Malikhain St., Cor Mahusay St., Diosdado
Macapagal Government Center
Brgy. Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Pampanga



November 23, 2020 was a day worth remembering as this marked the first forum for the Education, Advocacy and Union Cluster led by Asst. Secretary Abdulsalam Guinomla. Participants from Regions I, II, III and CAR attended the much-awaited forum via Zoom platform.

The program began at 9:00 in the morning with a prayer and followed by the singing of the National Anthem and reciting of the Cooperative Pledge.

The forum was made more inviting with the Welcome Remarks of Executive Director Ray R. Elevazo; thereafter, CDS II of CDA Regional Office I Fiona Bianca Cuenca, as emcee, heartily acknowledged the participants. Acting Chief of CPDAD Cherry Reyes also made a brief orientation on the Objectives and Rationale of the activity. In his inspiring Message, Asec. Guinomla undertook to challenge cooperatives to perform the role of advocating cooperativism and promoting awareness regarding cooperatives.

Atty. Frederick Joe N. Robles, Attorney IV of CDA-Head Office, started his presentation by showing a video of people in Quezon City being interviewed to determine the awareness level about cooperatives and the cooperative movement. Based on the survey, the total number of respondents that have enough information about cooperative was 8%; the total number of respondents that have little information about cooperative was 14%; and, the total number of respondents that don’t have knowledge about cooperative was 39 %. Hence, he presented the Opportunities of the Education and the Unions on the following areas: ASEAN Institute of Cooperative Management (Leadership and Management School for Cooperatives); Promotional Activities; Strengthening and Expansion of the business; Strategies and Mechanism to strengthen the Education and Advocacy Cooperatives; Collaboration of EAU for the promotion, development and advancement of the cooperatives’ benefits and welfare in the local and national level; and, Party-List Representative. Furthermore, Atty. Robles also tackled the Representation of the Education and Advocacy Cooperatives to the following: Regional Clustered Organization; Sectoral Apex Organization; and, National Alliance of Cooperatives.

At about 11:00 AM, the open forum began with Atty. Katherine F. Ellorin, Legal Officer of Regional Office III, as the moderator. Questions were posed, while insights and suggestions were elaborated for a more fruitful discussion. The forum was smoothly conducted as the panelists composed of Asec. Guinomla, Atty. Robles, the Directors of Regions I, II, III and CAR; and, CRITD Chief Melissa Santos and Regulation Division Supervising CDS Sally Trinanes of the CDA-Head Office diligently addressed all the concerns and answered the questions of the participants. At noon, the open forum for the morning session ended.

In the afternoon, Ms. Cuenca warmly welcomed the participants for the continuation of the program. At the outset, Atty. Robles discussed about Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-23 Guidelines Governing the Registration and Operation of Cooperative Unions for one hour. Ms. Trinanes, began by presenting MC No. 2020-01 Amending Transitory Provision of MC No. 2019-08 Entitled “Policy Guidelines Governing the Allocation, Utilization and Remittance of the CETF”.

The open forum for the afternoon session was moderated again by Atty. Ellorin. The forum was well-participated as issues of the cooperatives were raised relating to the presentations. During the discourse, questions were raised and opinions and insights of the participants were well-taken. The panelists faithfully replied to all the queries of the attendees and even made recommendations for the gainful operations of the cooperatives.

All’s well that ends well. Thus, for the Closing Remarks, Dir. Marieta P. Hwang of Regional Office III officially ended the program at 4:00 PM.

Truly, the event was at its finest, notwithstanding, this predicament that humanity is now facing which has made us pivot from a business as usual to a virtual setting so that we can continue to reach out with the cooperatives.

Prepared by:
Atty. Katherine F. Ellorin
Chief, Legal Section CDA-RO III