Only 2% of freelance workers in the creative industry received financial aid amid pandemic — lawmaker

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“I have to put on record na sa mga tala natin, ay 0.8 to 2 percent lamang ng mga freelancers ang nabigyan ng tulong pinansyal ng gobyerno,” revealed Rep. Christopher “Toff” De Venecia of the 4th District of Pangasinan during the Thursday hearing of the House Sub-committee on Labor Standards tackling the Substitute Bill on the Protection of Workers in the Audiovisual Entertainment Industry.

[Translation: I have to put on record that according to our data, only 0.8 to 2 percent of freelancers were given financial aid by the government.]

In his Facebook page, De Venecia said "these freelancers, whether in music production, film, photography, visual arts, fashion, culinary arts, television, animation, literary arts, jewelry design, and many others, are tireless, passionate, and work incredibly hard to perfect their craft, deliver on their commitments to their clients with utmost professionalism, and strive so hard to make ends meet for themselves and their families.”

At the hearing, De Venecia said that freelancers were not prioritized by the Department of Labor (DOLE) due to the ambiguity of the term “freelancer.”

“Hindi sila nabigyan ng tulong ng DOLE kasi wala naman silang employer-employee relationship at hindi din po sila na-prioritize sa pagbigay ng ayuda ng DSWD,” he explained.

[Translation: DOLE was not able to give them assistance because they have no employer-employee relationship and they were also not prioritized by the DSWD.]

RELATED: DOLE: Cash assistance to be given to formal, informal workers during COVID-19 crisis

On the other hand, the Film Development Council of the Philippines or FDCP extended help to at least 5,000 audio-visual workers who were displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.