Philippines: Empowering Bangsamoro Communities Through Alternative Learning System and Productivity Enhancement Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 48199-001

The Asian Development Bank is working with the Philippines to improve adult literacy levels. The project is working with community groups to provide a basic literacy program focused on out-of-school youth and non-literate adults, and on an accreditation and equivalency program for literates.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Balbosa, Joven Z.
    Southeast Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country
  • Modality
    • Grant
  • Sector
    • Education
Project Name Empowering Bangsamoro Communities Through Alternative Learning System and Productivity Enhancement Project
Project Number 48199-001
Country Philippines
Project Status Dropped / Terminated
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Education / Non-formal education

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The proposed project will support the Government of the Philippines' agenda to improve literacy levels and access to livelihood opportunities among non-literate adults and out-of-school youths (OSYs) in poor and conflict-affected areas in ARMM and in Regions IX and X. The project will expand the scope of delivery of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Alternative Learning System (ALS) by (i) mapping ALS learners, setting new targets with an increased number of facilitators, provision of e-based learning tools to facilitate learning, and integrating adult literacy with productivity enhancement interventions; (ii) promoting training partnerships in entrepreneurship and livelihood skills; (iii) facilitating access to job market information, enterprise development programs (government and private organizations) among ALS completers; and (iv) supporting effective project management.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Much progress has been achieved over the decade in education policy reforms; however, much needs to be done given demand from a young population. The simultaneous implementation of Republic Act 10533 - Enhanced Basic Education Act (K to 12 Program) and the rationalization program of the DepEd made the task more challenging. This is more pronounced in the parallel alternative system for the out-of-school. The government's priority is formal education, however, in situations where access to formal education is a constraint due to financial and social issues (e.g. displacement of population in conflict areas of Mindanao), the ALS program provides an alternative. Since formal education is transitioning from 10 to the 12 year cycle, the ALS has to be aligned as well. This entails revision of the ALS curriculum, redevelopment and or updating of the assessment tools and processes, and enhancement of teaching-learning resources (using appropriate technology platforms), among others. A revitalized ALS program under the K to 12 system also requires retooling and skills improvement of ALS implementers, at all levels, which is currently underway. ALS implementation arrangements with external partners from the government and private sectors also need to be reviewed and redefined. Meanwhile, affirmative actions towards the delivery of appropriate and responsive ALS programs for Filipino-Muslim and Indigenous Peoples (IP) learners need to be sustained and improved, including integration of gender-sensitive peace education in curricular and non-curricular activities.

A World Bank study reported inadequate literacy skills (basic and functional literacy) of 5 million for ages 12 to 26, and 15 million for ages 27 to 64, or a total of 20 million nationwide. In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao alone, there are around 800,000 with inadequate literacy skills, while around 1.3 million in Zamboanga Peninsula and around 1.5 million in Northern Mindanao. In terms of access, between 2005 and 2015, 73% (or around 2.9 million) of the more than 3.9 million ALS enrollees nationwide completed the program. DepEd estimates that the ALS target population was as high as 19 million, but only a fraction of the population was served due, among others, to lack of resources, institutional weaknesses and accessibility to the program. This is mirrored by DepEd's data on net enrollment rate (NER), completion rate and drop-out rate for elementary and secondary education from 2012-2016 in the formal system. Enrolment data reflects that most Mindanao regions have elementary NER below 95% throughout the 4-year period with the lowest in SY 2015-2016 at 69.64%. The secondary (comprising grades 7 to 10) NERs are also extremely low in ARMM, followed by Regions IX (Western Mindanao) and X (Northern Mindanao). Completion rates in both levels show a dismal performance for all Mindanao regions, which are far from the national average. School leavers or drop-out rate is high particularly at the secondary level across Mindanao regions with ARMM showing poor performance. The disparity in education outcomes between ARMM and other Mindanao regions and the national average is alarming. The prevalence of non-completers/school leavers means that there are many learners which can be categorized as out-of-school youths, most of them are not employed nor in skills training after dropping out of formal schooling.

On the demand side, learner uptake and local government support for ALS is lackluster. There appears to be an ambivalent attitude towards ALS qualifications as equivalent to formal education qualifications. However, more than low awareness among potential learners, financial pressures to work rather than learn precludes the poor from availing of the alternative learning systems. While the Philippines has attained gender parity in access to education, socio-economic factors continue to prevent women from completing their basic education and participating in the labor force, even with the availability of a mechanism like the ALS. On the supply side, institutional weaknesses impede DepEd's capacity to substantially resolve insufficiencies in the quantity and quality of ALS program delivery. Nevertheless, corrective measures are being implemented starting with the progressive budget allocation for ALS and Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) programs in the national budget (i.e. the General Appropriations Act), from USD9 million in 2016 to USD12.7 million in 2017 (or 0.10% and 0.12% of the total budget respectively).

There is also a lack of effective coordination and information-sharing among concerned government agencies in ensuring connectivity between literacy programs, productivity enhancement skills training, and gaining access to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The ramifications of a shortage in school-to-work transition support is magnified in Bangsamoro communities, particularly in the ARMM, where the interplay of poverty, unemployment, and peace and security issues exacerbate the social and economic disadvantages of certain groups. This is more pronounced in the Lanao del Sur after the extremist siege of Marawi City massively disrupted the livelihood and schooling of children and adults among the population.

Impact Employability and empowerment among non-literate adults and out-of-school youths in Bangsamoro communities improved.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Literacy levels and access to livelihood opportunities for non-literate adults and OSYs improved.
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Output 1. Access to ALS for target communities increased.

Output 2. Training partnership in entrepreneurship and livelihood activities promoted.

Output 3. Access to job market information and small-and-medium enterprise and cooperatives sectors improved.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Dipolog City, Pagadian City, Province of Lanao del Norte, Province of Lanao del Sur, Province of Maguindanao, Province of Tawi-Tawi, Province of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Estimated 175 person months of consulting services.
Procurement Various IT and other equipment.
Responsible ADB Officer Balbosa, Joven Z.
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Philippines Country Office
Executing Agencies
Department of Education
2nd Floor, Rizal Building
Department of Education, DepED Complex
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
Concept Clearance 12 Nov 2015
Fact Finding 05 Feb 2018 to 30 Apr 2017
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 04 Sep 2015

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Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Consulting Firm Firm - Consulting Closed 06 Feb 2019 16 Apr 2019

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

None currently available.