Issue of January 6, 2019

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
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DOLE opens assistance desk for Koreans in CAR

The influx of South Koreans in the Philippines generates a host of questions, most of which remain unanswered. Some Koreans come to the Philippines for vacation, for study, employment, business, and other purposes, and some choose to stay preferably in Baguio City and the Cordillera longer than the others.

Since 2006, South Koreans ranked first among the foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines, over-ranking the visitors count from the U.S.A., Japan, China, and Australia, among other countries. After 11 years, the data for the foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines show that the Korean market consistently provides the biggest number of incoming foreigners in the country with more than 1.6 million arrivals or 25 percent of the total foreign arrivals in the Philippines as per Department of Tourism 2018 data.

In December 2017, Korea is also recorded to be the top foreign spending market in the Philippines with receipts amounting to P4.30 billion, overtaking the U.S. market with total spending of P3.60B. Alongside the influx of Korean tourists in the country is the modest increase in the number of Koreans taking business ventures, employment, education, residency, and retirement. This trend suggests that the Philippines is becoming a preferred venue for Koreans, not only for tourism, but also as their second home.

Baguio City is ranked number four in the country where Korean migrants are located for different purposes such as retirement, employment and residency. Cebu hosts the largest number of Korean migrants in the Philippines followed by the National Capital Region, which hosts the largest number of employed Koreans in the country, and Pampanga is ranked number three.

The Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera has issued an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) to 34 Koreans in Baguio. Recently, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man and DOLE Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III signed a memorandum of agreement for the setting up of a Korean Assistance Desk (KAD) in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon Region (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4a), Central Visayas Region (Region 7), Davao Region (Region 11), and Cordillera Administrative Region.

For CAR, the Korean Help Desk with DOLE officers is composed of DOLE-CAR Asst. Dir. Jesus Elpisio B. Atal Jr., Baguio-Benguet Field Officer Emerito A. Narag, and DOLE-CAR Technical Services and Support Division Senior Labor and Employment Officer Teddy A. Sy.

Korean officers composing the Korean Help Desk are Tae Hyeok Kim, vice president of the United Korean Community Association in Northern Luzon-Philippines with office address at 2nd Floor Café Will Building, 11 M.H. Del Pilar St., Barangay Burnham-Legarda, Baguio City; Sang Hoon Jang, vice president of Korean Association in Baguio City with office address at Unit 11, Building 3, Nevada Square, Loakan Road, Baguio City; and Police Supt. Jiwon Jung of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea with office address at Korean Desk Baguio, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, CBAO Building, DPS Compound, Utility Road, Baguio City.

The AEP is a document issued by the DOLE through its regional offices as a requirement for a foreigner intending to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines. An AEP is also issued to foreigners allowed by the Professional Regulations Commission to practice profession in the Philippines. It is a requirement to holders of Special Investors Resident Visa, Special Retirees Resident Visa, Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47a 2 who occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment.

Foreigners exempted from securing AEP are: members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government; officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member and their legitimate spouses desiring to work in the Philippines; foreigners elected as members of the governing board who do not occupy any other position, but have only voting rights in the corporation; all foreigners granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that may be promulgated by Congress; owners and representatives of foreign principals, whose companies are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, who come to the Philippines for a limited period solely for the purpose of interviewing Filipino applicants for employment abroad; foreigners who come to the Philippines to teach, present and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange or adjunct professors under formal agreements between the universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges; or between the Philippine government and foreign government; provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis; and resident foreign nationals and temporary or probationary resident visa holders employed or seeking employment in the Philippines; permanent resident foreign nationals and probationary or temporary resident visa holders under Section 13 (a-f) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 and Section 3 of the Alien Social Integration Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7919); refugees and stateless persons recognized by the Department of Justice; and foreigners granted exemption by law (RA 8756, Section 5 Article 60 paragraph 1; Presidential Decree 732 Section 2 (c) and PD 1590 Section 18.

For more information on AEP, visit and

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