In a pivotal meeting held on October 2, 2023, CDA Caraga Director Honeya R. Alawi and Congressman Johnny T. Pimentel of District 11 of Surigao del Sur discussed the future of cooperatives in the Caraga region. The encounter, which took place at 10 o’clock in the morning, marked a significant step toward revitalizing the cooperative sector and ensuring a brighter future for cooperative members and their constituents.
Director Honeya commenced the meeting by providing a comprehensive update on the state of cooperatives in the region, with a special focus on District II of Surigao del Sur. She highlighted the critical role of cooperatives in the local economy and informed Congressman Pimentel about various CDA programs, most notably the Coconut Farmers Industry Development Plan (CFIDP). This initiative, aimed at reinvigorating local coconut industry councils, includes a series of training programs that have already seen substantial investment. The 2023 budget for CDA Caraga, amounting to 1.9 million, has been utilized to a remarkable extent, standing at 99%.
One pressing issue discussed during the meeting was the budgetary challenges faced by CDA, currently under scrutiny in the Senate. Director Honeya earnestly appealed to Congressman Pimentel for support in Congress to ensure that CDA can continue serving cooperatives and their constituents effectively. Furthermore, she sought backing for the construction of the CDA-13 building and the allocation of additional positions in the coming years.
Congressman Pimentel responded with enthusiasm and provided invaluable insights. He stressed the significance of focusing on micro cooperatives, which constitute a staggering 75% of operating cooperatives in District II of Surigao del Sur. Despite their low success rate, these micro cooperatives play a crucial role in the local economy. The Congressman tasked Mr. Almar B. Autida with the revival of the coconut council in Bislig and emphasized the need for dedicated focal persons for cooperatives in every local government unit, acknowledging budget constraints in some municipalities.
To further enhance support for CDA, Congressman Pimentel recommended the submission of budget proposals to all congressmen immediately following the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). This collective approach aims to secure unified backing from congressmen across the Caraga Region.
In a heartwarming turn of events, the meeting coincided with the kickoff celebration of Bislig City cooperatives, led by Mr. Almar B. Autida. The festivities included a vibrant motorcade featuring enthusiastic cooperators donned in colorful and festive costumes. Director Honeya had the privilege of joining this jubilant celebration and seized the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring Tinuy-an Falls. During her visit, she also had a serendipitous encounter with former CDA RD Toto, making the day truly memorable.
The collaboration between Congressman Johnny T. Pimentel and CDA Caraga is poised to breathe new life into cooperatives in the region, setting the stage for increased prosperity and empowerment among cooperative members and their communities.
Stay tuned for further updates on this promising partnership that holds the key to a brighter future for Caraga’s cooperatives.*******