The Department of Information and Communications Technology has opened more doors to freelancers around the country through launched of the Philippine Online Freelancing Industry Study to the key stakeholders last August 31, at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas Manila.
Led by the ICT Industry Development Bureau, Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said in her message that 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 added that the study signifies the start of creating a robust online freelancing industry through the conduct of various research and policy development.
“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.
The Philippine Online Freelancing Industry Study was created to provide baseline information, freelancers skills, sources of online jobs, impact of online freelancing industry in 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.
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 upskill by self-study and are willing to pay to learn and improve their skills.
In terms of income, online freelancers earn an average of US$713 in 2019. Amidst pandemic, the average income of online freelancers increased to US$931 in 2020 and rose up to US$1331 income per year in 2021. Moreover, respondents shared some positive impacts of online freelancing such as financial stability, more family time, personal & 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 the upskilling of online freelance workers through updated training opportunities for new and novice freelancers.
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 Institute for Labor Studies Miraluna Tacadao, Filipino Online Professionals Service Cooperative Chairperson, Rochefel Rivera, and Filipina Home Based Moms COO Elisa Sitchon.