Unique gig economic situation in PH calls for nuanced approach

The Philippines has been battling the Covid-19 pandemic for over a year now, and quarantine measures remain in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. At the onset of the pandemic, uncertainty and shock caused businesses to trim their operations. Some businesses evolved; others did not survive. By April last year, the Labor department estimated that over 1 million Philippine workers nationwide had been displaced due to the quarantine measures.[1] For workers who were displaced, the gig economy presented an alternative form of employment to help tide them over.

The gig economy is a broad term that is used to characterize the hiring of short-term, independent contractors or freelancers. These roles are typically offered on platform applications and can include online tutoring, website development, customer service and technical support, and even food delivery and courier services. The Philippine workforce was already moving toward the gig economy before the pandemic, evidenced by the fact that the country is the sixth fastest-growing market for the gig industry around the world.[2]