Gatchalian seeks social protection for freelance workers

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is batting for 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,” he said.

Gatchalian issued the statement after filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 945, or the Freelancers Protection Act.

The lawmaker said the bill 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 percent of the domestic economy.

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