in previous years, the number of foreign workers
entering the country increased by several folds.
In 2018, the DOLE said a total of 138,001 work permits and
84,010 visas were issued for foreigners. Most of the issued
permits and visas are Chinese citizens.
These figures do not include those who claim to be
involved in authorized work in the Philippines.
The Chinese ambassador, Zhao Jianhua, urged the authorities to
ensure the "humanitarian needs" of their nationals, who will be considered
"Illegally" working in the country and facing deportation.