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Manila – Researchers from the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) organized a presentation forum for the discussion of the results of research titled, “Impact Evaluation of Productive Assets and Training on Child Labor in the Philippines (KASAMA Program),” last March 14 at the iLearn Conference Room of the Institute for Labor Studies in Intramuros, Manila.

The research was spearheaded by the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in cooperation with the Institute’s Workers Welfare Research Division (WWRD) and the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC). Mr. Peter Srouji, Senior Research Manager from the IPA delivered the key findings from the research which started back in 2016 during the conduct of the baseline survey.

The “Kabuhayan Para sa Magulang ng Batang Manggagawa” or KASAMA is a DOLE Program which aims to provide and promote sustainable livelihood as a tool to combat child labor. The program has been running since 2008 and is given a 10% allocation from the total DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program and Emergency Employment Programs (DILEEP) budget.

Overall, the impact evaluation of the research project yielded a positive response in terms of increase in economic activity and Incomes among its test group recipients where a total of 961 household received such benefits. There was a recorded 29% increase of economic activity and income in non-farm enterprises, 61% increase in new non-farm enterprises, and 11% increase in family business income. Given these results, the KASAMA program likewise helped households create or save 476 enterprises and helped an additional 120 existing enterprises expand.

The study also reported that beneficiaries experienced a positive rate of return, averaging an additional income of 12,540 PHP annually which translates to increased food security, goods consumption and child welfare. Though the study has no impact on child labor, research using the child welfare index shows that children appear more satisfied with their lives. The study also showed that KASAMA beneficiaries can benefit from ongoing training and coaching and that to address this, DOLE and IPA are currently testing a more coaching-intensive approach (Graduation of the Ultra-Poor Study), the results of which will be available by December 2019.

The Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) is the policy research and advocacy arm of the Department of Labor and Employment. For more information on this story, please contact the Advocacy and Publications Division at 527-3490.