by Daphne Galvez, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sep 4, 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III admitted on Wednesday that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) lacks manpower in monitoring all the foreign workers in the country, including those in the Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) industry.
At present, Bello said the DOLE only has 710 labor law compliance workers or inspectors to inspect 900,000 business establishments in the country.
Moreover, DOLE is also tasked to monitor the activities of 60 licensed Pogo companies in the country, which employs 70,000 foreign nationals, 60,000 of which are Chinese.
“Hindi na namin masyado namo-monitor ‘yan dahil sa kakulangan ng inspector namin,” Bello said during the House budget hearing of the DOLE’s 2020 proposed budget.
The labor department is tasked to check if foreign workers in the country have secured alien employment permits (AEP).
“We have now the additional responsibility of checking the operation of these Pogos. You are talking thousands of operators in our country,” he said.
“Gusto man namin ma-inspect lahat ng mga businesses, wala kaming kakayahan,” Bello added.
Bello said they requested for 5,000 additional inspectors, however, they were only given 500.
“We can use these additional labor law compliance officers to monitor the movements of these foreign workers especially those in the operation of these Pogos,” the labor chief said.
He said he hopes the department be granted their request of additional inspectors. /jpv