Appeal to DOLE to include displaced Freelance Fitness Workers in COVID19 Relief Package
*Please note that personal information is used to match DOLE CAMP (or an alternate program such as TUPAD BKBK) requirements. Information will be treated with confidentiality and will only be forwarded to concerned departments and agencies.
The COVID19 pandemic has crippled the world economy. In Philippines, the fitness industry, with its nonessential nature started feeling the economic damage of COVID19 even before the Luzon enhanced community quarantine measures took effect last 15 March 2020. Attendance of clients has dwindled due to social distancing. A number of classes got cancelled without charge. Finally, the nonessential businesses had to close down and cease operation until further notice. The main source of income of freelance fitness workers went from less to zero just LIKE MANY DAILY WAGE EARNERS.
The DOLE CAMP emergency aid posed a promising start providing relief to workers; however, technicalities excluded and disqualified freelance fitness instructors in the program for having no employee-employer relationship in a company where they regularly teach.
Freelance fitness instructors are expected to work and get paid only for booked hours. Most are tagged as Independent Contractors despite regular class schedules in a studio or two (or more) finding themselves without paid leaves, 13th month pay and other “employee” benefits.
Freelance workers in the fitness industry also need a special emergency COVID19 economic support. We were gainfully employed, until COVID19; though we may have savings for rainy days, this crisis has extended too long and is far from the usual--some describe the situation to be near apocalyptic, draining everyone's coffer. Receiving no emergency financial assistance from the studios we served, WE APPEAL to DOLE to review and process our cases—we are workers of good faith who equally experienced great income loss with no company to rely on in this time of crisis.
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