De Venecia seeks PESA benefits for freelancers

FOURTH District Rep. Christopher de Venecia reiterates his support for the welfare of ‘freelancers’ in the House of Representatives.

He sought the inclusion specifically of the entertainment sector of the society, particularly the freelancers, as among those to be benefited by the Philippine Economic Stimulus Act of 2020 or the PESA to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.

In his discussion with fellow congressmen, De Venecia underscored the importance of including the freelancers as among those to be benefited by PESA.

In making his proposal, he said he had in mind of the 170 members of the Samahang Banda ng Pangasinan and more than 3,000 members of the Pangasinan Events and Wedding Suppliers who were sidelined and deprived of their only means of livelihood because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said freelancers can use the fund to support their families while adjust their life under the “new normal” situation in the post-COVID-19 era.

Citing data provided by the Live Events Coalition (LEC), De Venecia said in the pre-COVID-19 era, the live events sector was generating an estimated P200 billion annual gross revenues for the government from the more than 27,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the entire country.

This group according to De Venecia, has over 400,000 workers and 80 percent of these are freelancers.

According to him, the freelancers do not receive the usual benefits that regular workers enjoy, i.e., Social Security System, PhilHealth, PAGIBIG, 13th-month pay, leave credits and others.

He said the sector was not included as among the beneficiaries of the first round of the financial assistance given by the government such as the Special Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development or the COVID-19 Amelioration Measures Program of the Department of Labor and Employment. (Leonardo Micua)

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