Rural Development through “SAVE” (SAGIP) Lifelong Learning and Peace Literacy

Country Profile: Philippines


96,471,000 (2012)

Spoken Languages

Filipino, English, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Pampango, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray

Poverty (Population living on less than 2 US$ per day):

42% (2009)

Total Expenditure on Education as % of GNP

2.7 (2009)

Access to Primary Education – Total Net Intake Rate (NIR)

96% (2011)

Youth Literacy Rate (15-24 years)

Female: 98% (2005–2010)
Male: 97% (2005–2010)
Total: 98% (2005–2010)

Adult Literacy Rate (15 years and over)

Female: 97% (2005–2010)
Male: 98% (2005–2010)
Total: 98% (2005–2010)

Staistical Sources

Programme Overview

Programme TitleRural Development through “SAVE” (SAGIP) Lifelong Learning and Peace Literacy
Implementing OrganizationLocal Government Unit of Tubungan, Iloilo
Language of InstructionFilipino, Kiniray-a (a local language)
FundingGovernment (60%), NGOs (25%), Academe (15%)
Date of Inception2000

Country Context and Background

The mission of the Department of Education is to protect and promote the right of every Filipino to quality, equitable, culture-based and complete basic education. Every Filipino child now has access to early childhood education through kindergartens, which lays the foundation for lifelong learning. The K-12 programme in the Philippines covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.

The results of the Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) shows that there is an increasing trend in the proportion of the population aged six years and over who have completed at least elementary education. From 62 per cent in 2003, the proportion of those who have completed at least elementary education increased to 68 per cent in 2008.

Tubungan, Iloilo is located in the central part of the Philippines. Based on the income, size and population of the town, it is classified by the Philippine Department of Budget and Management as one of the least developed and poorest municipalities in the entire province. According to the 2012 census it has a population of 22,060 people. The municipality faces an illiteracy problem: as of 2012 the illiteracy rate among the population aged 10 years and above stands at 0.7 per cent.

Programme Overview

Implemented and sustained in all 48 barangays (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines) of the municipality, Project SAVE (translated into English from the local term SAGIP, acronym for Samahan ang Gobyerno sa Ikauunlad ng Pamayanan or Join the Government Towards Progress of the Community) aims to help and assist out-of-school youths, mothers/women/girls, unemployed adults, rebel returnees eager to reintegrate into the community, and the indigenous people of Tubungan.

Project SAVE (SAGIP) endeavours to address illiteracy in response to the national government’s education agenda, in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Education for All. Project SAVE (SAGIP) is composed of various programmes and projects covering basic literacy, agriculture, health and ecology.


The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tubungan, Iloilo gives importance to rural development through “SAVE” Lifelong Learning and Peace Literacy. Specifically, it aims to:

Programme Implementation

The implementation of Project SAVE (SAGIP) relies on the involvement of numerous partners. The Department of Education helps with the promotion, social mobilisation and monitoring and evaluation of the programmes. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) conducts training sessions on livelihood development programmes and provides tools, equipment and facilities. The Department of Social Welfare also takes part in the livelihood programmes, which provides financial assistance for indigents, senior citizens and specially-abled persons. The Ywa Human Resource Corporation provides employment opportunities for successful trainees. The Health and Sanitation programmes and the Medical Check-up and Immunisation programmes are directed and facilitated by the Department of Health.

There are 22 courses, listed as follows:

These courses are categorised into seven sections including Education, Programmes for women and girls, Peace education, Livelihood Programmes, Agriculture, Health and Ecology. The majority of the courses are run throughout the entire year.

The learners meet one-on-one to set goals, develop individual learning plans, select appropriate modules, and negotiate the schedule of learning support activities. Two different teaching methodologies are applied. Facilitator-aided instruction is given to lower elementary level learners, who are set a common schedule and attend regular sessions. Self-learning is offered for advanced elementary and secondary level learners. A pre-assessment and basic literacy test is provided to determine the levels of different learners, who are categorised according to their scores in reading, writing, speaking and numeracy tests. They work on the modules by completing the pre-test, answering the exercises, self-assessment, and carrying out the practical assignments.

The learning materials have been prepared by the Department of Education. They include the Facilitator’s Guide, Session Guides, Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) modules for elementary and secondary levels, newspapers, magazines and modules for other levels of literacy. There are also specific, locally designed learning materials which help learners to develop both their communication skills in English, Filipino, and Kinaray-a (local language), and their problem-solving skills.

After finishing the courses, learners must pass exams. They are then awarded diplomas either in elementary or secondary levels from the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a bureau of the Department of Education catering for out-of-school children, youths and adults. Learners can use the diplomas to pursue higher degrees, such as high school for elementary graduates and college or technical courses for high school graduates. Recipients of the National Competency Certificate from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) can use the certificate to find employment.

Use of ICTs

One of thirteen of its kind in Tubungan, the Barangay Community Learning Centre (CLC) has six sets of computers used in the e-Learning Programme. A television set, cassette recorders, DVDs and audio tapes are used to conduct basic literacy classes throughout the year for mothers, farmers, out-of-school youths and out-of-school adults in the community. The municipality also has one LCD projector, which is used in various literacy-related programmes.

Teachers/facilitators are trained to prepare their lessons using the computer to enable them to easily produce instructional materials, calculate grades, draft reports, and deliver power-point presentations in developing their lessons.

Radio-based instruction is implemented in barangays, especially those located in remote areas, where the learners gather together in one place and learn their lessons by listening to the radio. Learners can also listen to the lessons at home so they do not need to go to the community learning centres.

Recruitment and Training of Facilitators

Project SAVE (SAGIP) employs volunteer, paid, full-time and part-time facilitators. As a reward for their work, facilitators either receive a salary or an honorarium. For most of the courses, the facilitators are required to have a bachelor’s degree. For health programmes, the facilitators need to be registered midwives and nurses. The facilitators for agriculture programmes should be agriculture graduates. All of the facilitators undergo a basic training course conducted by the Alternative Learning System (ALS) bureau. The facilitator/learner ratio varies from programme to programme. The average facilitator/learner ratio is 1 to 25, but the facilitator/learner ratio of the Green Brigade Programme and Solid Waste Management Programme is 10 to 300 and 1 to 500 respectively.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The learners prepare an Individual Learning Agreement (ILA) at the start of the teaching-learning period. The ILA is a document for planning and assessing the learning programme of learners. It is an agreement between the learner and the facilitators that guides them both through the whole learning process. It is a key instrument to measure the learner’s progress.

Learners are also required to have a dialogue journal and individual work folder or portfolio. The dialogue journal is a continuous written conversation between the learner and the implementer. The learner records his/her own progress and takes note of his/her learning difficulties. If the learner is not yet able to write to such a level, the literacy facilitator or district ALS coordinator updates the dialogue journal and portfolio on their behalf. This serves to help in planning the learning interventions and input necessary to meet the needs of the learner.

The individual work folder or portfolio contains the learner’s tests, quizzes, drawings, pictures, and Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation & Equivalency Programme (A & E) Assessment results. These records help the learner review his/her work and keep track of his/her accomplishments and progress.

Monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation is an imperative ingredient and it is conducted in all phases of programme implementation. The Municipal Literacy Coordinating Council (MLCC), chaired by the Municipal Mayor, leads the monitoring and evaluation of Project SAVE (SAGIP). Barangay supervision visits and interviews are conducted through Pulong-Pulong sa Barangay (Village Assembly). Through the assembly, villagers are also able to voice their issues and concerns relating to the programmes.

The MLCC, also in coordination with the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), conducts training/competency assessment on the learners. After passing the assessment, TESDA issues a National Certificate of Competency to the qualified graduates. TESDA, ASBUILT Metal Facilities, and Ywa Human Resource Corporation then assist the graduates in seeking gainful employment either locally or abroad.


In addition to the above-listed partner organisations, a major group of contributors are academic institutions. Six universities and colleges provide assistance to implement the project. The Central Philippine University (CPU), for example, donates reading materials for literacy learners. Colegio de Jesucristo facilitates the literacy and computer classes.

Programme Impact and Challenges

Impacts and achievements

The implementation of Project SAVE (SAGIP) helps improve the standard of living of Tubunganons. Over 414 participants have gone on to achieve successful employment, both locally and internationally. Since 2003 at least 100 learners have passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test. Ten former students of Project SAVE (SAGIP) went on to serve as barangay (village) officials in their respective communities. Many out-of-school youths and adults, both male and female, have gone back to school and eventually graduated from high school. They were assisted by the Local Government Unit (LGU) in taking further studies in technical courses and in finding jobs. Genevive Tablazon, a former out-of-school youth until her enrolment in Project SAVE (SAGIP), has shown the potential of the project to provide upward social mobility. As the first female graduate of welding, she now works in the private sector for a major metal corporation based in Manila. Rebel returnees were encouraged to join learning sessions in the Alternative Learning System through peaceful negotiations of the LGU and with the firm assistance of the Philippine Army. Many have finished secondary education and enrolled in technical courses, and they are given the necessary support to learn and help them re-join the workforce. Therefore, the programme has had positive effects upon the peace process in Iloilo. Every year, the MLCC designates a team usually led by the Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System bureau, to conduct Literacy Mapping to evaluate the programme and the learners/beneficiaries. The team conducts interviews through home visits and requests recipients to answer questionnaires. The result shows that the mothers are now more conscious about their own learning and that of their children, both in basic and functional literacy. As of 2013, a total of 1,130 women, girls and mothers in the barangays have been informed of the importance of nutrition and provided with associated services such as micronutrient supplements, food weighing instructions (Operation Timbang) and food production techniques. Pabasasa Barangay – an information-sharing initiative conducted by the municipal nutritionist – has helped 1,104 mothers understand the risks of malnutrition and control its incidence. As a result, the percentage of children aged 0–5 suffering from protein deficiency has been almost halved in recent years, decreasing from 8.9 per cent in 2009 to 4.6 per cent in 2012. The MLCC also reports improved levels of household sanitation and local water supply, with a corresponding reduction in diarrheal and water-borne diseases. Project SAVE (SAGIP) has been replicated in many areas in the Province of Iloilo, Philippines, and adults and young people continue to seek new ways of attaining different life skills.

Challenges and lessons learned

Much remains to be done in order to sustain the programme. Project SAVE (SAGIP) is currently facing the following problems:

With such a diverse range of actors behind the project, the need for cohesion between the bodies responsible for programme monitoring and evaluation, particularly the Municipal Literacy Coordinating Council (MLCC) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), is important to ensure that the effectiveness of Project SAVE (SAGIP) is maintained.

The use of ICT’s has shown advantages in providing continuous learning to students in remote areas, as well as improving the teaching experiences of facilitators.

The cooperation between the private sector and human-resource fields, in assistance to TESDA’s efforts to recognise the certificate of national competency, has ensured that employment opportunities for programme graduates can be best recognised.


The continuation of the literacy programmes of the municipality is assured and sustained by strong financial support through local budget legislation. The Municipal Development Council (MDC) allocates more than one million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) for Project SAVE (SAGIP) annually. The barangays, in turn, allocate twenty-five thousand Pesos (P25,000.00) taken from their annual IRA Fund to sustain barangay-based programmes and projects.

To manifest support, to sustain and strengthen Project SAVE (SAGIP): Lifelong Learning and Peace Literacy of the municipality, the Sangguniang Bayan passed and approved ordinances and resolutions on various issues including the institutionalisation of the Literacy Programme and requesting officials to provide support to the programmes. The LGU has cooperated with various agencies to sustain the literacy programmes.

Internet sources

Contact details

Ms Arnie Gargaritano
Administrative Officer 2
Zone I, Tubungan, Iloilo
Telephone/Fax: +639173010649 / 0333960754
E-Mail: anco_tg (at) or tubong_lgu (at)

Last update: 30 October 2013