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CDA, Leaders Bare Finance Cooperative Cluster “SWOTs”

Posted June 16, 2022


The leaders of the Finance Co-operative Cluster - composed of leaders of federations of credit co-ops, insurance co-ops, cooperative banks and credit surety fund co-ops - met recently and gave their observations on the state of the sector.

The Cooperative Development Authority and the Financial Cooperative Cluster presented the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOTs) of the Finance Cooperative Cluster (FCC) at an online meeting on June 9 attended by co-op stakeholders nationwide.

In charge of the FCC is CDA Board Member Vidal Villanueva.  The Finance Cooperative Cluster is composed of leaders of co-op federations, co-op banks, and co-op insurance.

At the opening ceremonies, former Chairperson of the Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperatives, Atty. Gloria Futalan said:  “We shine the spotlight on the work of highly dedicated cooperative leaders whose desire is to chart the course of the largest subsector in the cooperative sector, and make it respond to an ever-changing and ever-challenging environment.  But we are here not just to listen to, and appreciate the accomplishments of the FCC. More importantly we are here to support and commit to make what has been planned, work.”

She reminded all stakeholders of the difficult duty of co-op leaders “to continuously find ways to put to good use the resources entrusted by the millions of cooperators. We are only as good as when we have their trust and confidence.”

The report started off with Atty. Mickel Borigas, current president of the FCC, speaking on the results of a strategic planning conducted in early 2022.

He gave the SWOT Analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) of the finance cluster co-operatives identified at the formal Strategic Planning Discussions.

The SWOT are listed as follows:


•    Finance co-operatives have a ‘captured market’ in their membership and communities

•    Competitive products and services

•    Grassroots presence

•    High liquidity even in the time of Covid

•    Qualified Personnel

•    Multi-Awarded leaders

•    High number of insurance policies issued


•    Central Fund

•    Fund Stabilization

•    BancNet ATM Membership

•    Digitization

•    Members' Support

•    Risk Management in place in many co-ops

•    Standards are set


•    Minimal Share of Aggregate Assets and Portfolio

•    Low level of members patronage

•    Information Technology and infrastructure not at par with other finance industry players

•    High Delinquency Rate

•    Poor image perception

•    Slow membership growth

•    Federations have their own education modules 

•    No standard deposit and lending rates

•    Non-compliance to standards in provisioning and institutional capital

•    Competition among co-ops

•    Federations are not united

•    Deviation from the Co-operative Identity and mission drift

•    Low-level of digitalization and interconnectivity 

•    Co-ops are not interconnected

•    Slow uptake by the primaries of the KAYA Payment Platform

•    Low appreciation of digitalization by co-op leaders

•    Poor knowledge Management due to lack of database and no measurable facts


•    Huge population for recruitment (only 11 million combined memberships)

•    Technologies to improve co-op operations 

•    Financing of other clusters

•    Local and international partners for business solutions, models of cooperation

•    COOP partylists and government agencies that can provide support to co-ops

•    Regulations favorable to the development of cooperatives

•    Deputation of federations

•    Memorandum Circular mandating primary cooperatives to be members of coop banks, federations and unions

•    Creation of Technology Service Cooperatives

•    Mandatory hiring of Cooperative Development Officers in LGUs

•    Cooperative Banking Act Bill (in progress)


•    Natural and man-made calamities

•    Conflicting regulations among regulators

•    Banks have conflicting programs with CSF products

•    No regulation on the disposition of capital contribution of merged/dissolved co-ops

•    Changes in the leaderships of LGUs

•    Grants given by Government to primary co-ops

•    piracy of co-op staff by other finance players

•    Competition from banks, Fintechs, 

•    Reversal of tax exemptions

•    Fast-changing technologies

•    Pirating of trained co-op staff

Borigas concluded: “At the end of 5 years we will see an empowered finance cluster, based on our core values, fairness and integrity, nurturing, the value of accountability, collaboration, and excellence.  (Based on these SWOT), we identified 23 Strategic Goals and 75 Plans and Programs.”

(The 23 Strategic Goals and 75 Plans & Programs will be posted in a future article – Ed)

He added: “With the Mission that we will commit ourselves to ensure the safe and sound operations of cooperatives providing financial services, anchored on our cooperative identity.  Surely, at the end of five years our finance cluster cooperatives will be empowered.

The CDA, in accordance with Republic Act 11364 known as the new CDA Charter has organized Sectoral Apex Organizations (SAOs) composed of unions and federations  as “consultative body on issues and concerns affecting their respective clusters.”  

One of the SAOs is the FCC concerned with issues and policies affecting credit co-operatives, co-operative banks, insurance co-operatives, and credit surety fund co-operatives.  Other SAOs are on Agriculture, Utilities, Education & Advocacy, Consumer and Human Services.   


  • Finance Cluster
  • Finance Cooperative Cluster
  • Mickel Borigas
  • SAO

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