PRIVATE employment agencies (PEA) are now temporarily allowed to register their operation with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) using a “virtual office” and a smaller office space to allow them to reduce their expenses during the pandemic.
Last Friday, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Labor Advisory (LA) 21, series of 2021, easing the floor space requirements for PEAs.
In the said issuance, Bello gave PEAs the option to make use of a “virtual office” to complement their physical office space provided they must submit the contract for the latter to a DOLE Regional Office (RO).
Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay explained to the BusinessMirror that under the virtual office setup “all registrations, permits, communications of the company will be directed to the dedicated address of the virtual office.”
The said virtual office can operate without an employee or physical office set-up, Tutay added.
“PEAs who availed this option [virtual office] and found to be in violation of pertinent laws governing recruitment and placement shall be held liable under Article IX of DOLE DO [Department Order] 216 Series of 2020 and Article X of DOLE DO 217 Series of 2020, respectively,” Bello said.
The labor chief also urged ROs to allow PEAs in their jurisdiction to register with office space of a minimum of 20 square meters.
To avail of the said policy, the concerned PEAs must submit their documentary proof of ownership, Transfer Certificate of Title or Contract of Lease, which should last for a year or until the lifting of the “state of calamity” as stipulated under Proclamation 1218.
Issued last September, Proclamation 1218 further extends the period of a state of calamity throughout the Philippines due to coronavirus disease of 2019 declared under Proclamation 1021, series of 2020
Prior to the issuance of LA 21, Tutay said PEAs must have a physical office of at least 40 square meters.
DOLE said both measures are part of its effort to reduce the difficulties being faced by PEAs amid the pandemic.
The provisions of LA 21 will be in effect until further notice of DOLE.