Learning the “Coop Way” through trainings

Pursuant to Article 44 of RA 9520 and Rule 7 of its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Authority implements and requires mandatory training for cooperative officers. Hence, Memorandum Circular 2015-09, also known as the “Revised Guidelines Implementing the New Training Requirements” was issued and applied to the officers of the cooperative regardless of its type and size.

On May 2-5, 2023, a 4-day “Regionwide Mandatory Training was conducted to Micro and Small Cooperatives through hybrid platforms at CDA RXIII Conference Room and online through Zoom. The activity is an initiative of the Cooperative Research Information and Training Section (CRITS) of the Cooperative Development Authority-Caraga RXIII.  It is an integral part of the capacity building program of the Authority to educate the cooperative officers with relevant knowledge and further strengthen the governance and management skills of cooperators.

The first two days of the training was  allotted for the topic: “Fundamentals of Cooperatives”. Members of the Pool of Trainers: CDS II Demelyne B. Gabales and CDS II Janith B. Mirang,  explained the general concept in coherence with the Article 2 of RA 9520 that “it is the declared policy of the State to foster the creation and growth of cooperatives as a practical vehicle for promoting self-reliance and harnessing people power towards the attainment of economic development and social justice”.

The trainers also tackled the History of Cooperative Movement that originated from England and all the pioneering cooperatives in our country. The Duties and Responsibilities of each cooperative officers were also discussed. The Seven Principles of the Cooperatives that make cooperatives stand out from other businesses was thoroughly elaborated. They also gave examples how to draft cooperative plans, programs, and policies that would benefit coop members and the community. Moreover, the Process of Organizing a Cooperative, its Powers and Capacities, and the different Types of Cooperatives were highlighted.

Anchored on the 6th Principle of Cooperatives which is the “Cooperation among Cooperatives”, the Koop Kapatid Program implemented under the Cooperative Project Development and Assistance Section (CPDAS) was thoroughly explained by Leopoldo Cabiad, Sr. CDS. This special program is designed to help and improve status of the micro and small cooperatives that are in need of mentorship in the area of management skills, financial, technical, and other forms of assistance. The ‘big brother’ cooperative (from the medium and large cooperatives) which has the capacity and willingness to render and extend any form of assistance partners with ‘small brother’ cooperative/s (coming from micro and small coops), the beneficiary coop/s in this program. Included in the discussion were the mechanics of implementation, responsibilities of the Authority, the partner-cooperative, and the beneficiary-cooperative, criteria for recognition, prohibitions, and monitoring and evaluation, including the process-documentation for the records.

The trainer also re-introduced the CoopBiz, a special program under CPDAS. CoopBiz is an online marketing platform that will bring locally produced goods to the global market chain via the cooperative network. Under this program, cooperatives are encouraged to register by creating an account and enroll their valuables/ locally produced goods for easy access of market viewers through the CoopBiz tab found on the CDA Home Website.

On the 3rd and 4th day, the conduct of “Cooperative Governance and Management” was discussed jointly by Lourd Anthony O. Dollano, Sr. CDS of Registration, and Leopoldo B. Cabiad, Sr. CDS of CPDAS. The highlights of this module were the discussion of ‘Cooperative Principles and Practices’, and ‘Duties and Responsibilities of Cooperative Officers’. They gave emphasis on the importance of good governance in acquiring sustainable growth; the elements of growth which includes financial viability, operational efficiency, quality products and services, business competitive positioning, member and employee satisfaction, discipline and empowerment, good public image, and well-defined management structure. Good Governance works by mastering awareness of the Authority, Responsibility, and Accountability. Teamwork effects performance and works wonder among and between officers and management team which ultimate goal is to serve the general assembly, the member-owners of the cooperative.

The activity formally ended with a closing remark by the Regional Director Monatao Honeya R. Alawi. The 4-day training was attended by a total of One Thousand Ninety (1,090) participants for Fundamentals of Cooperative and One Thousand Three Hundred Ninety (1,390) participants for Governance and Management of Cooperatives, from cooperatives all over the region. ********