• Alex Raquepo: Ilocos Region's Co-op Man

    Rare are those who have been steeped in cooperative principles in their youth and continue to do so decades later.  Alexander B. Raquepo is among that rare breed.   Alex hails from Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur and is the eledest Read More
  • COOP-NATCCO Partylist Thumbs Down Divorce Bill

    QUEZON CITY --  After consultations with co-op leaders, Coop-NATCCO Partylist Representatives Anthony M. Bravo and Sabiniano Canama voted against the Divorce Bill.   After quoting the Bible on social media, Rep. Bravo said: “Bilang isang Kristiyano, ito ang aking personal Read More
  • Millennials Own Stage at Co-op Leaders Congress

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – In Filipino culture, young people are told to listen to their elders.  But at the recent 16th Co-op Leaders Congress held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, it was the other way around.     Millennials comprised most Read More
  • 3rd Tagum Youth Camp Fosters Bonds & Learning

    TAGUM CITY -- Seventy-eight teen-aged strangers turned friends as they participated in Tagum Coop’s Youth Laboratory 3rd Summer Youth Camp last May 4-5, 2018 at the Energy Park. The two-day-one-night camp had the theme “Bring the Change! Be the Youth Leader Read More
  • GA Pushes Integration, Technology, Youth, Enterprise

    CAGAYAN DE ORO – The NATCCO Network ended the 41st General Assembly and Leaders’ Congress on a high note, as the leadership of one of the largest co-op federations in the country pushed for integration, the use of technology to improve Read More
  • Guideco Becomes Town Center thru Pinoy Coop ATM

    Guimbal, ILOILO -- This quaint town is a coastal fourth class municipality of 33,820 people.    Its 9 kilometers of scenic shoreline has attracted tourists, an industry that supplements its citizens’ agricultural livelihood.   In April 1993, the Southern Iloilo Development Read More
  • St. Vincent Ferrer Parish MPC Wins Bagwis Award

    ODIONGAN, Romblon –  NATCCO Network member St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative recently received the Bronze DTI-Bagwis Award for the excellent operation of its retail stores.   The Department of Trade and Industry, through the award, “gives due recognition to Read More
  • Co-op Opens Gas Station in Tagbilaran City

    TAGBILARAN CITY -- The Bohol Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative which has 1,000 members inaugurated on February 27 its own gasoline station.  Jannete Romero and Melchor Daniel, BCMPC’s Manager and Chairman, respectively, led the opening of the cooperative’s Phoenix Gasoline Station, the first Read More
  • Ang Hindi Nauulingan

    May kasabihan na: “Walang humahawak ng palayok na hindi naulingan.”  Dumating ang panahon na ginamit ito patungkol sa mga taong may kinalaman sa mga usaping salapi.  Tanggap ng marami na kapag pera ang pinag-uusapan, halos lahat na lang ata ay Read More
  • CDA Issues Order For Nutriwealth to Cease & Desist

    QUEZON CITY -- The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has ordered Nutriwealth Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NWMPC) to 1) stop accepting deposits from members and non-members, 2) return all deposits to the depositors, and 3) stop establishing and operating satellite offices without the prior Read More
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ASEAN Co-ops Address Financial Inclusion, Hunger

MALATE, MANILA -- Co-op federation leaders from four Southeast Asian countries gathered at the Pan Pacific Hotel September 6 to 7 for the ASEAN Co-operative Development Meeting.  The purpose of the high-profile meet was to “Engage Co-operatives in Contributing to the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.”
 
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is composed of 17 Goals that would ensure development that is sustainable development, but the meet will focus on three: No Poverty, Zero Hunger and Partnerships for the Goals.
Said meeting was to coordinate, enhance and broaden their work to achieve the SDGs – and make known to the world what co-ops have indeed helped to achieve those Goals. 
 
The focus areas were Agriculture (for Zero Hunger), Financial Inclusion (for No Poverty) and Partnerships (coordination between co-ops, government agencies, and civil society organizations). 
 
In the first portion of the meet, International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) members in the ASEAN, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Malaysia presented their respective federations’ activities in Agriculture and Financial Inclusion.
 
Representatives from local agencies, the Cooperative Development Authority, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs did the same, as well as other organizations present: Swedish co-op federation WE Effect, the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, the International Labor Organization, DEKOPIN of Indonesia, Co-operative College of Malaysia, and ANGKASA co-op federation of Malaysia.
 
Local organizations present were the Federation of People’s Sustainable Development Cooperative, University of Asia and the Pacific, National Anti-Poverty Commission, MASS-SPECC, Philippine Cooperative Center, VICTO, and NATCCO.
It was emphasized that meeting sustainable development has always been “within the DNA of cooperatives” even before the UN came up with the idea.
 
For No Hunger, Dato Kamarudin Ismail, Vice president of Angkasa Malaysia acknowledged that agriculture in most Asian countries was controlled by cartels and that co-ops must coordinate efforts – specifically that credit co-ops awash with money should assist cash-strapped agriculture cooperatives.  
 
Strongly cited was FPSDC’s assistance to farmers – from seed-sourcing, financing, processing, technical assistance, all the way to packaging and marketing of farm products.  Romulo Villamin of MASS-SPECC said farmers are under the mercy of traders and retailers, and that there are too many “layers” before farm products reach consumers, with prices very high and most of the revenue taken by traders and cartels.
 
Cresente Paez of the Asian Farmers Association said co-ops must use at least some their financial resources to eliminate these “layers” by assisting agriculture cooperatives.  It was unanimously agreed that by creating a value chain, co-ops contribute to “Zero Hunger.”
 
For No Poverty, it was stressed that co-ops should use technology and their large member-base to their advantage.  ACCU CEO Leni San Roque promoted the ACCU Payment Platform which allows co-op members to transact using their smart phones.  “Co-op members do not need to travel to their co-ops to transact.  All they need is internet connection and a smart phone.  This will be the key to “Financial Inclusion” of rural people,” she said.
 
Professor Bien Nito of the University of Asia and the Pacific said: “I am amazed with Uber.  Uber is the biggest taxi company in the world without owning a single car.  Air BNB is the largest hotel chain without owning a single hotel.   Technology really is a disruptor.  So co-ops must use technology to advantage!”
 
FPSDC CEO Tetay Plantilla put forward the website fpsdce-cooptrade.coop, where people can purchase F&C products. Eventually, the web could also bring together farmers and consumers and eventually eliminate middlemen.
 
Leaders are expected to position co-operatives towards international development and help the Alliance monitor policies and processes more efficiently and collect evidence from the ground on development programs.
 
Assessing the ability of co-ops to meet the SDGs, Tetet Lauron Co-Chair of CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness said: “Co-ops are both civil society organizations and (social) enterprises so you enjoy the best of both worlds!”
 
 At the end of the meeting, the delegates signed a document agreeing that until December 31, each organization would: 
1. Nominate a focal Point from each organization to work towards the agreements and the Hanoi Declaration (adopted by the 10th Asia-Pacific Cooperative Ministers’ Conference on April 2017)
2. Collaborate on Research (Mapping & Thematic Research) & Policy Advocacy
3. Come on Board the ICA-AP Research Committee and the ICA-AP Committee on Trade & Business
4. Encourage cooperators to make pledges on www.coopsfor2030.coop and to engage with national co-op federations
5. Concretize a program for international Youth exchange
6. Develop SDG Targets and Indicators through the co-op lens & Develop Monitoring Tools for Cooperative Contribution towards the SDGs.
 
The International Co-operative Alliance, established in 1895 based in Brussels,  is the global umbrella organization that represents, unites and develops co-operatives across diverse sectors of economy influencing 1 in every almost 7 humans on this planet. The ICA represents 300 plus apex level federations and leading sectoral co-operative enterprises from over 100 countries. ICA Asia and Pacific, the regional arm of the Alliance was established in 1960 in New Delhi (India), services 96 Alliance members from 30 countries in Asia and the Pacific. The ICA AP regional board comprises of 11 elected members nominated by national co-operative movements across the region, and 1 co-opted member each from the Asia-Pacific Committees on Youth, and on Women.
 

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