MOST freelancers in the Philippines manage their own business while doing gigs on the side, according to a report on the local freelance market by mobile wallet GCash and financial services company Payoneer.  

The Philippines Freelance Market 2022 Report also found that Filipino freelance workers who take jobs from both local and overseas clients earn 57% more per hour than their peers who work just locally. 

Key markets that attract Filipino freelancers include the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and United Arab Emirates, with up to 1.5 million Filipinos registered on international online platforms for freelancing services.  

“As Filipinos are renowned for their creativity, work ethic, and customer service-orientation, it is not surprising that more and more international businesses are willing to pay for Filipino talent,” said Miguel Warren, Payoneer vice president for Southeast Asia, in a statement.  

“This should motivate more freelancers in the Philippines to take their freelancing journey to the global stage and benefit from higher earning potential,” he added.  

The top three freelance jobs Filipinos take are sales and marketing (32%), customer service (21%), and data entry/internet research (20%). The rise of social media has also paved the way for freelancers in creative/media graphic design (7%).  

In Payoneer’s Global Gig Economy Index 2019, the Philippines ranked as the sixth fastest-growing market in the world, which GCash and Payoneer attributed to a 35% rise in freelance earnings.  

The recent study saw that Filipinos turned to freelancing in 2020 and 2021 to make money amid limited mobility in the pandemic. This wave of new freelancers then discovered many issues in the trade — a lack of company-sponsored benefits (37%), uncertainty about future income (29%), and isolation from working alone (23%).   

Still, many are willing to undergo freelance training, whether by taking training related to their job (38%) or attending courses to develop a general freelance skill set (19%).  

“Despite the unpredictability of a steady income stream and job stability, Filipino freelancers continue to take advantage of the benefits of freelancing such as job flexibility, workload control, and greater earning potential from multiple income streams,” the report said. — Brontë H. Lacsamana