Shaping Future-Ready Cooperatives

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Caraga Extension Office successfully conducted the Consumers, Marketing, Producers and Logistics (CMPL) Cooperatives Cluster Regional Convention in San Jose, Province of Dinagat Islands on May 6-7, 2024 and was attended by the Caraga Regional Clustered Organization (RCO) CMPL Officers, cooperative leaders and cooperative representatives from the five (5) provinces (Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and the host Province of Dinagat Islands).

Aligning the cooperatives’ sustainability goals was among the event discussions. Professor Andy Nestor Ryan Pazon, the Vice President of the Sectoral Apex Organization (SAO) CMPL together with Nestor P. Carlon, Jr., Treasurer, in the plenary sessions, highlighted that cooperatives must in one way or should innovate to cope with the challenges of the sector, especially the CMPL Cooperatives. Also, the SAO informed the participants as to the achievements of the CMPL Cluster in the limelight as a consultative body representing CMPL to the National Alliance of Cooperatives (NAC).

Emphasized in the activity was the Orientation in Implementing CDA Projects significantly the Micro & Small CMPL Cooperatives Start-Up Livelihood Assistance and the Capability Enhancement of Micro Agriculture Cooperatives. The proposed beneficiaries who attended the event were encouraged to maximize the project to restart their businesses after the unprecedented halt due to the worldwide pandemic and typhoon Odette that struck Dinagat Islands and the neighboring provinces.

The Local Government Unit of San Jose as the host municipality also showed support in the gathering. The Municipal Mayor Hon. Yngwie Hero B. Ecleo together with Vice Mayor Hon. Ruben J D. Zuniega delivered their inspiring messages to the cooperative leaders of the strength in partnership and cooperativism the sector has built and will continually build in the future. Mayor Ecleo also added that it is San Jose privilege to host the event hence the Caraga RCO-CMPL President Mr. Jernie A. Cabusog is a current cooperative leader in the locality.

Messages of support overflowed from CDA Caraga Regional Director Monatao Honeya R. Alawi, CDA Board Member III and Head of CMPL Cluster Assistant Secretary Datu Pendatun B. Disimban and CDA Chairman Undersecretary Joseph B. Encabo that stirred the cooperatives to remain and advocate the identity the sector has. In addition, the Provincial Government of Dinagat Islands through the PCDO and RCDC Chairperson Mr. Alvin B. Dela Cruz gave a message of support to the participants recognizing the vital role CDOs play in the promotion of cooperatives’ sustainability. The City Cooperative Development Officer of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur Lorna L. Novo was also present, manifesting strong support for the cluster.

The activity concluded with an educational tour of the World War II warship replica IJN Yamashiro which also served as the Governor Office of Dinagat Islands and the PBMA Founder (Ruben E. Ecleo, Sr.) The shrine shows significant symbolism and inspiration in cooperativism throughout the history of Dinagat Islands.