Constant role of various sectors as significant drivers of the economy has been apparent.

Businesses, whether local or international, are among those that drive economic and social legitimacy in bringing about investments, which will create employment opportunities to both local and international markets.

With the declaration of the state of national public health emergency in the country, the government has exerted various efforts in sustaining and outstretching its assistance to the people. Alongside its financial assistance and employment facilitation programs, initiative to revisit existing regulatory laws and rules in order to compliment the wavering demands was also pursued. Among these is the issuance of the new rules on the issuance of the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) to foreign nationals employed by local and Philippine-based international companies.

Being both the prime mover of regulating the employment of foreign nationals and, at the same time, advocate of strengthening local and foreign investments in the region, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region deemed it necessary to conduct an orientation on the newly promulgated rules and regulations on the issuance of Alien Employment Permit on May 13, 2022 via online platform.

In order to provide a more holistic and in-depth discourse, some fifty-four (54) representatives from local and Philippine-based international companies were invited to participate in the said orientation and were welcomed by DOLE-NCR Assistant Regional Director, Atty. Jude Thomas P. Trayvilla.

During his welcoming remarks, ARD Trayvilla highlighted the significance of conducting the said orientation. He pointed out that this kind of activity is a conventional means of deliberating possible and viable insights both from the perspective of the foreign nationals, companies and the department for the orderly implementation of the governing rules.

Labor and Employment Officers Mr. Wilmer Karlo Pasague, Mr. Jerome Papa Lucas, and Ms. Shiela Merl Lantaca from the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) discussed the salient features of Department Order No. 221, including the rules prescribing the process and requirements for accrediting companies and authorized agents embodied in Department Order No. 221-A.

Supplementary to the comprehensive discussion was provided by the Bureau, including briefer on the Conduct of Verification Inspection; AEP Online Filing and Processing; Issues/Findings on Submitted Documentary Requirements During the Course of Evaluation and Review; Cancellation Procedures and Release of AEP Cards; and Legal Proceedings Relative to the Issuance of AEP. Said topics were presented by DOLE-NCR staff, including Mr. Joseph Ariola, Senior Labor and Employment Officer of TSSD-LRLS; Ms. Jane Dycoco, Ms. Gileen Kaye Torres, and Mr. Inoh Jun Gacis, Labor and Employment Officers of TSSD-EPWW; and Atty. Margaret Joyce Lapid-Pule, Mediator-Arbiter of MALSU, respectively.

To cap off the orientation, an exchange of clarifications and views from the participants and the speakers relative to the implementation of the said Department Orders were acknowledged and addressed.

With several shifts and adversities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the reopening of economy to local and foreign investors, as well as promotion and enactment and enhancement of laws, businesses are envisioned to drive a wide-range of employment opportunities within the region for local jobseekers including those technical jobs which require intervention from foreign nationals, in the absence of locally competent, able, and willing Filipino.

The orientation is in line with the Department’s mandate to ensure systematic, prompt and transparent delivery of services to the clientele especially during pandemic and despite several shifts in the line of doing business in the government.

END / Report and photos by Ma. Allen Rose T. Carreon