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Life Improvement Program (LIP) in the Philippines


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A. Life Improvement Program (LIP) in the Philippines

Poverty reduction is one of the main goals of the Philippine government. Majority of the population lives in the rural areas and this population depends on agriculture as the main source of livelihood. In this scenario, Rural Life Improvement (LIP) approach can be an innovative approach to poverty reduction. The notable case of LIP approach in the Philippines is the Training Services Enhancement Project for Rural Life Improvement (TSEP-RLI) in the Province of Bohol. The project was jointly conducted by the Government of the Philippines thru Department of Agriculture (DA) – Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The target beneficiaries are farmers, fisher folk, women, youth and extension workers. The ATI- DA provides training services to the target beneficiaries as way to improve human resource development. The main components of the project are: improvement rural living condition, environment preservation and livelihood projects. The project utilized the idea of participatory development in order to achieve the goals for the target beneficiaries; local government units and other stakeholders were involved from project planning to implementation. According to Fermentira (2005) the project have positive impacts to the community such as: community mobilization and social participation, greater food sufficiency and stable price, increased income and employment generation, served as a model for other municipalities, and strengthened the partnership between the various stakeholders involved.

B. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Life Improvement Program approach?

1) Advantages

The advantages of the approach are that the target beneficiaries are empowered and their self-reliance is developed. According to experts, projects using participatory approach have higher success compared to top-down approach.

LIP approach is holistic in tackling poverty issues. It concerns income generating activities but also inculcate awareness of environmental protection to the people.

There is also cost-sharing and collaboration among the stakeholders in this way the responsibility and accountability for the success and failure of the project is shared among the stakeholders.

2) Disadvantages

One stumbling block to this approach is how to motivate the different stakeholders to cooperate in the project. For the project to be successful there should be a harmonious mix of government, aid agencies, target beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

The other main disadvantage in my point of view is the sustainability of these projects after the funding agency have concluded the project and it’s time to pull-out from the project area. If the target beneficiaries is not self-motivated enough and the trainings have not been internalize by the people to the point that it is really beneficial to them. Examples are cases of low level of participation by the project beneficiaries like attending meetings just to comply with the attendance and not really deeply involved in the discussion where one’s critical mind is opened-up.


References:

Case study of applied LIP approach/activities in the Philippines: the training services enhancement project for rural life improvement (TSEP-RLI) experience.
URL: http://www.eldis.org/static/DOC20320.htm

FEMENTIRA, Graciana B. Case Study of Applied LIP Approach/Activities in the Philippines The Training Services Enhancement Project for Rural Life Improvement (TSEP-RLI) Experience. Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) -VII - Central Visayas Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines.
URL:http://www.gdnet.org/pdf2/gdn_library/annual_conferences/sixth_annual_conference/fementira_paper.pdf

REYES, Celia M. and Lani E. Valencia. Poverty Reduction Strategy and Poverty Monitoring: Philippine Case Study. URL:http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPAME/Resources/Country-studies/philippines_povmonitoring_casestudy.pdf

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