By: Anna Danica B. Cuadrasal

“This project will augment the income of the coop and will provide additional services to the members”, said Regional Director of Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Caraga Genaro D. Pogata, Jr. referring to the project assistance under the Mindanao Peace and Normalization through Cooperative Development (MPNCD2019).  Together with Asec. Pendatun B. Disimban, RD Pogata initiated the ceremonial turnover of mobile mini rice mill and livelihood support fund last September 27 at CDA Grounds, Pili Drive, Butuan City.

The Mindanao Peace and Normalization through Cooperative Development (MPNCD2019) with a total budget of P73.7 million was the continuation of what has been appropriated through congress-initiated project entitled “Mindanao Peace and Normalization through Cooperative Development (MPN-CODE)” sponsored by the office of former Senator Joseph Victor “JV” G. Ejercito and incorporated in the 2019 CDA budget.

The project is a key socio-economic component of the peace initiatives of the CDA. It intends to positively contribute to the normalization process in the conflict areas in Mindanao through a development package that aims to organize and develop sustainable and self-reliant cooperatives among the decommissioned combatants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and insurgencies, internal disturbances and tensions, and other armed conflict areas that are resorting to violent extremism.

Five regions in Mindanao were the beneficiaries of this project – Region 9 (Pagadian RO), Region 10 (Cagayan de Oro RO), Region 11 (Davao RO), Region 12 (Pagadian RO), and Region 13 (Caraga RO). The P4.75 million from the total budget was given to CDA Caraga. Since the project intends to provide post-harvest facilities, mobile mini rice mill and P250,000 as seed capital were given to the five identified coop beneficiaries namely: Dependable Agriculture Cooperative (ADS), Rizal Multipurpose Cooperative (ADS), San Francisco Anao-aon Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (SDN), Ferdinand Multipurpose Cooperative (PDI) and Cawayan Agra Farmers Cooperative (SDN).

“The pandemic cannot hinder us from providing services to our cooperatives, said Asec. Pendatun B. Disimban during his inspirational message. Asec. Disimban is one of the prime movers of the project, and he added, “the project is timely, especially in this time of pandemic since mobility of everyone is limited due to restrictions. The coops and their members needed this, more than ever”.

RD Pogata encouraged the beneficiary coops to use the project to foster the growth of their coops and develop into a viable economic enterprise.

To ensure that the beneficiary coops will utilize the fund for its intended purpose, the project will be continuously monitored by CDA Caraga personnel assigned in the area until the full liquidation of the released fund. Moreover, to measure the impact of the project and its contribution to the economic development of the beneficiary coops and their members, CDA Caraga will conduct an impact assessment after the completion of the project. ***