With the freelancing now a growing sector in the Philippines’ labor force, Senator Bam Aquino has filed a bill seeking to protect the rights and welfare of the freelance workers in the country. “With more and more freelancers in the country, we are confronted with an urgent need to protect this new sector and empower them with ease of doing business,” Sen. Bam said in the Senate Bill No 351.
According to Senator Aquino, the bill provides Filipino freelancer workers the right to demand from their employer what they are rightfully due under their agreement.
In the event that an employer didn’t comply to shell out the right payment to a freelancer for the services rendered, the latter can lawfully file a complaint to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which can impose a penalty of up to P250,000 on the non-compliant party if the employer found liable.
“Further civil penalties will also be imposed for every day that the employer refuses to compensate the freelancer. The aggrieved party has the option of filing a civil case against his or her employer,” Senator Bam Aquino noted in the said bill.
The bill also makes it easier for the freelancers — a self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term — to register in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and mandates that they are being exempted from tax revenue payments for the first three years.
“Let us waste no time in ensuring that they are not inconvenienced by red tape and that they are protected from difficult, even fraudulent clients,” Senator Aquino added.
In 2014, Senator Bam Aquino said that there is a need to build a healthy environment for the growth of online freelance industry in the Philippines. Aquino also urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to relax their registration rules and provide incentives to encourage online-based workers to get into the formal economy.
The Senate Bill No 351 submitted by Sen. Bam Aquino was referred to the Committees on Labor and Ways and Means.