Local Differentiation in Diversification Challenges in Eleven Coastal Villages in Iloilo Province, Philippines

  • Edo AndriesseEmail author
Original Article


Diversification in rural coastal areas has been promoted for two major reasons: reducing overfishing and increasing living standards. This article investigates diversification efforts in light of coastal squeezes in central Philippines. It presents evidence from 11 coastal villages in Iloilo Province, all of these communities are confronted with overfishing, poverty and environmental change. The empirical focus is on the impact of external support as well as remittances from overseas relatives. Three results emerge. First, the impact depends on initial intra-village conditions; presuming that fishing associations are the natural go-to stakeholders can be counterproductive. Second, more attention should be paid to transforming short-term, exogenous interventions into longer-term, endogenous capabilities. Third, unlike for households with higher levels of human capital, remittances do not constitute a major diversification strategy for fisher folk. Avenues for further research are the relationships between social capital and intra-village inequality and the interrelated nature of livelihood capitals.


Philippines Coastal livelihoods Overfishing Rural development Social capital 


Dans les zones côtières rurales, la diversification a été encouragée pour deux raisons principales: réduire la surpêche et augmenter le niveau de vie. Cet article étudie les efforts de diversification à la lumière des pressions exercées sur les zones côtières au centre des Philippines. Il présente des preuves provenant de 11 villages côtiers de la province d’Iloilo; toutes ces communautés sont confrontées à la surpêche, à la pauvreté et aux changements environnementaux. L’accent empirique porte sur l’impact du soutien extérieur et des envois de fonds provenant de membres familiaux habitant à l’étranger. Trois résultats se dégagent. Premièrement, l’impact dépend des conditions initiales au sein du village; il peut être contre-productif de partir du principe que les associations de pêche sont les interlocuteurs naturels à qui s’adresser en priorité. Deuxièmement, il faudrait accorder plus d’attention à ce que les interventions exogènes à court terme soient transformées en capacités endogènes à plus long terme. Troisièmement, contrairement aux ménages ayant un capital humain plus élevé, les envois de fonds ne constituent pas une stratégie de diversification importante pour les pêcheurs. Les pistes de recherche futures sont les relations entre le capital social et les inégalités au sein des villages et les liens entre les moyens de subsistance.



The author would like to thank Joh sal Hero Baleña, Norie Bion, Marielle Edica, Kyle Fanega, Reymark Sustento and Stachy Tejado for valuable research assistance.


This research project was generously funded by a Grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea, No. 2017S1A5A8020492.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, College of Social SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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