Tougher Rules For Filipino Professionals Working Overseas

12:50 PM

The other day, my friend from Singapore and I were having a rather intense conversation about how to get about working from one country to another. She said that one needs to go back to the place of origin, the Philippines, before one can actually transfer to another country. I retorted with all the expertise of a once disillusioned tourist and local hired employee could muster that there is no need if your employer will hire you directly you can just jump from one country to another.

She retorted by showing me this article.

by: Alastair McIndoe - Philippines Correspondent in Manila

Tougher rules have been implemented for Filipinos offered work overseas in a move which could affect professionals working in Singapore.

Under the new regulations, Filipinos who have found job overseas by themselves - rather than through government - licensed recruitment agencies - have to get clearance from the authorities in the Philippines before they can go.

What is more, their overseas employers meed to get permission to hire them from their labour attaches of the Philippine embassies in their respective countries.

Employers also need to post bonds totalling US$8,000 (S$11,500) to guarantee salary payments and to cover the cost of sending home the body of an employee in the event of his death.

Filipinos already working overseas are not affected by the new rules, which took effect on Jan. 15

The regulations add a second layer of red tape to already bureaucratic procedures for those who want to work overseas.

Even before the new rules, all Filipinos heading overseas to work - either as direct hires or via licensed recruitment agencies - had to register with the
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) before leaving.
This will not change.

Workers given the go-ahead to take up overseas posts will still have to register with the POEA - a process often involving long waits and red tape which rankles many of the highly - skilled Filipino professionals, such as academics, corporate executives and scientists, who find themselves a new post abroad.

Filipino nurses working in Singapore would likely be recruited through accredited agencies and not affected by the rules.

In the case of Filipino domestic workers in Singapore, many have, for a long time now, been able to circumvent the POEA registration procedures by arriving as tourists and finding employment through local recruitment agencies. The new rules are unlikely to change that situation.

Though the new rules prescribe no penalties, direct hires who do not have clearance now run the risk - as do all so-called "undocumented" Filipinos heading overseas to work - of being caught by airport immigration officials and not allowed to leave the country until their paperwork is in order.

A check with the Philippine embassy officials in Singapore and other agencies drew a blank on the new rules and how it affected Filipinos in Singapore.

Source: www.straitstimes.com

The argument has shifted. We are now arguing about the pros and cons of these new regulations. I'll research about this for more ammo.

What's your take?

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