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We Don't Need to be a Department, says CDA Board

Will the Cooperative Development Authority become a separate Department?

Nope, says the CDA Board of Administrators.  The CDA has no official position on any amendments to  RA 6939 or the CDA Charter.
According to an undated internal memorandum issued by the office of the Chairman, Orlando Ravanera, “the Board of Administrators (of the CDA) had an in-depth discussion  . . . and decided to advocate on what is achievable and attainable at the moment, the strengthening of the CDA, not the Department of Cooperatives.”

As indicated in the CDA Board Resolution No. 312 series of 2017, the Board stands for the “strengthening of the CDA Charter.”
And “Strengthening” means: 1) additional budget, 2) to be granted quasi-judicial powers, and 3) more personnel.

For 2017, the CDA was appropriated P430 Million.  This has been increased to P503 Million in the 2018 General Appropriations approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 19, 2017.

Chairman Ravanera said: “At present, the CDA is limited to doing only what is allowed by law (RA 6939), and without the necessary and personnel, we can only do so much.”

He revealed that of the 736 approved positions, only 645 are filled up.  

He added: “By amending the CDA Charter, the challenges we are facing right now can be addressed as it can easily be approved compared to pushing for the departmentalization of CDA.”

In 2016, COOP-NATCCO Partylist Representative Sabiniano Canama and AGAP Rep. Rico Geron  signed House Bill 4174 proposing the creation of Department of Cooperatives, or ‘DepCo.’

The idea of a ‘DepCo’ has circulated in informal co-op sector discussions in recent years.  It stems from sentiments that past Presidents have ignored co-ops and were never considered in the mainstream of the financial ecosystem – comprising mostly of banks, insurance companies, and pawnshops.

In concluding, Ravanera’s Memorandum said: “Any manifesto being circulated amongst the cooperative sector, CDA extension offices and other offices, is not the official stand of the CDA, as we have only one position – strengthening the CDA Charter.”
Senate Committee on Cooperatives Chairman, Miguel Zubiri, has filed a Bill amending RA 6939.

RA 6939, creating the CDA, was signed into law in 1990 by then President Corazon Aquino.  CDA was created to “promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of equity, social justice and economic development.”

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