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MICOOP Forum Renews Pledge to Serve the “Unbanked”

Posted April 29, 2024


GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The 17th Forum of NATCCO’s Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives (MICOOP Program) ended on a high note as MICOOP staff, NATCCO leaders and management, and representatives of cooperatives under the MICOOP Program celebrated 18 years of boosting cooperatives and uplifting the lives of the poor.

The Forum was held at the Green Leaf Hotel on April 18 to 19, and saw 192 participants from 72 co-op offices all over the country.

NATCCO Vice Chairperson Dr. Hofilena of SAMULCO welcomed the delegates at the opening ceremonies.

NATCCO Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Paraguya inspired the team of “MICOOPlandia” by affirming that though there are challenges the team is “doing good.”

Chairperson Maria Corazon Montallana advised all stakeholders: “Let us all take care of our health so we can serve our co-ops better.”

Because many formal financial providers have shunned the poor as “unbankable”, the usurers and loan sharks have been quick to step into the vacuum and have driven the poor to deeper desperation.

However, the MICOOP Program is testament to the NATCCO advocacy that farmers and the entrepreneurial poor are indeed ‘bankable.’  They are capable of saving, paying their loans – and deserve the best financial services to improve their lives.

NATCCO Network established in 2006 the MICOOP Program to assist small co-ops, especially agricultural and agrarian reform cooperatives.  Co-ops under the program receive training, eKoopBanker banking software, loans, even capital injection to enable them to grow.

Since 2006, NATCCO has established 147 MICOOP offices with 53 partner co-ops, 37 of which are agrarian reform cooperatives.  But 63 co-ops have “graduated” from MICOOP Program.  Today, 85 co-ops are under the MICOOP Program.

Of these 84, two are micro-cooperatives, 35 are small, 45 are medium, and three are large

Top MICOOP performers were awarded at the Forum, led by Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative based in Sultan Kudarat.  BMPC is an Agrarian Reform Cooperative.  In 2013, it had 70 ARB members and total assets of 1 Million. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and NATCCO entered into a partnership to place the co-op under the MICOOP Program.

After ten years under the MICOOP Program, BMPC has 4 offices in Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato, membership of 5,590, of whom 4,000 are farmers. Total assets of 100 Million. Agricultural loans reached 67 Million in 2023. It has a KAYA ATM machine, and it implements the Kaya Payment Platform.

CEO Paraguya boasted of BMPC to President Ferdinand Marcos at Malacanang in October 2023, during the celebration of the Cooperative Month.

Two former MICOOP partners attended the Forum even if they are no longer under the MICOOP Program.

Seven NATCCO staff in the MICOOP Team also received Loyalty Awards for reaching ten years of service.

Theme for the Forum was “Unleashing Potentials, Empowering Actions, and Embracing Growth.”

MICOOP Group Head, Veronica B. Sierra, gave the State of the MICOOP Program:

•    694 management and staff oversee the operations of these 84 offices

•    These 84 co-ops have total individual members numbering 141,000, of whom 32,000 are youth (22 percent).

•    11 new MICOOP offices were opened in 2023

•    The NATCCO MICOOP Team conducts Consultancy, learning sessions, audits, strategic planning, workshops, webinars, and implements NATCCO products in its services

•    Advocacies include Climate Action, youth leadership, entrepreneurship, and business development.

•    Two partner co-ops grew from “micro” to “large”

•    Capital generated by the MICOOP offices currently stands at Php 520 Million

•    Deposits under the MICOOP Program totals Php 1.26 Billion

•    Loans releases in 2023 amount to Php 2.47 Billion

•    MICOOP offices experienced significant drops in delinquency in 2023

Runners-up for MICOOP of the Year 2023 were Dagohoy MPC in Davao del Norte and Alipao MPC in Surigao del Norte.

San Ramon MPC (Masbate City) won Performer in Profitability; Alipao MPC for Performer in Internal Fund Generation; Dalawinon MPC (Davao del Sur) in Membership Campaign, Davao Oro Savings & Credit Cooperative for Highest Performance Growth in Profitability, and Bacbacan MPC as Top Performer in Portfolio Quality.

A highlight of the event was the introduction of NATCCO’s Business Development Service (BDS) that enables co-ops to train their member-borrowers in running and growing their enterprises, that will also eliminate non-payment of loans.

The 2025 MICOOP Forum will be held in Manila.


  • Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative
  • General Santos City
  • General Santos City cooperatives
  • Gensan
  • MICOOP Forum

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