Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Bill

Filipinos are one of the leading drivers of the gig economy, which has been increasing rapidly since freelancing hit the scene and is greatly benefiting the Philippine economy. Working as a freelancer does not always imply working at home. Depending on the task, certain freelancers must work on-site or in the workplace. Yet, due to the ongoing lockdowns in the Philippines, and since freelancing platforms are accessible for Filipinos, it’s not shocking that many Filipinos are making deals for marketable skills and earning from the comfort of their homes.

Recently, Senate Bill No. 1834, also known as the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness Act came into law last July 30, 2022 which intends to equip the Filipino workforce for future careers through training and education in digital skills. This regulation speaks nicely for the currently fast growth of the Philippines’ gig economy. As of January 2021, Online Labour Index lists the Philippines 6th in gig economy market share, which covers software development and technology, copywriting and translation, clerical and data entry, creative and multimedia, sales and marketing assistance, and professional services. 

The law sets the agenda for the Inter-Agency Council for the Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, which would be in charge of promoting, developing, and enhancing Filipinos’ competitiveness in digital technology and innovations. Local government units will be allowed to create local policies to support and promote digital technology, digital vocations, and innovations in their particular areas.

Since freelancers are not committed to a single company or position, they have greater leeway to pursue higher pay elsewhere. Freelancers may easily take on many jobs at once because of the adaptability of this setup. Thus, Sen. Joel Villanueva, the measure’s principal author and sponsor, stated that the legislation reinforces the need for the Filipino workforce to be competitive globally through the growth of digital careers in the thick of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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