MANILA, Philippines—Amid the suspension of food delivery drivers, Senator Joel Villanueva is pushing for the Freelance Workers Protection bill to protect workers under freelance arrangement.
Villanueva raised the importance of food delivery drivers as essential workers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
He also called for the issuance of guidelines from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and a directive from the President to ensure protection and just compensation of food delivery riders and other “freelancers in the gig economy” while legislation to cover these workers is underway.
The Freelance Workers Protection bill, or Senate Bill No. 1810 seeks to define and recognize workers under freelance arrangement. Freelance workers, under the measure, include food couriers and delivery riders.
“Trade and commerce have evolved as the pandemic hastened the use of gig platforms from food to grocery shopping. Our laws must capture new work arrangements which is why in the Senate, we have pushed for the passage of the freelance workers protection bill and the digital workforce competitiveness bill,” he said.
The senator said DOLE can issue a department order to provide immediate relief to food delivery workers and other workers in the gig economy.
Villanueva said services provided by workers in app-based platforms “who are basically paid on a per transaction basis will outlast the pandemic and shall become part of the way we buy and sell goods.” AAC