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        Senator reiterates push for freelancers protection bill amid Foodpanda fiasco

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        PHOTO: Shutterstock

        Are food delivery personnel being treated fairly here in the Philippines? If we’re going by FoodPanda riders’ recent complaints regarding the company’s payment structure, perhaps this is an issue. One senator has even gone as far as to label their plight as a “labor dispute waiting to happen.”

        In a statement, Senate labor committee chairman Joel Villanueva raised the issue of the unfair conditions delivery service riders face here in the Philippines, saying the current labor code fails to recognize their existence as freelancer workers—a problem he hopes to address with a continued push for a ‘Freelancers Protection bill.’

        Abonado na po sila madalas, at minsan nabibiktima pa ng mga fake booking. Kaunting minutong aberya lang sa daan, katakut-takot na insulto at pambabastos ang tinatanggap nila mula sa mga nag-order,” the senator said, describing the situation.

        Kailangan pong may malinaw na proteksyon ang ating mga freelance workers.”

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        According to Villanueva, delivery riders are among the millions of Filipinos affected by the current state of freelancing in the Philippines, and that a Freelancers Protection bill will help level the playing field for these workers and their employers.

        Dapat po responsive ang ating mga batas sa mga pagbabago sa mga industriya at trabaho. If there are indeed 1.5 million freelancers, and if we factor in their families, this means there are more than six million Filipinos affected by our action or inaction on this matter, thats why I’m appealing to our colleagues to see the urgency of this bill,” Villanueva stressed.

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        Senate Bill No. 1810, also known as the Freelance Workers Protection bill, was endorsed for plenary deliberations in September 2020. Under the bill, freelance worker and their employer must enter a written contract “reflecting the mutual consent of the parties to be bound by the terms and conditions of their freelance work engagement and the consideration for the services rendered by the freelancer.”

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        Remember: Delivery riders go through a lot to get your grub to you in timely fashion, so let’s all treat them with the respect they deserve. Let us know what you think of the Freelancers Protection bill in the comments.

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