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The rise of part-time agents in the Philippines

Part-time agents in the Philippines have risen significantly, fuelled by the country’s tech-savvy millennials seeking autonomy and flexibility in freelance work. With up to 1.5 million Filipinos engaged in international online freelancing platforms, the nation ranks among the fastest-growing gig markets globally.

Some of the benefits of the gig economy are as follows:

For Businesses:

  • Cost-effective: Part-time employees are less expensive than full-time employees. In most cases, only the cost of labor is incurred.
  • Wide range of talent: Diverse talent and a flexible workforce make it easier for businesses to find appropriate talent for the job, especially in BPO companies in the Philippines.
  • Flexibility: Since the gig workforce is not permanent, they need to be paid only when the job is done. This is very attractive for businesses like call centers in the Philippines.

For employees:

  • Independence: You are the master of your own time. This makes it convenient for some who want to juggle passion and income earning.
  • Income: Earnings are directly proportional to effort. The more you work, the better you earn.
  • Flexibility: For those who want to have flexible working timings, gigs suit the best. You are also at freedom to choose pay rates, job types, and clients.

With all the advantages, comes a set of disadvantages as well. They are as follows:

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Some drawbacks

Despite all the advantages, some challenges can be overcome with proper planning and execution:

  • Data security: Issues like data security and equipment standards may be less regulated for freelancers, posing significant concerns for clients.
  • Lack of loyalty and commitment: Gig employees are part-time agents and tend to be focused only on short-term gains.
Dole Labour code for part-time agents in Philippines

The future outlook

As per reports, 1.5 million Filipinos rely on informal, or gig employment. The Philippines also ranks 6th in the Global Gig Economy Index. Gig agencies and businesses that embrace tech-based business models intending to improve work-life balance and offer attractive financial benefits may experience more people signing up for freelance jobs. However, when working directly with freelancers, the company, while reducing costs, also ends up compromising on security and confidence. As the gig economy is growing largely, businesses should weigh both sides and should make the decision when necessary, safeguarding the firm’s incomes.

Policy implications

The POWER Act, which is a bill proposed by the Philippine Senate, seeks to protect temporary agents and workers’ rights by stipulating a minimum wage guarantee, maternity leave benefits for women, and union participation. While these regulations are being formulated to protect gig workers and the gig economy in the Philippines, the offshoring companies in the Philippines ought to adjust their business practices to match the evolving regulatory landscape to uphold ethical and responsible ways of dealing with workers.

To put it briefly, though the gig economy has advantages in the form of economic independence and flexibility, the risks involved are to be taken into consideration by businesses. Through better awareness of these issues and establishment of appropriate policies, Philippines can stimulate a sustainable and inclusive gig economy which would benefit all parties. Countries like India, Indonesia and Australia are rapidly growing gig markets from around the world.

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