Areas of Expertise

Informal Economy

Informal Economy
© ILO/M. Crozet

Alden, the owner of a small farm

Alden is 41 years old and lives, together with his wife and two daughters, on a small plot of land. Alden and his wife both work on the farm and during peak times, they hire two other seasonal women workers from a neighbouring village to help them with the harvest.  Working hours on the farm are long.

 Alden’s farm has belonged to the family for generations. The land title of the farm is not registered, but everybody in the village knows which fields belong to the family.  Alden doesn’t pay any official taxes, but he contributes, just like everybody else does, to the village fund in order to help with the maintenance of the village church. Alden has never thought of the possibility to register himself, his family member or the seasonal workers in SSS or PhilHealth. He thinks it is too expensive to contribute to social security scheme and difficult to contribute in a regular basis because of seasonal instability of income. He also believes that the benefits offered by the schemes do not take into account the nature of his work and the needs of his family. Sometimes he is worried about who will take care of the family when something would happen to him, but he doesn’t think that contributing to a formal social security scheme would be of any benefit, he thinks it is better to try and save although this is not always possible, or rely on support from other family members. 

 Alden does not have sustainable market for his produce and currently sells his products to informal traders who then sell them on to consumers/national markets or to export companies.  He wants to expand his business but he does not know who to talk to. He feels it is not worthwhile to approach a bank as he does not have the land titles to his farm and he is not registered, so they cannot offer them any collateral. John is interested in improving his business management skills, but so far he has not found affordable finance and training opportunities. 



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