De Venecia overjoyed by passage of Freelance Protection Bill

By March 28, 2021Business, News

FOURTH District Rep. Christopher de Venecia has reason to be happy these days in spite of  the reports of the sudden surge in COVID cases – The House of Representatives passed on Thursday, on the third and final reading of the House Bill giving protection to freelance workers.

De Venecia, one of the principal authors of House Bill 8817 or the Freelance Workers Protection Act, said in his Facebook post, “OMG Yey!!! I’m so happy”, and thanked his colleagues profusely in the Lower House “for passing this landmark measure that will pave the way towards a better future for millions of creative freelancers throughout the Philippines.”

He added, “Really hope this doesn’t languish and that it gets passed in the Senate. We have less than a year to get it signed into law by the President, or else we start from scratch in the next Congress.”

De Venecia, who was himself a freelancer at many points in his career, urged those who stand to benefit from such a law to write to the Senate Committee on Labor chaired by Senator Joel Villanueva to take it up.

“Many corporations and hiring parties rely heavily on freelancers who are extremely talented and knowledgeable at their craft,” said De Venecia, the foremost champion for creative industries and the arts in the Lower House.

He added that, “one of the biggest drawbacks of a Filipino freelancer is the non-payment for services rendered. More often than not, the freelancer does not pursue any course of action to demand payment for lack of remedial channels, fear of retribution, or lack of resources to pursue legal action.”

The Freelance Workers Protection bill seeks to introduce numerous key provisions for the protection of freelancers. This includes a provision making written contracts mandatory when procuring the services of a freelancer. The bill likewise provides for night shift differential and hazard pay to freelancers.

The bill also provides for certain tax provisions that encourage freelancers to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and provides for tax relief for freelancers within the thresholds provided under Republic Act No. 10963 or the TRAIN Law, and Republic Act No. 9178, or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act of 2002.  (Eva Visperas)

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