The Philippines plans more support for growing freelance workforce

A bill filed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian aims to provide freelance workers with better protection and social services.
By: | January 31, 2023

With the freelance workforce expected to expand in the Philippines, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed Senate Bill 945, or the Freelancers Protection Act, to provide freelance workers with the legal benefits and protections that regular employees enjoy.

Among the proposals in this measure are providing equal treatment to freelance workers, improving their working conditions, and simplifying their tax registration.

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

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Based on data released by the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines, approximately 1.5 million Filipinos contributed to the gig economy as of June 2021.

Currently, freelancers are responsible for filing contributions to the Social Security System, the Philippine Health Insurance, and others by themselves, sometimes incurring additional costs. In the event of the bill passing Congress, Section 11 would allow freelancers to register and remit their wages online and give them access to benefits such as sickness and unemployment insurance.