The Department of Information and Communications Technology through the ICT Industry Development Bureau launched the Philippine Online Freelancing Industry Study to the key stakeholders on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, Manila.
According to the DICT, the Philippine Online Freelancing Industry Study was created to provide baseline information, freelancers’ skills, sources of online jobs, and the impact of the online freelancing industry on their lives, as well as the profile of Filipino digital workers and professionals that are crucial to assess the needs and the current situation of the online freelancing industry in the country.
In her message during the launch, Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the DICT commits to professionalizing the country’s freelancer communities through the Empowering the Digital Workers of the Gig Industry Ecosystem in the Philippines or EDGE PH program.
She also said that the study is the first step toward building a strong online freelancing industry by doing more research and making new rules.
“With this fresh baseline data, I encourage all our Filipino online professionals to keep the faith and keep the passion burning to be leaders and trailblazers in the online digital workspace. You carry the Filipino brand and so, therefore, all of us in government must support you,” said Undersecretary Batapa-Sigue.
From the study, results showed that 58.78%, or 462, are skilled virtual assistants who have more than one skill set. A total of 83.46% or 656 freelancers learned and upskilled by self-study and are willing to pay to learn and improve their skills.
In terms of income, online freelancers earned an average of $713 in 2019. Amidst the pandemic, the average income of online freelancers increased to US$931 in 2020 and rose to US$1331 per year in 2021. Moreover, respondents shared some positive impacts of online freelancing, such as financial stability, more family time, personal and professional growth, and high-income generation.
Given this information, the study recommends having access to funds and supporting the development of freelancing communities and cooperatives that can foster collaboration with government agencies, LGUs, vendors, and interest groups. Another priority is giving new and inexperienced freelancers updated training opportunities so they can improve their skills.
Among the key partners and stakeholders from the national government agencies and online freelancing communities who gave their feedback on the study were DICT Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Ian C. Dy, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Executive Director Rosalina Constantino, Department of Labor and Employment Division Chief of the Institute for Labor Studies Miraluna Tacadao, Filipino Online Professionals Service Cooperative Chairperson, Rochefel Rivera, and Filipina Home Based Moms COO Elisa Sitchon.