Social Protection

Philippines: Assessment based national dialogue on social protection, employment promotion and disaster management


Philippines aims to empower and protect its poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people, within the inclusive development goals and poverty reduction strategy of the country. The government, particularly the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) requested the ILO for technical assistance to conduct an assessment based national dialogue (ABND) exercise. The ABND is expected to provide inputs to the implementation of the Social Protection Operational Framework and Strategy (SPOFS) and the design of a 5-year National Social Protection Plan in the Philippines.

The ABND exercise will assess the social protection system in the country, identify gaps in design and coverage according to the vulnerabilities of the people, explore policy options to establish a Social Protection Floor (SPF) in the Philippines, and estimate the cost of these options. The ABND will also ensure endorsement of the SPF by policy makers.

ABND consists of three steps:

STEP I – Defining the national SPF through the assessment matrix (Jun 2014 - Dec 2015)

The matrix lists the existing social protection, poverty alleviation, employment promotion and disaster management programmes in the country, It also identifies policy gaps and implementation issues, and recommendations for establishing an SPF for all people. The matrix is developed in joint consultation with the national and local governments, employers and workers, civil society and development partners, and endorsed at the cabinet level.

STEP II – Estimating the cost of the SPF (Oct 2014 - Dec 2015)

The cost of implementing the SPF recommendations is estimated until 2020. The ILO's Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP) is a cost-estimation tool used for this step. The results of the RAP are used as a basis for discussions on prioritizing different recommendations and available fiscal space in the country.

STEP III – Finalizing the ABND report and national launch (Dec 2015 - Mar 2016)

The ABND report, including the recommendations for a nationally-defined 'SPF for all', is finalized, endorsed and launched by the government and other relevant stakeholders. Further, future steps of action are prepared, such as providing inputs to the SPOFS Action Plan and Philippines' first 5-year National Social Protection Plan.


Assessment based national dialogue: A good practices guide is now available online!


To launch the ABND exercise in the Philippines, several meetings were held between government departments, social protection institutions, workers, employers and UN agencies.

  • The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) met on 21 May 2014 and expressed their support for the ABND exercise. They discussed its usefulness for the country, and the setting up of a working group. Read more about UNCT support
  • In preparation for the ABND, ILO met with DOLE on 23 May 2014, to present the ABND process and its relevance for the country. Download the minutes
  • A meeting of several stakeholders was held on 28 May 2014 to understand the details of the ABND methodology, discuss the launch of the ABND exercise and setting up of a Core Group (CG) that would be involved in conducting the exercise. Download the minutes and presentation
  • At the joint Social Development Committee (SDC) and Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) cabinet cluster meeting on 5 June 2014, DOLE presented the ABND exercise to the Secretaries of DSWD, NEDA and DOLE, and received the committment of the agencies to the ABND. Download the minutes and presentation
  • On 19 June 2014, the Core Group had its first meeting to decide on its tasks and responsbilities, and to come up with a work plan for the coming months. Download the presentation
  • DOLE requested NEDA to co-chair the ABND process with them. In follow-up, an overview of the ABND was presented to the HDPR cluster and the NEDA SDC Technical Board. Read more
  • The HDPR Cluster was updated about the ABND activity schedule on 27 November 2014. Consecutively, the ABND exercise was presented to DOLE Regional Directors on 28 November 2014 and to NEDA Regional Directors on 2 December 2014, in preparation for the island-wide consultations.
  • In January 2015, the ABND process and work plan were presented to the UN Resident Coordinator and UNCT by ILO.
  • In January 2015, DOLE issued Administrative Order No. 61-15 to create a Technical Working Group (TWG) to conduct the ABND process.
  • On 20 May 2015, a workshop was conducted to consider and update the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-18. Strategic Focus 4 of the UNDAF is on "Pursuit of a nationally-defined, context-specific Social Protection Floor". Read more about UNCT support

As part of Step 1 on developing the assessment matrix, several meetings and workshops were held. Download the assessment matrix

  • In June-July 2014, ILO prepared an initial draft of the assessment matrix for the Philippines. Watch a self-learning tutorial on how to develop the assessment matrix
  • Between 19-27 August 2014, the ILO conducted bilateral meetings with government departments and social security agencies (including DOLE, DSWD, NEDA, NAPC, SSS, GSIS, PHIC) and UN experts, to complete the matrix, identify policy gaps, implementation issues and recommendations. Download a summary of the meetings
  • Between 16-24 September 2014, the ILO bilaterally met with worker and employer organizations, and UN experts, to gather inputs related to policy and implementation gaps, and recommendations for the ABND matrix. Download a summary of the meetings
  • A meeting of DOLE and ILO, held on 18 September 2014, sought to review the assessment matrix before its presentation to the CG. Download the minutes
  • DOLE conducted an internal review meeting on 29 September 2014 to restructure and analyse the gaps and recommendations, first by each SPOFS guarantee, and further by each SPF guarantee. A second internal review meeting was held on 22 October 2014 to complete the analysis.
  • At the training on social protection for NEDA regional offices held in Manila on 24 October 2014, participants analysed and presented some of the gaps and recommendations from a ground-level perspective. Download notes on the presentations
  • A field visit was conducted to San Pablo City's LGU and PhilHealth health centres on 28 October 2014. Download the report
  • On 29 August and 29 October 2014, the Core Group held workshops to review and validate the matrix. Download the invitationminutes and presentation
  • During December 2014 - January 2015, DOLE conducted bilateral meetings with specific government agencies to complete the matrix. Further internal DOLE meetings sought to restructure the gaps and recommendations, first by each SPF guarantee, and further by each SPOFS guarantee; in order to ensure consistency of the matrix with the proposed 'SPF for all' in the Philippines.
  • A TWG meeting on 28 January 2015 aimed to prepare the ABND matrix for the next CG.
  • CG meetings were held on 3 February, 12 March, 24 March and 10 April 2015 to finalize the ABND matrix, plan and prepare for the island-wide consultations. Download the invitations and minutes
  • DOLE Administrative Order No. 112-15 stipulated the conduct of three island-wide consultations for validation of the matrix at the local level. The consultations took place between 18 March and 28 April 2015 in Iloilo city (Visayas), Clark (Luzon) and Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao). Read more
  • On 5 June and 15 July 2015, special consultations of child rights stakeholders (led by NEDA and UNICEF) were held, to analyze social protection for children and provide additional inputs to the matrix. Download the minutes, presentation by DSWD and presentation by UNICEF
  • On 19 June 2015, a special consultation (led by SSS) sought to analyze social protection provisions for construction sector workers.
  • CG meetings were held on 1 July and 5 August 2015 to plan and prepare for the future activities of the ABND. Download the invitation
  • In September 2015, the ABND assessment matrix was circulated to the member agencies of the NEDA Social Development Committee for further inputs.

Step 2 involves estimating the cost of an SPF in the Philippines using the "RAP costing model". This was done through data collection, computations and validation meetings. Download the RAP model and the list of scenarios

  • In October 2014, ILO collected data on demographics, labour force, macroeconomic indicators and government operations in the country from national and international sources, while making projections under reasonable assumptions, where data was not readily available. Read more
  • Following this, in November 2014, the recommendations from the assessment matrix were converted into practical scenarios with defined financial parameters. An initial cost estimate of the scenarios, i.e. RAP model, was prepared by ILO for further discussion with national stakeholders. Watch self-learning tutorials on how to design scenarios and how to use the RAP
  • Between 24-25 November 2014, the ILO conducted bilateral meetings with NEDA, PSA & DOLE to discuss the data sources, projections, framing of the scenarios and their cost. Download a summary of the meetings
  • The first RAP workshop was held during 2-3 June 2015, to train CG members on using the RAP, present the initial draft of the scenarios and the RAP model, and frame scenarios for the Philippines. Read more
  • The second RAP workshop was held on 4 September 2015, to further discuss the scenarios that were developed during the previous RAP workshop and the sectoral consultations. Read more
  • The third RAP workshop was held during 28-29 September 2015 to wrap up Step 2 by finalizing the scenarios in the RAP model and collecting the remaining data required to compute the cost of an SPF for the country. Read more
  • In October 2015, the RAP model was updated to take into account the finalized recommendations from the ABND matrix.
  • In January 2016, following the HDPR cluster presentation and feedback, the RAP model was extended to 2028 to reflect priority recommendations for the two subsequent government administrative cycles (2017-22, 2023-28).
  • Further in January 2016, a micro-simulation of the impact of the ABND recommendations on poverty reduction in the Philippines was performed. Download the impact assessment file

Step 3 involves the finalization and launch of the ABND country report for the Philippines, containing recommendations for a nationally-defined social protection floor; and its endorsement by policy-makers. Download the ABND country report (draft)

  • In November 2015, the results of the ABND process in the Philippines were presented to the Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cabinet Cluster. Read more
  • On 15 December 2015, a meeting was held between DOLE and ILO to discuss the way forward after the HDPR cluster meeting and how the ABND recommendations could be prioritzed, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 and further taken up for enforcement.
  • In early 2018, the ABND recommendations were successfully presented to the HDPR cluster for endorsement
"The Philippines is committed to complete its Assessment Based National Dialogue, to determine its nationally defined social protection floor, on the four guarantees, to implement its Enhanced Social Protection Framework and Strategy."

-  H.E. Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Secretary, DOLE at the APEC Human Resource Development Ministerial Meeting, Viet Nam, 6 September 2014 (Download the full speech)


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ABND Philippines will also assess and propose improvements in social protection interventions in disaster and conflict prone regions.