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CDA Appeals to the Billionaire Co-operatives

TAGUIG CITY – The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has broadcast an appeal to the so-called Billionaire Co-operatives to use their vast resources to 1) protect the environment, 2) assist indigenous Filipinos, and 3) help small or fledgling co-operatives.  
At the Billionaire Cooperatives’ Conference held in SM Aura, CDA-NCR Director Nonie Hernandez welcomed the participants.  She revealed that there are 17 billionaire co-ops in Metro Manila, and one billionaire federation.


Fr. Anton Pascual of the Coop Union of Taguig and Pateros (COUNTPA) encouraged co-ops to aim for a Sustainable and Inclusive Economy.  He divided the participants into groups, to provide inputs on how co-ops can ensure a sustainable and inclusive economy.


NATCCO Network Development Communications Officer, Diosdado Luna, said: “According to PCC founder, Butz Aquino, there are currently about 500 families that control the Philippine economy.  The co-ops must change that and give every Filipino a stake in the economy.  Filipinos, through co-ops, must be the ones to control banking, insurance, agriculture, media, transport, manufacturing, trade, retailing, electricity, housing, water, media . . . the entire economy.  A primary co-op cannot do that.  But if we work together thru federations, it can be done.”


CDA Chairman Orlando Ravanera formally introduced and launched three programs.


To protect the environment and assist indigenous Filipinos, Datu Kalamboan Balvin Andaya introduced the Bamata Project, which is short for Banowaon-Manobo-Talaandig Tribe Heritage Preservation Project.  


Comprising 500 families, the three tribes are located in Tumalog Zillovia, Agusan del Sur.  The area is a backwater, heavily forested and has attracted loggers.  The loggers take advantage of the poverty of the tribespeople, and buy trees at very low prices.  In desperation, many of the tribes people would sell the trees, thus destroying their ancestral domain and contributing further to their misery, and the eventual destruction of their tribal culture.


“The area is home to a wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna,” says Ravanera, “where unique varieties of rice (palay) is grown organically.”


And to destroy the environment, as the loggers are doing, would eliminate the rice varieties the tribes are planting and consuming, he added.  


Co-ops are invited to provide P50,000 or “3% of Net Surplus Service to Community” to Adopt a Bamata family, that will enable them to put up enterprises, establish farms, and emancipate them from the loggers.  


To help small or fledgling cooperatives, CDA has come up with the Kooperatiba Kapatid Program.  According to Pedro Defensor, CDA’s OIC Director, the program is where billionaire co-ops can help small co-ops through “handholding.”


He cited statistics: there are 26,592 cooperatives registered, but only 63% are compliant.   


Defensor said: “We want co-ops to instruments of social justice . . . but they need to prosper, be well-organized, well-financed and governed well by committed leaders.”


Billionaire co-ops have grown big and obviously can share a lot of what they know how to grow.


Qualified small co-ops must be under the category of micro- or small, non-compliant, and submit application for the program.  “Big Ko-op Kapatid” co-ops must be either medium or large, compliant with regulations, and submit intent to join the program.
The Program’s courses include: “Nurturing and Caring,” “Sustainability,” and “Competitiveness”.


CDA Administrator Paisal I. Cali, told the billionaire cooperatives: “Co-ops are partners of government in empowering people.  Please aim higher!  Be more! Bring about changes in the country!”
 

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