In a press release, the House of Representatives announced that they have passed, on the third and final reading, the House Bill No. 6718 or the Freelance Workers Protection Act.

The goal of the proposed law is to provide protection and relief to over 1.5 million Filipino freelance workers who may be a victim of abusive employers, which have been a big problem because of the lack of a grievance system in the digital market.

What’s more, the new bill also “mandates the institutionalization of benefits such as night differential and hazard pay for freelance workers whenever they are applicable.”

This new bill was passed thanks to the overwhelming 250 votes from representatives.

“As the digital economy expands, the number of Filipino freelance workers also increases. And if no laws are in place to protect our gig economy freelancers or to establish a formal grievance system to enforce their rights, they will be susceptible to all kinds of abuse,” said Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez.

It is said that freelance workers account for over 1.5 million people working in the gig economy.


A freelance worker is defined by the proposed law as “any natural person or entity composed of no more than one natural person, whether incorporated under the Securities and Exchange Commission, registered as a sole proprietorship under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or registered as self-employed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).”

Also, the person must be “hired or retained to provide services, in exchange for compensation, as an independent contractor to do work according to one’s own methods and without being subjected to the control of the hiring party, except only as to the results of the work.”

The bill states that the hiring party and the freelance worker must execute a written contract containing the services involved and other important details like the payment schedule and amount.

It is also said that no modification of the terms of the contract shall be enforceable unless it was signed by both the hiring party and a freelance worker.

The bill also states that engaging a freelance work without a contract or a delayed compensation of more than 15 days as stipulated by the contract is unlawful and will carry a fine of not less than Php50,000 but no more than Php500,000.

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Freelance workers or their authorized representatives that were aggrieved by a violation relating to the proposed law can file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) via the Undersecretary for Workers with Special Concerns, “without prejudice to the filing of civil action in appropriate cases.”

The DoLE can then try to resolve the complaint using different methods of resolution that may include mediation and conciliation.

Moreover, the Sec. 19 of the proposed law mandates that freelancers are entitled to tax relief “within the threshold provided under the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended, and Republic Act No. 9178, otherwise known as the “Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002.”

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is also mandated to put a special lane or assistance desk to help freelancers with their questions and for complying with needed documents.

Also included in the bill is an education and information campaign that will help educate freelancers about their rights and obligation under the proposed law. The campaign will be headed by the DoLE, with the help of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), BIR, and local government units (LGUs).

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