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Koko Nograles asks Senate to fast-track law regulating foreign labor

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Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Koko Nograles on Monday said he has filed a bill protecting Filipino labor and strengthening regulations on the employment of foreign nationals.

He said he and his brother, former Davao City Rep. and now Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, had authored House Bill no. 277, and subsequently House Bill no. 8368, which seek to amend Articles 40, 41 and 42 of Title II, Book 1 of Presidential Decree No. 442, otherwise known as the “Labor Code of the Philippines”

Nograles said the measure was approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives on November 11, 2018, and has been transmitted to the Senate for action on November 27, 2018.

If enacted into law, Nograles said stricter rules on the employment foreign nationals would be in effect.

“There will be strict implementation and harsh penalties for those who will employ foreigners first before Filipinos. That is my proposal,” he said.

“The influx of laborers will increase if we do not pass laws protecting the Filipino laborer. We still have time if the Senate fast tracks the passage of the Bill,” Nograles said

Nograles’ HB 8368 seeks to adopt the Labor Market Test (LMT) as basis in determining non-availability of a qualified and willing Filipino national to do services, for which the foreign national is being hired.

This means that before hiring a foreign national for a certain job posting, an employer must advertise the position and review resumes for more than 30 days, but less than 180 days, prior to filing the application to ensure that there are no other qualified local workers available.

“They have to open the position to Pinoy applicants first and only hire foreign nationals if none of the applicants are qualified for the position,” Nograles said.

The bill also mandates that foreign nationals, who are issued employment permits, shall transfer their skills and technology to Filipino understudies within a prescribed period.

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