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NATCCO celebrates 44th Founding Anniversary

Posted January 22, 2021

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The National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO Network) celebrates on January 23 its 44th Founding Anniversary.

As advance celebration, more than 300 co-op leaders met online for the NATCCO Managers Forum where invited authorities provided their insight on the situation of the Philippine economy.

NATCCO Chairperson Marlene Celo welcomed the participants, and urged the co-operators to be Sensitive to Members’ Needs, Transparency as an adopted culture in co-ops, Be Unique and make a difference, be Passionate, take the Initiative, and to Digitize.  To the participants’ amusement, the six pointers were acronym “STUPID”.

On digitization, Celo emphasized that KAYA Payment Platform is the key to the digitization of co-op operations.  She added that it is “our very own!”

First resource speaker was Kevin D. Gayao.  He advised co-ops to aim the ‘Resilient Cooperative Model’ abbreviated “HEDGE”: Holistic Marketing Strategy, Employee Upskilling and Reskilling, Digital Mindset, Gearing up Against Risks, and Efficient and Dyamic Management.

Gayao placed a premium on having a healthy desire to learn, which he said was a never-ending quest for all stakeholders in co-ops.

He said: “A lot of us rely on intuition – and it takes 10,000 hours to develop anything.  But beyond intuition, you should allow data to help you.  Learn to analyze data.  Data plus intuition is powerful.”

Next speaker was Banco de Oro Vice President, Anthony Emmanuel de Dios, who briefed everyone on the economic situation.

Maria B. Urmatam of the Union Bank spoke on “Deposits and Loan Pricing: Banking Perspective.”

She said pricing of deposits and loans was a very delicate balance, and that there are many factors to consider like Risks, Costs, Competition, and the lending institution’s liquidity.

Finally, Sharon Marie Dy of the NATCCO Stabilization Fund unit interpreted the “Results of the Interest Rate Survey.”  Dy analysed the survey results and announced that NATCCO would create a regular  Interest rate advisory with coop market rates, and push for interest rate standardization and one product range for interest rate range.

The National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO Network) began as the National Association of Training Centers for Cooperatives (NATCCO), formed by cooperators who believed that the task of co-op development lay primarily in the hands of the private sector. These leaders believed in self-help and in the idea that people in poverty need to create opportunities for themselves to improve their economic well-being.

These co-op leaders had the benefit of hindsight: from 1915 when the first co-op law was passed until the late 50’s, co-ops did not succeed because they were just government initiatives.

But as early as the 1950’s up to 70’s, co-op sector leaders were aware that in order to succeed they could not rely on government alone. Instead, co-ops had to be driven and patronized by their members and it is only through co-op education that this level of member patronage and responsibility could be established.

By the 1960s, a number of primary co-operatives had formed five regional co-op training centers (secondary cooperatives).

In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, abolished Congress, and drafted a new Constitution. Marcos issued Presidential Decree 175 in April 1973, “Strengthening the Cooperative Movement,” that required farmers to be organized into village associations called “Samahang Nayon”

Furthermore, all types of existing cooperatives were required to re-register and conform to the Samahang Nayon structure.  The move created tension between the government – specifically the Martial Law regime – and the cooperative sector.

Nevertheless, the co-op leaders complied with the Martial Law imposition.  Despite that, some cooperators were suspected of being the “third rebel group” and were jailed under the Marcos Regime.  The various “rebel groups” were the political opposition, the Communists, Socialists and Muslim rebels.

On January 23, 1977, amidst suspicions and harassment, the leaders of the five regional training centers met in Cebu City and formed NATCCO, then known as the National Association of Training Centers for Co-operatives, to coordinate and standardize the trainings and educational services for cooperatives at the national level. NATCCO also served as the voice of co-ops in the country.

The five training centers were Mindanao Alliance of Self-Help Societies-Southern Philippines Education Center for Cooperatives (MASS-SPECC), Visayas Cooperative Training Center (VICTO), Bicol Cooperative Training Center (BCTC), Tagalog Cooperative Training Center (TAGCOTEC), and North Luzon Cooperative Development Center (NORLUCEDEC).

On April 1, 1979, the NATCCO joined the International Cooperative Alliance.

After the EDSA Revolution in 1986, President Cory Aquino ushered the 1987 Constitution that mandated Government to “promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of social justice and economic development.

On April 1, 1989, to meet the growing needs of co-ops, the NATCCO was transformed into a multi-service national co-op federation while the regional training centers became multi-service co-op development centers. The acronym NATCCO was retained and its meaning converted to the present “National Confederation of Cooperatives.”

More co-op federations joined the NATCCO in the coming years.  In 1997, the cooperative leaders met in Caoayan, Isabela and formed the COOP-NATCCO Partylist, which ran in the 1998 elections, and obtained a seat in Congress.  The Partylist has occupied two seats since 2009 and continues to safeguard the interests of cooperatives.

NATCCO joined the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) on September 25, 2000.

After Strategic Planning by the leaders in 2000, the 2002 General Assembly resolved to conduct a study to restructure the Network from a three-tier into a two-tier organization.

The 2004 General Assembly approved amendments in the by-laws to shift from a three-tier organization or confederation, into a two-tier federation, with primary co-ops as direct members. Its core enterprise would be financial intermediation and non-financial services would become subsidiaries.

Some federations that had formed, or joined NATCCO, left in 2007.

But NATCCO’s Transformation Journey continued. Growth in the following years was exponential, with the NATCCO assets reaching the P1B milestone just four years later. Products and services offered also grew, with the NATCCO Network offering financial services to members, enterprises, information technology, and a diverse curricula of training & consultancy offered to members – both online and onsite – to improve their operations and sustainability.

Today, NATCCO is the biggest federation of co-ops in the Philippines, in terms of geographical reach, membership, financial capacity and array of services. It now reaches around 5.9 million individual members coming from 845 co-ops. The 5.9 million individual members are served through 2,062 offices located in 77 provinces and 129 cities all over the country. They are also served by more than 69 ATM branches of the Network. The 847 cooperatives have combined assets of more than $4.57 Billion.

The NATCCO Network is an active member of the Philippine Cooperative Center as the apex organization of co-ops in the Philippines, the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) in Bangkok, Thailand since 1979, and International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) based in Brussels, Belgium since 2000.

Thus, as an active member, the NATCCO Network lives and promotes the ten internationally-accepted Cooperative Values of Self-Help, Self-Responsibility, Democracy, Equality, Equity, Solidarity, Honesty, Openness, Social Responsibility, and Caring for Others. The NATCCO Network abides by the international Cooperative Principles of Open & Voluntary Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy & Independence, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, Concern for the Community, and Education, Training & Information.

The NATCCO Network is committed to help co-ops in achieving the ICA’s 2030 Vision as well as the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Advocacies pushed by the NATCCO Network, aside from Co-op Principles and Values, are Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster-Readiness of Communities, Financial Literacy, Gender & Development, Financial Inclusion, Youth Development, Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, and Social Performance.


Updated: 2020.01.22 | 07:28PM - PST GMT+8

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