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Manila – The Institute for Labor Studies kicked off it 2021 Advocacy Series with a webinar titled “Digital Platforms: Rethinking Business and Redefining Work” held last June 29 via Zoom and livestreamed via the official ILS Facebook page.

“In the domestic front, we know that there are pending bills in both houses that seek to address the issue of online or platform in a digital economy. I think you share with me the hope that congress could pass a law to finally settle the labor question of our time and in the process make digital or platform-based or gig work an instrument toward human dignity. I’m sure that our resource persons for this webinar can provide breakthrough insights on how dignity in platform-based work can be realized. I take pride in what you (ILS) are doing as researchers during this challenging yet exciting times,” states DOLE Assistant Secretary Alex Avila V. Avila in his Opening Message. 

Speakers for this advocacy event included Mr. Gene Angelo Ferrer, Country Manager, Mr. Speedy Philippines, and Ms. Cheryll Ruth R. Soriano, Principal Investigator, Fairwork Philippines and Professor, Department of Communication, De La Salle University – Manila.

The webinar delved into digital platform characteristics, opportunities, and challenges both for business owners and employers, especially during this pandemic. It also introduced aspects on the emerging work arrangement through the lens of Fair Work Principles, along with open, constructive and balanced policy discussions on digital labor platforms in the Philippine context.

Mr. Ferrer’s presentation titled “Platform Economy in the Philippines: A Business Perspective” described and analyzed digital labor platforms in the Philippines from the perspective of the business. This included a holistic business overview and a sharing of his experiences in managing this type of business model in terms employment opportunities, challenges and responses especially this time of pandemic.

Ms. Soriano’s discussion titled “Digital Labor Platform in the Philippines: From the Lens of Fairwork Principles” presented Fairwork’s 5 Principles: Fair Pay, Fair Condition, Fair Contracts, Fair Management and Fair Representation in the design and labor arrangements in the local labor platforms.

The Open Forum was moderated by Mr. Raymond R. Estrella, Senior Labor and Employment Officer from the LSRRD and Malorie Joy O. Mones from the Workers Welfare Research Division.

“Digital labor platforms provide opportunities of new solutions for companies, and workers to offer services and organize work. However, it is important that appropriate protection is ensured to people working in platform work. The benefits of continuous social dialogues and exchange of policy discussions will nourish our learnings for diverse forms of work, including working conditions in platform work,” said ILS Executive Director Ahmma Charism Lobrin-Satumba in her Closing Message.

The event is part of the Institute’s Labor and Social Relations Research Division (LSRRD), research on digital platform workers led by its Acting Chief Labor and Employment Officer, Ms. Miraluna S. Tacadao.