Philippines’ DOLE tightens screening on foreign work applicants in wake of POGO arrests

The decision was made in response to recent arrests, a number of which involved foreign workers with fake documents. 

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The Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will enhance the screening process of foreign workers applying for alien employment permits (AEPs) in the country.

According to Philippines news agencies, the statement was made by Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma shortly after recent arrests of illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), in which a number of the suspects had been foreign workers with improper or fake documents.

“Aside from the scrutinising documents and the submission of the requirements, our frontliners in regional offices are also conducting inspections especially here in the National Capital Region because the concentration of those applying for an AEP is here,” Laguesma was quoted as saying in a radio interview.

“We also ensure that no qualified Filipino workers would be replaced or displaced by the application and grant of AEPs to foreigners.” 

Currently, the DOLE coordinates with other government agencies such as the BI, Department of Justice, Department of Foreign Affairs and the Professional Regulation Commission in making required adjustments to policies regarding AEP issuance in the wake of the current issue. 

The department would also work with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) regarding licensed operators known as internet gaming licensees (IGLs) under PAGCOR’s jurisdiction.

Current PAGCOR policy prohibits work-from-home schemes for IGL employees to prevent illegal activities. DOLE would be in charge of the inspections to ensure regulatory compliance of said operators.

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