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Welcome to Kabuhayan.Org, the official website of Livelihood Development Support & Community Services Inc., an organization based in Makati City Philippines formed by Workers of Informal Sector and micro-entrepreneurs providing Values Formation, Skills and Capability Development to create micro-enterprise for individuals and other basic sector organizations.

1st Group Training

We are registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission as livelihood association with SEC Certificate: CN201215571 as non-profit, non-stock, non-political, and non-sectarian organization helping the individuals & families and community development.


Defining the Informal Sector

The first step that can to be done in order to measure the informal sector is to define it. In 1993, the International Labour Organization attempted to define the informal sector as-

“very small-scale units producing and distributing goods and services, and consisting largely of independent, self-employed producers in urban areas of developing countries, some of whom also employ family labor and/or few hired workers or apprentices; which operate with very little capital, or none at all; which utilize low level of technology and skills, which therefore operate at low level of productivity; and which generally provide very low and irregular incomes and highly unstable employment to those who work in it. They are informal in the sense that they are for the most part unregistered and unrecorded in official statistics; they tend to have little or no organized markets, to credit institutions, to formal education and training institutions, or to many public services and amenities; they are not recognized, supported or regulated by the government; they are often compelled by circumstances to operate outside the framework of law that are almost invariably beyond the pale of social protection, labor legislation and protective measures at the workplace” (Litong, et.al 2002, p. 21).

The Philippine informal sector was officially defined in the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act of 1988 (RA 9485) as: “poor individuals who operate businesses that are very small in scale and not registered with any national government agency, and to workers in such enterprises who sell their services in exchange for subsistence wages or other forms of compensation…”

Describing the Informal Sector

Dejillas (2000) identified the employment categories in the informal sector as follows:

1. Homeworker- a person who works at, or near his/her home in the production of goods for a fixed agreement with an employer or contractor. They are usually paid on a piece-rate basis.

2. Self-employed or own-account worker- A person who has no employer or contractor and operates business on his/her own. He/she does everything, has no paid employee and assisted only by family members on occasional basis.

3. Employer- A person similar to a self-employed but employs one or more paid employees.

4. Employee- A paid employee in an informal enterprise.

5. Unpaid family worker- One who works without pay in a farm or business operated by a member of his/her family. He/she works on occasional basis.

There are statistics that confirm the following description of the informal sector which is summarized as:

• Composed of self-employed / own account workers and unpaid family workers

• Are mostly homed-based, mostly unregistered, hardly paying direct taxes and uninsured

• Located both in urban and rural areas with mostly poor constituents

• Engaged in both legal and illegal (or non-legitimate) activities

• Majority work purely in the informal sector but some are also working on a limited period (on contractual arrangement) in the formal sector as wage workers, consultants, sales agents, service providers, etc


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Livelihood is defined as a set of activities, involving securing water, food, fodder, medicine, shelter, clothing and the capacity to acquire above necessities working either individually or as a group by using endowments (both human and material) for meeting the requirements of the self and his/her household on a sustainable basis with dignity.

A person's livelihood refers to their "means of securing the basic necessities -food, water, shelter and clothing- of life". The activities are usually carried out repeatedly.


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