5000 to 9-figures: The story of AUF MPC
With the heart to look out for the staff of Angeles University Foundation from usury, the Angeles University Foundation Credit Cooperative Inc. (AUF-CCI) was birthed into reality in 1981 with the seed money of 5000 pesos from the initiative of the then University President, Dr. Emmanuel Y. Angeles along with thirty-three (33) AUF personnel as the pioneer members.
Forty (40) years later AUF CCI, now AUF-MPC, was able to scale from an institutional cooperative to a residential cooperative who could operate in the entirety of Region 3 with, a 9-figure asset size. Through the futuristic vision of its management and board of directors, AUF MPC managed to secure partnerships with Landbank, Cloudstaff Smarter Outsourcing, and Republic Central Colleges (RCC) to cater and reach more members. This success story is far from sheer luck as it took a whole lot of leadership, innovation and risk-taking to do so. Inspiring it is to look back on the growth of the cooperative that started inside of the Angeles University Foundation.
In an interview, Mrs. Gina Cayanan, AUF-MPC Manager, recalled how the cooperative used to move locations in multiple instances owing to the fact that they do not have an office of their own. However, with the mindset of growth and the vision of then chairman Mr. Laureano Santos, the AUF-MPC took a leap of faith to move outside of the four corners of the institution and the rest was history.
To date, the cooperative own 5 lot areas, 4 buildings, 3 of which are dormitories, 1 being a training center, van rental services, and a water refilling station. Despite already operating in this scale, the AUF-MPC was not spared from the business environment shocks the pandemic has caused. The restrictions brought about by COVID-19 gave rise to travel bans, temporary closure of schools, quarantines, and lockdowns which affected the cooperative’s bread and butter; their credit programs and dormitory businesses. Be that as it may, this adversity highlighted even more the cooperative’s heart and core. According to Mrs. Cayanan, during the pandemic, although revenue is still an essential part, the cooperative’s thinking is no longer focused on earnings, but in helping its members.
During the height of the pandemic, the cooperative was able to mobilize impact projects through their community development fund which provided photocopy machines for schools, school supplies for students and the likes. The cooperative was also able to provide a special calamity loan for its members with 0.05% interest with 3 months’ moratorium and has suspended salary deduction for 5 months. On top of this, the AUF-MPC also decreased dormitory rent from 5500 to 3500 pesos in an attempt of easing the struggles of students, parents, and workers living in the area as jobs were scarce, and salaries were reduced.
AUF-MPC truly embodies how cooperatives should be – from the members and for the members. But these are not the only things admirable from AUF-MPC. During the pandemic, the cooperative was also quick to adapt to the virtual and online set-up with their very own website from which the members could access news, announcements, business linkages, credit details, loan calculator and other helpful information. The cooperative also transitioned from their automated election process (for the officers of elective position) to purely online to make things convenient, safe, and easy for their members.
With this type of vision, compassion, management, and adaptability, it is without a doubt how 5000 pesos share capital to 9-figure assets now was possible for the Angeles University Foundation Multipurpose Cooperative, and this is possible for other cooperatives as well.
Prepared by Krisha Bal Krishen