The wellbeing of online content moderators, as well as the occupational hazards associated with the role, is to be evaluated by the Philippines’ Department of Labor’s Bureau of Local Employment. According to the bureau, it will look to work closely with policymakers and with the companies that employ such individuals, many of whom spend every working hour exposed to violent and disturbing online content. Outlining the reasons for the review, bureau director Dominique Tutay said it was incumbent upon the government to implement measures designed to safeguard the mental health of workers exposed to graphic, violent, terrorist-related, pornographic and generally disturbing content on a day-to-day basis.
According to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), although 11 of its member-firms provide content moderation services, neither the government, the BPO Workers Association of the Philippines nor its own resources could provide exact details of the number of people employed as content moderators. According to media reports, content moderators frequently take issue with their employers’ failure to provide in-house psychological support and with the specific exclusion of psychological services from their free medical benefits. An occupational health and safety policy for content moderators is a must, Tutay maintained, especially as the sector is only set for further expansion locally.