Hontiveros pushes for protection of gig workers

Hontiveros pushes for protection of gig workers

By Liza Soriano

Online selling (Oberlo photo courtesy) 

MANILA — As the number of Filipino employees in the gig economy, which includes delivery riders and other freelancers rises, Senator Risa Hontiveros is advocating for legislation to safeguard their rights and wellbeing.

Known as the Protectadong Online Workers, Entrepreneurs, Riders at Raketera (POWERR) Act, Hontiveros introduced Senate Bill No. 1373.

“Ang layon ng POWERR Act ay ma-empower ang delivery riders at freelancers. Ang pagpasa nito ay magbibigay sa kanila ng kaukulang social protection katulong ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan,” she said.

“This will guarantee that the rights of the delivery riders and online freelancers are protected. It will mandate the state to craft standards for regulations in relation to the services that these workers perform,” the senator added.

The proposed legislation requires that workers of online platforms be paid at least the legally mandated minimum wage, whether it be on an hourly or per-task basis.

Furthermore, a portability mechanism of social protection programs in which the online providers should ensure that the workers are enrolled in government social protection programs such as PhilHealth, SSS, PAg-IBIG among others, should be included. Female workers shall also be provided with a maternity benefit upon childbirth in a manner and amount determined by the SSS.

“Because work conditions in the gig economy are often unstable, workers in this sector are more affected by economic shocks and the lack of clear rules. Kailangan nila ng steady income at masasandalan na mga benepisyo para may matanggap sila sakaling magsakit, mabuntis o magretiro,” she said. (AI/MTVN)

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