• Grow Your Co-op Members’ Business

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  • COOP-NATCCO Wins One Seat In Congress

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  • Great Potential for Co-ops in e-Payments

    Jing Gusto, consultant of World Council of Credit Unions, presented before the NATCCO Coop Leaders’ Congress in Iloilo City last April the results of a study that shows the readiness of co-ops and their members for e-payments.     I think Read More
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    Do your co-op members have products that need marketing?  Your co-op could be the best aggregator.  Online shopping platform Lazada's Petrus Carbonel shows how your co-op can facilitate entrepreneurship among your members.   In the digital economy, co-ops will have Read More
  • Positioning Co-ops in a Digital Economy

    Trade & Industry Undersecretary  for Competitiveness & Innovation Rafaelita Aldaba shared with the NATCCO Leaders’ Congress that it is important for co-ops  to understand how you can position cooperatives in the new digital economy, take advantage of the opportunities and Read More
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      15-year-old co-op leader, Alessandra Daquila or Barbaza Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Antique Province spoke before 800 delegates on the opening day of the 17th Co-op Leaders Congress in Iloilo City, and gave them her mind on what co-ops should do Read More
  • Co-ops ready for Digital Economy

    ILOILO CITY – Co-ops must, can, and will definitely go Digital!   More than 700 leaders from 189 cooperatives converged last April 26-28 at the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel for the 17TH Co-op Leaders’ Congress and 42nd General Assembly.  They Read More
  • Power Speakers to Inspire and Impart at Leaders’ Congress

    A power list of speakers await delegates to the 17th NATCCO Co-op Leaders’ Congress in Iloilo City on April 26-28.  Their topics are in line with the theme for the event: “4.0 Positioning Cooperatives in a Digital Economy.”  The topics Read More
  • Supreme Court Ups Small Claims from 300k to 400k Starting April

    The Supreme Court increased the limit of small claims cases filed before the Metropolitan Trial Courts from P300,000.00 to P400,000.00, beginning  April 1, 2019.     Upon the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator to Associate Justice Diosdado M. Read More
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PCC Catalyzes Integration of Co-op Movement

MANDALUYONG CITY – Integration and unification are the two musts that go together in making the coop movement stronger, much more effective and cohesive as a genuine catalyst for social change. 
That was the main thrust during the NCR Pillar Conference held last March 26 at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.
The conference, organized by the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) composed of some 30 national and regional co-op federations, drew the participation of delegates from the different federations based in the National Capital Region.  Said conference saw the different pillars identify the major issues that confront them, which will in turn aid them in mapping out their plans for the next few years in tandem with an overall aspiration for an integrated and unified movement.
“Integration” is loosely or informally defined as co-ops facilitating – whether thru financing or patronizing – the business of other co-ops involved in agriculture, insurance, tourism, marketing and services, and education, housing, and virtually every other industry.
As for the Finance Pillar, what was envisioned is a Finance Cluster Strategic Plan that will pursue the attainment of One Coop Bank, One Asset Management, One Federation, One Coop Insurance, and One Coop Mutual Investment Fund as well as financial techno innovations like the Kaya Payment Platform, Cash Transfer, Risk Management, Coop Deposit Insurance System (CODIS), Coop Stabilization Fund, Coop Disaster Recovery Fund. It was also brought up that there is the need for equitable representation by asset size; if finance is 50% then 8/15 of the Board representation will come from One CoopBank, One Asset Management, One Investment, One Insurance, and One Federation, which is to evolve naturally. 
There was also a ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ on the representation of One Federation in the long-term but for now what is imperative is to strengthen existing local and regional federations to affiliate/collaborate with their national counterparts. Considered at large is the representation of a Council of Elders/Leaders.
The Producers & Marketing Pillar discussed rice as the main product sold and could be sold, within Metro Manila where primaries are willing to affiliate in this endeavour. Tasks identified are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, product surveys and production cost efficiencies, with the ultimate goal of being able to sustain the supply chain endeavour.
In the Education, Training, Information and Advocacy Pillar there is the need to enhance dissemination of Coop Ideology and Culture, the Importance of having a Coop Apex, Business and IT Solutions as well as advocacy about the movement on a political level.
Labor issues such as regulations through trainings, pooling of resources, TESDA accreditation interpretation of the law about the Security of Tenure [SOT]; workers representation aimed at generating consciousness, transparency through sound policies and procedures; and hiring processes that are in compliance with rules, were taken up in the Services/Utility Pillar. Also very timely under this Pillar is the Transport sub-sector, in the light of PUV Modernization which will call for reform measures in fleet management, accreditation, the role of the Office of Transport Cooperatives of the Department of Transportation in the fields of training and accreditation, whether these entities should be formed either as Corporations or Cooperatives, and their links with the Financial Pillars.
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Executive Director Ray Elevazo, gave an overview of the movement, stating that as of 2018, the Philippines has 18,676 operating cooperatives, with Regions 3 and 4 having the largest concentration. Of these, Multi-Purpose Cooperatives (MPC) make up 52 percent in NCR, which also comprise the highest and largest type of cooperative in terms of membership, employment, assets and net surplus.
Elevazo emphasized how the movement makes a significant contribution to the national economy, stressing the value of unification and consolidation “instead of being fragmented.” Also sharing the same sentiment was Major General Gilbert S. Llanto (ret.), Chair of ACDI and Vice Chair of CLIMBS, who noted that during the Asia-Pacific Cooperative Development Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February last year, the Filipinos, who were the best speakers, were not as good in achieving integration compared to their Asian counterparts. He also pressed the need for integration via an established identity, initially in what may be regarded as superficial forms such as use of a common coop logo in T-shirts and signage; the establishment of an institute exclusively dedicated to coop management and governance, and reinforcing PCC’s role as Apex . The ACDI Chair encouraged attendees from primary coops to join federations or actively participate in different national and regional activities.
Coop stalwart Fr. Anton Pascual enthusiastically stressed how the movement continues to move forward, being powerful and aimed at one direction, but called for the imperative on the part of the movement to preserve its identity guided by cooperative principles and values that will strengthen federations and unions—with the need of ‘pushers’ who are that critical mass of leaders and managers bent on stressing the need for attaining genuine integration.
PCC Chair Gary Leonardo called for the need to unify the movement by coming together (being one), and to integrate by putting pieces together (being whole). He also cited how unification and integration can be made manifest in the sector’s support for the coop partylist groups in Congress namely Coop-NATCCO, ATINGKOOP, KAMPI, AGAP. He explained the solidarity covenant that was agreed upon by the four partylist groups and stressed that as PCC representative, he needs to remain impartial.
In closing, the new PCC CEO, Edwin Bustillos stressed the need to further strategize and sustain its momentum in all these integration and unification initiatives so that the cooperative movement will continue to strengthen and advance its role in the economic, political and cultural spheres of our society.
Subsequent pillar conferences in the three island regions have already been set in the coming months. But what counts the most is that the movement remains steadfast to weigh in the plusses of integration and unification, and how these will truly make cooperativism a very potent force to enhance and empower social change through the most effective, proactive, pragmatic means there can be.
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