Growing gig economy needs social protection — Gatchalian

January 29, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 118 views

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a bill seeking to provide social protection for freelance workers in the country as the sector is expected to sustain growth moving forward.
“Freelancing has become a significant career choice, especially among our young workers even before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the expected rise of freelance workers in years to come, we need to ensure that social protection schemes are suitable and responsive to the needs of freelance workers,” Gatchalian said, when he filed Senate Bill No. 945 or the Freelancers Protection Act.

The lawmaker said the proposed measure seeks to provide multiple social protections to the ever-growing sector of freelance workers in the country given the demands of the global economy and the consequences of this global pandemic, the foremost of which is providing an avenue to formalize the sector.

“Formalization can lead to better protection and provision of social services such as credit opportunities and training, among others, for our ‘new normal’ workforce,” Gatchalian emphasized.

As of June 2021, data from the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) showed that around 1.5 million Filipinos were contributing to the gig economy. Also, a study conducted by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the World Intellectual Property Organization showed that in 2021, the creative or copy-right-based industries’ contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was P661.23 billion or 7.3% of the domestic economy.

If enacted into law, the proposed measure is expected to afford even treatment of employment to freelance workers, improve their working conditions, and simplify their tax registrations, among others.

“Inaasahan natin na lalo pang lalawak ang saklaw ng freelancing sa mga dadating na taon at kaakibat nito ang paglago ng kanilang kontribusyon sa ekonomiya ng bansa kaya’t dapat mabigyan ng karampatang proteksyon ang ating mga freelance workers,” Gatchalian said