The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a legal opinion reminding businessmen against hiring foreign nationals, including those who are permanently residing in the country, in commercial enterprises that are reserved to be wholly owned by Filipinos.
In a three-page legal opinion, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCC) that the provision Presidential Decree 715, also known as the anti-dummy law, governs the employment of aliens in the country.
“Clearly, the anti-dummy law prohibits the employment of aliens, residents or nonresidents, in any corporation or association engaged in business, the exercise or enjoyment of which is expressly reserved by the Constitution or the law to citizens of the Philippines or whose capital should be at least 60-percent Filipino-owned, except technical personnel whose employment may be specifically authorized by the secretary of Justice,” de Lima pointed out.
De Lima issued the legal opinion in response to the request of FFCCC’s Secretary-General Fernando Gan.
Gan specifically asked de Lima on whether resident aliens are still required to procure employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment; and whether resident aliens are allowed to be employed even in commercial enterprises that are reserved to be wholly owned by Filipinos as covered by Republic Act 8762, otherwise known as An Act Liberalizing the Retail Trade Business.
The DOJ chief noted that, under Article 40 of the Labor Code, an employment permit is required only for nonresident aliens.
She added that an employment permit is required for entry into the country for employment purposes and is issued after determination of non-availability of a person in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the alien is desired.
“In sum, immigrants and resident aliens are not required to secure an Alien Employment Permit. They are only required to secure Alien Employment Registration Certificate,” de Lima said.
Written by: Joel R. San Juan