Foreigners to be monitored for labor activities

Published by rudy Date posted on December 12, 2021

by 12 Dec 2021

THE LABOR department on Sunday said it would monitor the economic activities of foreigners in the Philippines, after relaxing border controls amid a coronavirus pandemic.

The agency earlier signed an agreement with the Philippine Retirement Authority on data sharing involving foreign nationals.

The deal would allow both agencies to improve services, coordination and monitoring of foreigners within their purview, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a statement.

Under the agreement, the retirement agency can verify the employment information of foreigners who chose to retire in the Philippines through the Labor department’s alien employment permit database.

“The pressing challenges of the pandemic impel us to forge solidarity and cooperation in promoting and monitoring the employment activities of foreign nationals in our country,” Bienvenido K. Chy, general manager and chief executive officer at the retirement agency, said in the statement.

The exchange of data will be done quarterly via e-mail and other forms of data transmission, the Labor agency said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bello said in a separate statement the agency had suspended all labor inspections this month to dispose of all pending labor standard cases and prepare the inspection program for 2022.

Regional directors have been ordered to temporarily cease all labor inspections starting Dec. 1, he said.

The suspension does not cover occupational safety and health COVID-19 monitoring under a memo issued by the Labor and Trade departments. Also not covered are occupational safety and health standard investigations; technical safety inspections, inspection of boilers, pressure vessels and mechanical and electrical wiring installations; and inspection of companies or industries that Mr. Bello had ordered.

He ordered regional directors to submit a list of labor inspectors recommended to do the job next year. They must have a “very satisfactory” performance rating for the past two rating periods and have no pending administrative or criminal cases, he added.

The Labor department said it had inspected 56,332 establishments as of Oct. 31.

Among the notable violations on general labor standards include record-keeping, Pag-IBIG coverage, and remittances to Pag-IBIG, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and Social Security System, the agency said.

Common safety and health standard violations include the absence of first aid personnel, safety officers, fire safety inspection certificate, registration of establishment and annual medical report, it added. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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