Employment Intensive Investment in

The Philippines

Asia and the Pacific

Web page | 13 November 2014

Current EIIP Involvement

Ongoing EIIP Projects in the Philippines
• (Since 2013; Donor: Norway) Generating Emergency Employment and Recovering Sustainable Livelihoods in the Philippines (Total budget: 3,200,000)
• (Since 2014; Donor: United Kingdom) Restoring income generation and food self-sufficiency of small-scale coconut farmers severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Total budget: 1,652,219)
• (Since 2014; Donor: Japan) Integrated Livelihood Recovery for Typhoon Haiyan (Total budget: 3,000,000)
• (Since 2013; Donor: IMEC) Immediate Income Generation through Emergency Employment (Total budget: 150,000)
• (Since 2013, Donor: Japan) Support to the ILO response framework: Philippines super typhoon Haiyan: Rebuilding sustainable livelihoods (Total budget: 100,000)

Restoring Livelihoods in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters
Three main Typhoons hit the Philippines in December 2011, December 2012 and December 2013. EIIP helped the country to develop a response programme to these disasters and carried out a series of projects funded by different donors to create jobs and rebuild areas devastated. Prior to this, EIIP on a more ad-hoc basis already provided support to crisis response in different disaster-stricken areas across the country.

Responding to natural or man-made disasters is a central part of livelihood development in many parts of the Philippines. Effective crisis response is dependent on a number of resource and capacity related issues – essentially related to the ability of local communities to deal with the detrimental effects resulting from a crisis situation and recover from lost livelihoods.

EIIP has introduced local resource based approaches to infrastructure development and community works that have proven to be effective tools for both disaster preparedness as well as during relief, recovery and reconstruction works. In terms of income, local resource based works initially functioned as social protection schemes by providing short-term unskilled employment in the immediate aftermath of the typhoons. Such works prioritise the quantity of employment generated over the quality of works created. This emphasis then gradually changed so that the objective of creating employment is not compromising the efficiency and quality of the work itself. The EIIP programme supported such a transition in post disaster work in 2012-2014 by implementing employment creation projects and building capacity for local resource-based works in crisis affected areas.

Tools and guidelines were developed for infrastructure works that have proven to be highly relevant to crisis response works in the Philippines. During 2012-2014 EIIP supported activities such as:
• Responding to requests for assistance and formulation of country-responses relating to crisis recovery and reconstruction when recent disasters occurred;
• Implementation of emergency employment and local resource-based projects to generate jobs and re-construct infrastructure and improve environmental assets;
• Provide technical and managerial advisory support to crisis response activities at country level (including activities by ILO as well as other agencies);
• Developing guidelines and training material related to infrastructure reconstruction in post crisis situations;
• Developing training material on disaster preparedness with an emphasis on building local capacity to deal with future possible natural disasters, thereby drawing up linkages to the new Green Works initiative.

The EIIP also contributed to a regional initiative to develop a training course for local agencies (both public and private sector) to mainstream employment creation in disaster risk reduction and disaster response. A first edition of this course was run in disaster affected areas in Mindanao in late 2013.

Historical Information

The experimental phase of the ILO's labour-based programme in the Asia and Pacific region started in the Philippines with the construction of a levee in Pampanga province in 1971. A series of pilot projects and initial studies showed that labour-based methods were suitable for Philippine conditions. Under advice from the ILO, work was initiated using simple devices such as carabao (buffalo) scrapers and pull carts, while labour was provided using the "pakyaw" system (labour-only contracting). The project was followed by the 5 kilometre-long Gapas-Botolan Road in Tarlac, which was the subject of extensive trials for productivity. Following these studies, there have been various involvements with full-scale labour-based demonstration projects. Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, ILO carried out a series of projects introducing and applying labour-based appropriate technologies. These projects directly implemented rural infrastructure works and effectively demonstrated the potential benefits of using labour-based approaches, trained government staff. It resulted in the establishment of the Central Labour Based Advisory and Training Team (CLATT) composed of representatives from different Government agencies.

ILO started its Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning (IRAP) programme with Sida/USAID financial support in 1989 in three pilot provinces. Since 1992, the Dutch Government provided financial assistance to the programme and continued this until December 2002. The project now covered all the Provinces in the country and elements were incorporated into the local government planning system. The data from IRAP has been used by several government agencies and by donor organisations to prioritise investments. It has also been used as input to the targeting of poverty alleviation programmes. EIIP continued to provide technical assistance after the Dutch assistance phased out.

Between 2003 and 2006, an ILO project provided support to the Government to implement the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement project funded by ADB. This project used the IRAP procedures for prioritizing local infrastructure investments.

Further, ASIST-AP (the regional EIIP programme) provided (i) support to the National Infrastructure Committee created under the 1999 executive order, (ii) support to the Department of Interior and Local Government in developing their labour-based programme, and (iii) support to the Department of Labour and Employment, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Interior and Local Government to follow-up a 1999 executive order that promotes labour based technology as the preferred construction method.

Different ILO-funded initiatives supported the development of urban works and community contracting during the period (2008-2010). Labour-based road maintenance was introduced as a strategy to create employment during the period 2010-2012.

More recently, ILO has been working in the context of crisis response and has introduced the different EIIP procedures and tools developed in the context of post crisis management.

Philippines Rural Infrastructure Projects (PRIP), 1981 to 1985
Under PRIP, 55 kilometres of Barangay roads were constructed by LBES methods between 1981 and 1985. The project was funded by the World Bank and implemented by the DPWH with ILO assistance.

Study of labour Based/Equipment supported Road Construction, 1984-85
The ILO, on behalf of USAID, carried out a detailed study of the comparative cost of labour based equipment supported and equipment-based methods for roads works. The study was based on actual field projects implemented under the USAID funded Rural Roads Project and showed conclusively that for Barangay roads and for road maintenance in general LBES methods were more competitive.

Second Rural Roads Improvement Project (SRRIP), 1986-89
SRRIP was a World Bank-funded project that started in 1986. The Land Settlement Roads component of SRRIP called for the construction of 280 km of Barangay roads using LBES techniques. The ILO provided the technical assistance to the implementation of this work.

Central Labour Based Advisory and Training Team (CLATT) 1988-90
This UNDP/ILO programme was aimed at maximizing the utilization of labour based equipment supported methods on infrastructure projects as a means of alleviating severe unemployment problems. More specifically the immediate objectives of the Project were: a) the establishment of an institutional framework; b) the conduct of a nationwide training on LBES; and c) the formulation of systems and procedures and organizational structure in concerned government agencies.

The CLATT had significant outputs in terms of: a) the production of training manuals b) direct training of 705 site supervisors from various agencies, including two courses for trainers, c) assistance to DPWH and DILG in the conduct of echo training for some 340 participants, d) the establishment of a permanent labour-based unit. CLATT also initiated the issuance of EO 336, which institutionalized the labour-based approach within the technical departments.
Due to the considerable and continuous efforts of many organisations as well as the Philippine government, a momentum was gained in the process to promote sustainable infrastructure development based on the use of local resources. Three critical developments were instrumental in this:

Local Level Planning
In relation to Local Level Planning, the IRAP methodology was developed. This methodology became very useful when President Aquino approved the Local Government Code in 1991 and decentralization became law. Local responsibilities and budgets increased drastically and a real need for local level planning tools emerged.

The ILO started its Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning (IRAP) programme with Sida/USAID financial support in 1989 in three pilot provinces under the Department of Agriculture. The local response to this first IRAP application was generally very positive. Working with the Provincial Planning and Development Offices and EU-supported integrated area development programmes under the Department of Agriculture, the ILO started to initially study rural household's travel patterns and transport demands. The programme was transferred to the Department of Interior and Local Government to have better access to the Local Government Units after decentralization became law in 1991, highlighting local budgets and increasing the need for local level planning.

In 1992, the ILO started to implement the Dutch-funded project on local level infrastructure planning to support the decentralization. The main objective of the project was to provide local planners with the capacity to identify infrastructure priorities based on the actual access needs of the rural population.

The Dutch assistance was divided into three phases: 1992-1994 development of the process; 1995-1999 application in 25 pilot provinces; and 2000-2002 nation-wide application and mainstreaming. The main emphasis during the last phase was on the modification of the process, nation-wide application at LGU level and institutionalization in DILG. The EIIP continued to provide technical assistance after the Dutch assistance phased out.

The project covered all the Provinces in the country and has been incorporated into the local government planning system. The data from IRAP has been used by several government agencies and by donor organisations to prioritise investments. It has also been used as input to the targeting of poverty alleviation programmes.

Between 2003 and 2006, an ILO project funded by the Government through a loan from ADB provided support to selected provinces to implement the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement project also funded by ADB (US$ 150 million). The ILO assistance built on the IRAP achievements and provided tools for infrastructure planning and prioritization.

Labour Based Technology
ASIST-AP (the regional arm of EIIP) provided support to the National Infrastructure Committee created under the 1999 executive order. This support consisted of training advice and the drafting of a programme support proposal.

ASIST-AP worked with DOLE on the development of an employment intensive infrastructure programme. The work focussed on assessing the capacity of the LGUs to effectively implement such a programme and defining a training programme for the LGUs.

In addition, ASIST-AP provided limited support to the Department of Interior and Local Government in developing labour-based activities. ASIST-AP drafted a concept note as a follow-up to the 1999 executive order and discussed this with the Department of Labour and Employment, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

With the new Aquino administration in 2010, the Government requested the heads of all agencies to revive the Emergency Employment Programme (EEP) as a major strategy to alleviate poverty and generate more jobs, particularly in rural areas. The main objective of the initiative is to generate more employment within the current public investment programme and not to initiate new or additional (emergency) employment programmes.

The coordination and monitoring of such job creation is managed by an Interagency Committee (IAC) composed of DOLE, NEDA, DPWH and NAPC. DPWH has taken the lead for infrastructure programmes while NAPC took the lead for non-infrastructure programmes. The IAC aims to prescribe guidelines, institutional framework and monitoring schemes for the implementation of the government’s emergency employment in infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs. Specifically it aims to:
• provide emergency employment through the programs undertaken by Government at the national, regional, provincial, city and municipal levels;
• facilitate the employment services for the skilled, semi-skilled and low-skilled human resource through the infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs through the PESO;
• provide the institutional framework for overseeing the implementation and monitoring of progress and achievements of the emergency employment programs of the government; and
• assess the impact and recommend schemes and mechanisms that will improve the implementation of the emergency employment programs of the government.

ILO has been collaboration with the IAC and in particular NAPC to develop new policies to advance the employment objectives. Internal RBSA resources were allocated for this purpose.

To institutionalize the employment commitment, the Technical Working Group on Community-Based Employment Program (CBEP), with technical assistance from the ILO, initiated the crafting of a new executive Order “Directing All Government Agencies to Adopt and Promote Local Resource-Based Approaches for infrastructure and Non-Infrastructure Development Projects to Create Decent Work for the Poor and Vulnerable”. The above draft policy document is now in the remaining stages of refinement.

Community-based Works
Between 2008 and 2012 EIIP developed and demonstrated various tools and procedures for community –based works. This included community infrastructure for urban poverty alleviation and employment creation, rural road maintenance and green works. The development and demonstration of these tools focussed on four areas: i. participatory planning of investments; ii. local resource-based technologies; iii. small-scale and community contracting; and iv. operation and maintenance. Activities to test out some of the approaches were carried out in the City of Iloilo in 2008, with a particular focus on community contracting and in Dolores municipality in Eastern Samar.

With the help of the Iloilo City Urban Poor Network (ICUPN) a short list of possible projects was prepared, then using selection criteria in consultation with ILO, three projects were chosen. A budget was set aside and the projects were implemented with full community involvement (including drainage, footpaths, access road and creek clearing works). The results of these activities have been used to finalise a guide on urban infrastructure and jobs.

In Dolores in 2009, the residents of three villages formed their neighbourhood associations to address frequent flooding and associated diseases in their locality. Through participatory decision making the members of the community agreed that improvement of the drainage system would help to solve the problem. Through community contracting and financial and technical support from the local government and ILO an adequate drainage system was constructed. ILO provided the overall technical guidance and training on small contract management.

EIIP supported various initiatives to promote community-based, labour-based, rural road maintenance in the Philippines. Initially, pilot projects were implemented in Ifugao, Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Oriental during the period 2011-2013. After typhoon Bopha in 2012, a project funded by the Japan Social Safety Net Programme was designed to help the country develop and demonstrate labour-based rural road maintenance schemes as a component of the local resource-based approaches to provide immediate income opportunities after a disaster and help regions to restore and maintain their rural road network. The project engaged national and local partners to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and community and environmental assets. It resulted in some income support and helped crisis affected areas to restore and improve road access. In its work the project promoted and applied the use of local resource-based methods.

Further reading

• History of Labour-based and Labour-based Technology in the Philippines and Implementation of LBES - PDF 85 Kb
P. A. Leoncio, ILO, September 2000
• Technical Audit for Labour-based/Equipment Supported Infrastructure Projects in the Philippines - PDF 364 Kb
P. A. Leoncio, ILO, January 2000
• Typhoon Bopha: Local resource-based employment generation, climate change impact mitigation and livelihood recovery interventions in Davao Oriental, Philippines – PDF 17.7 MB
• Typhoon Bopha: Sloping Agricultural Land Technology: a post-calamity intervention on sustainable farming in Cateel and Boston, Davao Oriental – PDF 14.9 MB