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CDA now under DTI

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to be placed under the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI).  Malacanang Palace issued Executive Order 67 on October 31.
 
It will be recalled that just on his fourth day as President on July 4, 2016, President Dutete issued the first Executive Order of his administration entitled “Reengineering the Office of the President Towards Greater Responsiveness to the Attainment of Development Goals.”
 
Executive Order # 1   listed twelve government agencies concerned with poverty alleviation, and placed them under the supervision of President Duterte’s Cabinet Secretary, Leoncio Evasco, Jr.
 
First on the list of agencies was the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the sole regulatory agency for cooperatives. 
 
Other agencies were the Housing & Urban Development Coordinating Council, National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Food Authority, National Youth Commission, Presidential Action Center, Philippine Commission on Women, Philippine Coconut Authority Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor, and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 
 
EO #1 was hailed as a sign that the Duterte was really serious in eliminating poverty.
 
Then in early 2018, President Duterte issued EO 62 transferring the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority from the Office of the President to the Dept. of Agriculture.
 
In October 2018, Evasco filed with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) his candidacy for Bohol Provincial Governor.
 
EO 67 said the transfer of agency supervision of  offices previously attached to the Office of the President to other executive departments or agencies with similar core mandates “rationalizes policy formulation and project conceptualization and implementation” resulting in greater efficiency to deliver services to the grassroots level.
 
The 1987 Constitution confers on the President power of control over all executive departments, bureaus and offices.
 
Since the administration of President Gloria Arroyo, the CDA has been under the Department of Finance (DOF) when she issued Executive Order 332 on July 16, 2004.  But the co-op sector had been at odds with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the tax-collecting agency of the government, over the tax exemptions that co-ops should enjoy under the Cooperative Code of 2008 (RA 9520) and the BIR’s stringent requirements.
 
Other agencies under the OP to be transferred to the supervision of the DTI is the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).  
To be transferred under the Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Philippine Commission on Women and the National Youth Commission.
 
Transferred to the supervision of the Dept. of Social Welfare & Development are the National Anti-Poverty Commission, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor.  
 
Duterte ordered the said government agencies to “harmonize their policies and coordinate their programs and activities with their supervising Departments, as well as simplify their systems and processes, to ensure responsiveness and efficiency in the delivery of essential public services, and the attainment of the Administration’s ten-point socio-economic agenda and development goals in the Philippine Development Plan.”
Leaders of the co-op sector met the Order with optimism.
 
One leader said: “What has the Office of the President done for our sector that DTI cannot do?  Except for the retention of tax exemption? “
Dr. Garibaldi Leonardo of San Dionisio Credit Cooperative in Paranaque City and concurrently Board Chairperson of the Philippine Cooperative Center said: “This is an opportunity to show that co-ops are indeed the fastest growing form of enterprise. We will check the menu of programs of DTI and find out what they can possibly offer to the co-op sector.”
 
CDA Executive Director, Ray Elevazo, said: “The Constitution is clear that co-ops are economic enterprises.”
 
ACDI MPC Chairperson General Gilbert Llanto said: “Five or ten years from now, we will look back to this shift and conclude that it’s providential. Co-ops have to be successful enterprises engaged in productive pursuits, capitalizing on its co-operative ventures, geared towards satisfying national and regional needs. Co-ops need to slug it out in the competitive world of commerce and not confine itself purely to the sector’s needs.  We have to be more diverse in our pursuits as well as specialists in our fields.  Under DTI, we will undoubtedly grow!”
 

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