Villanueva wants more protection for PH freelance workers

Published December 4, 2019, 3:07 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Senator Joel Villanueva is pushing for the approval of a bill that would protect freelance workers from exploitation and abuse.

Senator Joel Villanueva gestures during the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development hearing on the deaths of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), February 21,2018.(Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Joel Villanueva (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Villanueva on Wednesday stressed the need for a law protecting freelance workers as the Philippines was listed among the world’s fastest growing market for freelancers, whose earnings from the sector rose by 35 percent this year.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development filed Senate Bill No. 153 or the proposed Freelance Workers Protection Act which seeks to mandate hiring individuals and companies to enter into a written contract with freelance workers, specifying all services the freelance worker is expected to render, their compensation, as well as other relevant terms and conditions of the engagement.

During a recent hearing by the Senate labor committee, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III admitted that the current Labor Code does not provide protection for workers in the freelance sector.

He said there should be a mechanism for redress through the courts and investigative bodies for freelancers, which Villanueva agreed with.

“Lumalaki po ang kanilang bilang at mismong si Secretary Bello na ang nagsabing walang akmang labor standards ang sumasaklaw sa kanila. Sa pamamagitan ng ating Freelance Workers Protection Act, magkakaroon na po ng mga panuntunang akma sa ating panahon ngayon at para sa makabagong uri ng manggagawa (The number of Filipino freelancers are growing but Sec. Bello himself said they are not covered by labor standards. With the Freelance Workers Protection Act, we will have labor standards that is appropriate for modern types of workers),” Villanueva said in a statement.

“We want to pursue this measure because this sector is growing and they are the most prone to abuse. Through the measure, we seek to establish state protection for freelance workers so they could seek redress from proper legal channels and not through extra-legal forums,” he added.

Under SB 153, freelance workers are defined as “any natural person, or a One Person Corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or registered as a sole proprietorship with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), or registered as self-employed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation.”

It mandates the forging of a contract between the employers and freelancers. Their compensation shall be paid no later than 30 days after they have rendered their services under the contract or the date such payment is due as explicitly stated in the contract.

“Once a freelance worker has commenced performance under the contract, no hiring party may require as a condition of payment that a freelance worker accept less than the specified contract price,” it added.

 
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Villanueva wants more protection for PH freelance workers

Published December 4, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Senator Joel Villanueva is pushing for the approval of a bill that would protect freelance workers from exploitation and abuse.

Senator Joel Villanueva gestures during the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development hearing on the deaths of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), February 21,2018.(Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Joel Villanueva (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Villanueva on Wednesday stressed the need for a law protecting freelance workers as the Philippines was listed among the world’s fastest growing market for freelancers, whose earnings from the sector rose by 35 percent this year.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development filed Senate Bill No. 153 or the proposed Freelance Workers Protection Act which seeks to mandate hiring individuals and companies to enter into a written contract with freelance workers, specifying all services the freelance worker is expected to render, their compensation, as well as other relevant terms and conditions of the engagement.

During a recent hearing by the Senate labor committee, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III admitted that the current Labor Code does not provide protection for workers in the freelance sector.

He said there should be a mechanism for redress through the courts and investigative bodies for freelancers, which Villanueva agreed with.

“Lumalaki po ang kanilang bilang at mismong si Secretary Bello na ang nagsabing walang akmang labor standards ang sumasaklaw sa kanila. Sa pamamagitan ng ating Freelance Workers Protection Act, magkakaroon na po ng mga panuntunang akma sa ating panahon ngayon at para sa makabagong uri ng manggagawa (The number of Filipino freelancers are growing but Sec. Bello himself said they are not covered by labor standards. With the Freelance Workers Protection Act, we will have labor standards that is appropriate for modern types of workers),” Villanueva said in a statement.

“We want to pursue this measure because this sector is growing and they are the most prone to abuse. Through the measure, we seek to establish state protection for freelance workers so they could seek redress from proper legal channels and not through extra-legal forums,” he added.

Under SB 153, freelance workers are defined as “any natural person, or a One Person Corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or registered as a sole proprietorship with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), or registered as self-employed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), that is hired or retained as an independent contractor by a hiring party to provide services in exchange for compensation.”

It mandates the forging of a contract between the employers and freelancers. Their compensation shall be paid no later than 30 days after they have rendered their services under the contract or the date such payment is due as explicitly stated in the contract.

“Once a freelance worker has commenced performance under the contract, no hiring party may require as a condition of payment that a freelance worker accept less than the specified contract price,” it added.

 
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