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May karapatan din sila: Joel Villanueva seeks protection for freelance workers

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The growing number of freelance workers in the country shows the necessity for the State to “protect” their rights and interest.

Senator Joel Villanueva stressed this on Wednesday as he sought the passage of his proposed Senate Bill No. (SBN) 153 or the Freelance Workers Protection Act.

“We want to pursue this measure because this sector is growing and they are the most prone to abuse,” said Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.

He noted that revenues from freelance work in the Philippines has grown 35 percent in 2019 according to the 2019 Global Gig Index.

But Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) earlier admittrd that freelance workers lack protection under the Labor Code.

Villanueva noted that freelance workers are prone to exploitation and abuse because of the existing gaps in current labor rules and regulations.

“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 said.

“Lumalaki po ang kanilang bilang at mismong si [Labor] Secretary [Silvestre] Bello na ang nagsabing walang akmang labor standards ang sumasaklaw sa kanila,” Villanueva said.

SBN 153 requires hiring entities or individuals and freelance workers to enter into “a written contract to cover the terms of their engagement.”

The contract must state all services the freelance worker is expected to render, the rate and method of compensation, as well other relevant terms and conditions of the engagement.

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