An evaluation of the social amelioration programme in the Philippine sugar industry : issues of participation and effectiveness : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University
This study evaluates the implementation of the Social Amelioration Programme (SAP) of the sugar industry in the Philippines. This programme endeavours to ensure the participation of both the sugar employers and workers sector representatives, along with the government sector, in the established government-sponsored tripartite councils (the DTCs) as regards decision and policy-making on the effective implementation of SAP. The SAP is a production sharing scheme instituted in the Philippine sugar industry pursuant to R.A. 6982, intended to supplement the inadequate income of sugar workers and to finance socio-economic programmes to improve their livelihood and well-being. The distribution of cash bonuses to covered workers is an important element of the programme. The other aspects of the new SAP are the enforcement of R.A. 809, the death benefit programme, maternity benefit programme, and the livelihood and income-generating projects financed by funds derived from related liens and interest earnings thereof. The so-called tripartite advisory programme which ensures the participation of the employer and worker sector representatives in the DTCs, along with the government sector, are also part of the new SAP. These programmes are implemented by the BRW-DOLE (Bureau of Rural Workers - Department of Labour and Employment) with the assistance of the DOLE Regional Offices. The sugar industry has been present in the Philippines since the turn of the century, and to the present day has been characterized by periods of growth, dependency, turbulence and uncertainties in terms of employment, production, land area utilization and the market, both domestic and foreign. Several factors may further affect the overall viability of the industry such as the unfair pricing of sugar in the world market and indiscriminate liberalization as a result of the forthcoming GATT, inadequate rural infrastructure, imposition of additional taxes on milling facilities and the value-added tax, uncertainties associated with the implementation of CARP, unpredictable drought or calamities, diversification programme and government support in terms of research and development. To evaluate the effectiveness of the new SAP and the tripartite advisory programme, two principal sources of information were utilized; status reports prepared by BRW-DOLE and the results of two surveys of representatives from the government, employer and worker sector, members of the DTCs, vested with responsibilities for decision and policy-making on the effective implementation of such programmes. The results of the first survey indicated a positive assessment. The assessment of the employer and worker sector representatives in the past 3 years (1991–1993). was generally positive The assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of their DTCs was also positive. In the second survey, the results also indicated a positive assessment of the performance and effectiveness of the DTC in mooting its functions and responsibilities pursuant to R.A. 6982. This thesis concludes with a number of recommended changes that might be made in dealing with issues and problems relating to the effective implementation of SAP.