THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has started inspecting establishments across the country to check for compliance in employing foreign nationals.

“Over 400 new labor inspectors were deployed in key areas to inspect establishments employing foreign nationals, and verify the legitimacy of their employment,” DoLE said in a statement on Friday.

The 404 Labor and Employment Officers (LEOs) will be covering all the regions, except the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The inspections, which will run until the second week of December, is based on Administrative Order 472 issued by Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III.

Among the LEO’s duties are to check an establishment’s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, determine the number of local and foreign workers employed, and verify the permits of the foreign employees.

Foreign workers are required to secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP), which is issued by the DoLE.

The LEOs will submit their report to their respective DoLE regional directors.

The number of LEOs deployed vary per region: 135 in the National Capital Region; 12 in the Cordillera Administrative Region; nine in Region 1 (Ilocos); 42 in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); 37 in Region 3 (Central Luzon); 34 in Region 4A (CALABARZON); 12 in Region 4B (MIMAROPA); 12 in Region 5 (Bicol); 11 in Region 6 (Western Visayas); 23 in Region 7 (Central Visayas); 12 in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas); 2 in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula); 20 in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); 12 in Region 11 (Davao); 11 in Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN); and 10 in CARAGA.

Several government agencies, including the DoLE, signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) earlier this year to help ensure more jobs for locals, especially in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator industry.

Under the JMC, foreigners applying for an AEP are mandated to first get a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. — Gillian M. Cortez