WITH the national unemployment at seven percent according to the National Economic and Development Authority, an official of an online-based company is urging jobseekers to consider freelance work as alternative.

Ron Cirujano, country manager of online job marketplace Elance, said one million members have turned to freelancing under Elance, working as writers, programmers, graphic artists and marketers, among others. These people are paid about P403.6 in an hour, he said.

Elance and other online job markets allow people and firms to post job openings for certain projects and enable freelancers to promote their services and skills.

Companies or employers pick the appropriate contractor through bidding.

From January to April 2014, Cirujano said Elance and sister company Odesk facilitated the release of a total of P110 million in salaries to Cebu-based members.


Odesk merged with Elance in December last year resulting in an online workplace with eight million registered users.

Since Elance started in the Philippines in 2010, it has released P9.1 billion in professional fees. From 2010 to 2014, the company released P723 million to Cebu freelancers and P1.3 billion to those based in Metro Manila.

“Even if you are a college graduate, it is still difficult to find a job,” Cirujano said, noting that 700,000 graduates this year alone are competing for jobs.

Cirujano said freelancing and work-from-home opportunities are becoming popular in the country. He said those who want to work from home must have a good Internet connection.


People in other Philippine cities also found opportunities with Elance. Cirujano said Elance released a total of P342 million for Iligan City from 2010-2014; P221 million for Bacolod City; and P122 million for Dumaguete City.

In its “The State of the Filipino Freelance Market” report, Elance said the country is a prime destination for freelancers because its workers have the right skills, are hardworking and are technologically savvy.

Elance was launched in 1999 as a software enterprise until 2006. It was re-launched the following year to its current form, as an online marketplace.