By: Jeffrey D. Raya, CDS II

Guinhalinan, Javier, Barobo, Surigao del Sur -- Prior to the organization of NAGKAHIUSANG MAG-UUMA SA GUINHALINAN COOPERATIVE (NAGMASAGUICO), the Guinhalinan Irrigators and Farmers Cooperative (GIFCO) already existed. GIFCO’s membership was exclusive to family members which hindered outsiders to access its services.  Guinhalinan residents are mostly rice farmers and the lack of post – harvest facilities limits production. Transporting harvested products to neighboring barangays entail cost but the farmers are given no choice just to have income and to bring-in food for their families.

To address the necessity of a solar dryer for use by everyone was one of the aspirations that triggered the founding and organization of NAGMASAGUICO. A group composed of 15 farmers initiated its creation with the purpose of addressing the need to increase production (harvest) at a reduced cost. The group pooled their resources and was able to raise fifteen thousand pesos (P 15,000.00). Since this beginning capital was not enough they explored other opportunities. The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) offered funding possibilities but required them organizational legitimacy. Thus, on October 22, 1999 the NAGKAHIUSANG MAG-UUMA SA GUINHALINAN COOPERATIVE was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) with registration number 9520-1300318.

Then newly registered coop was granted an amount of sixty thousand pesos (P 60,000.00), the total fund for the establishment of their long desired solar dryer.

But their lack of capital continued to hamper business operation, as production grew the need for more capital was consequently felt. The cooperative failed to deliver their products and services to the community with regularity. Fortunately, through the assistance of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Agriculture (DA), the cooperative was introduced to National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), a federation of primary cooperatives.

In 2010, the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Guinhalinan Cooperative (NAGMASAGUICO) signed a memorandum of Partnership Agreement with NATCCO, to borrow funds in a form of interest-bearing loans at 13% per annum. With that leeway in terms of funds, the cooperative expanded its services to the greater majority of the population in the municipality.

However, coop operation did not immediately go smoothly, there were ups and downs. Actually, the decision to widen its coverage initially brought a series of misfortunes to the cooperative. From year 2010 to 2016, the cooperative incurred losses due to high delinquency rate.  On the positive side, 2012 was an exception when it first earned Php 141,972.67 total net surplus.

The tide had turned, in the following years, the cooperative would recover.  Year 2017 earning was Php 103,314.62, in 2018 was Php 620,743.59, and Php 670,062.79 in the year 2019. With this progress, the cooperative employed 7 regular employees enjoying full benefits -- SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig and Life Insurance.

The year 2020 was a remarkable year for the cooperative due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, delivery of its products and services to the members never stopped. It even transferred to a new office which boosted their confidence but this move affected the income for that year.

By May 2021 the coop was able to gain a surplus of Php 218,276.68, with a share capital of Php 4.9M, a total asset of Php 11M, and total membership of 1,908 cooperators. Just recently, it offers new services, such as-- loan products, savings deposit and Insurances.

NAGMASAGUICO is dedicated to its mission of ensuring the sustainability of the cooperative and giving quality service to its members. The goal is the attainment of economic development and social justice by transforming the lives of its members. Cooperative activities are not limited to the following:
  1. Regular conduct of Pre-Membership Education (twice a week);
  2. Regular conduct of loan orientation/financial management (twice a week);
  3. Participates in community celebrations such as Fiesta and Araw ng Barobo;
  4. Participates in community – related activities such as tree planting,  providing food to front liners at this time of pandemic;
  5. Holds educational activities for members during General Assembly meeting;
  6. Linkage and partnership such as the on-going LINKSFARM project with Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR);
  7. Other activities such as provision of grocery packs to members or free blood pressure check during General Assembly meetings and/or anniversary celebrations.
NAGMASAGUICO aims to uplift the lives of its members through financial help but the greatest achievement this far is the transformation it brought to the lives of its members. This transforming process sustains and empowers the cooperative! And this effect when continued will surely redound to the whole Guinhalinan Community.