Sen. Bong Go urged lawmakers today to expedite the passage of the bill protecting the rights and welfare of freelance workers in the country.
Go expressed support and co-sponsored Senate Bill No. 1810 or the proposed Freelance Protection Act filed by Senators Joel Villanueva and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. which seeks to institutionalize the protection granted to freelance workers.
The administration senator said the measure will help ease the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy and address unemployment woes.
“It’s about time that the law recognizes the importance of the industry and the necessity of ensuring that our freelancers will not be abused,” Go said.
“This is the least we could do to make sure their rights and well-being are protected,” he said.
The lawmaker noted freelance work is fast emerging as an alternative to the traditional employer-employee work model even prior to the pandemic.
But due to the absence of formal written contracts, Filipino freelance workers are vulnerable to abuse and have very little recourse through the law.
“A lot of our workforce prefer to do their work on their own terms, and just as the law was written to protect the employees back then, the law must now recognize this emerging way of earning a living,” Go said.
Under the bill, the execution of a written contract “reflecting the mutual consent of the parties to be bound by the terms and conditions of the freelance work engagement and the consideration for the services rendered by the freelancer” would now be required.
The measure also guarantees the rights of freelance workers, including their rights to affordable and sufficient financial services, education and skills training, as well as social protection and social welfare benefits, among others.
It also seeks to establish a registry of freelancers or freelancers association that will help assist the government in collecting accurate data and statistics and allow it to extend assistance to any distressed freelancer.
The bill mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to conduct seminars on the legal resources available to freelancers, “and as far as practicable, encourage the parties to a freelancing agreement to avail of alternative dispute mechanisms.”
“As the society evolves, so must our laws,” Go said.
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