As many crumbled to the debilitating effect of the deadly Corona Virus 2019 that paralyzed the entire country, the cooperative sector also felt its effect, immobilizing the operations into a standstill, thus rendering loss of income, unemployment and loss of hope to members. If big companies have to trim operations, how much more for a striving cooperative which has limited resources? It can blow a long, painful setback, worse, cease operations which is the primary source of income for cooperative members and consumers.
The eruption of Taal Volcano in the advent of 2020 is the first major blow that temporarily inflicted damages in the province of Batangas, particularly the surrounding premises of the volcano. In the 3rd district of Batangas, one cooperative riding to its name, Ibabao MPC which means “On Top” in local parlance, anchoring to the 2020 COOPERATIVE THEME “COOPERATIVES AMIDST THE PANDEMIC, STAND FOR RESILIENCY, STRIVE FOR SUSTAINABILITY” thrives to fly high in times of challenges.
Hence, true to its foundational doctrine of Community Service as inscribed in the seven principles of the cooperatives, Ibabao MPC provided a haven to displaced residents by financially assisting families, relocating evacuees in a nearby school, and providing food packs as immediate relief to the affected families in augmentation of the services provided by the LGU.
In just a span of a single month, another blow came uninvited, just as the effect of the nature’s wrath is receded, here comes the more deadly COVID 19 virus that became a pandemic in just a short period of time. Again, true to its cooperative principle, Ibabao MPC embraced the pandemic with resiliency, providing its 580 members with rice and groceries as well as financial assistance windows to cushion the impact of the quarantine situation.
Nevertheless, it again adopted fifty indigent families outside of its membership to its fold and provided basic commodities, such as rice and canned goods. Frontliners, at the forefront in the combat against the virus were also given rice and groceries.
HISTORY OF IBABAO MPC
Ibabao MPC was before known as Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Damdamin and a majority of the members were all coconut planters in Ibabao, Cuenca, Batangas.
October 01, 1992, when it was registered as Ibabao Multi-Purpose at the CDA office in Calamba, Laguna thru the help of Mr. Pepe Molina of the Philippine Coconut Authority. It was headed by Mr. Ramon M. Aguila Sr. as the Chairman and Nestor D. Aguila as the Vice-Chairman. They started by 15 Regular Members with an initial capital of P15,000.00.
The businesses of Ibabao MPC were Hog Fattening, Hog Breeding, and Cattle Fattening. Hogs being raised by the members were marketed to Cuenca Public Market. Ibabao MPC gained income and the basis was the Financial Statement of 1993. They acquired another Meat Stall at the Alitagtag Public Market and they decided to acquire a building which they borrowed from Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), for the Cooperative to have an Office.
It is in the year 1994 when problems started. The FMD virus attacked the hogs being raised by the members. They were obliged to sell raised hogs at low prices. Their loan amortization to LBP could not be paid on time, monitoring of the businesses by the Key Officers was neglected. Instead of Daily Selling of meat to Cuenca Public Market, selling became every other day and later twice a week. Recording of receivables was not updated and even payment to LBP was not updated due to lack of monitoring.
Loss of confidence of almost all members of IMPC to the Management Staff and even to members of the Board became the biggest problem of the Cooperative. They stopped patronizing the services of the Cooperative. Sadly, it is a fact that the life of every Cooperative lies from the members’ support.
But the Board, headed by Mr. Ramon M. Aguila and Vice-Chairman Nestor D. Aguila, with the new set of BODs, namely, Rev. Abner E. Aguila, Rudy M. Loria, Wilfredo Carandang, Vicente L. Chavez Jr., and Vicente Limbo were not deterred and acted with faith. They continued the operation of the Cooperative and hired a new Management Staff headed by Mrs. Arminda Pasia as the Manager.
At first, it was very hard for Ibabao MPC to gain back the members’ support. But the opening of other businesses, such as Credit & Savings (MSO), with the help of the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) Account Officer in the name of Divina O. Simangan in September 1996, became an eye opener to the people of Ibabao that IMPC can again be viable. The cooperative started to achieve its goal. Later, in December of the same year, they opened a Consumer Store which added more profit for the cooperative. From showed courage and determination of the Officers, the members learned to love and support the Cooperative. They also realized that Ibabao MPC was owned, governed, and patronized by all members.
At present, IMPChasvarious benefits given to members, such as:
- Educational Aid –P7,000.00 per scholar per year, with five scholars at present,
- Burial Aid –P1,500.00.
The cooperative started to help its community by sponsoring Seminars on Food Processing that were attended not only by the people of Ibabao but also from nearby Barrios.
Ibabao MPC also valued the cooperative Principle – Cooperation among Cooperatives and is a member of the Cooperative Union of Batangas and the Natcco Federation.
November 2009 when the cooperative received a Certificate of Recognition from the Province of Batangas for Valuable Membership Impact in terms of Multi-Business Practices.
IMPC also received other recognitions, such as:
1. 2018 -3rd placer for the Most Outstanding Cooperative in the Province of Batangas
2. 2019 – The first Cooperative in the province who comply for CIC at the same time 3rd Placer for the Most Outstanding Manager (Arminda P. Carandang) in the province of Batangas
3. 2020- 5th Placer for TOP 10 MAGITING award in the province of Batangas for facing Pandemic.
Just like an eagle, quoting from the phrase of Indian Poet Abdul Kalam,
“All birds find shelter during a rain. But an eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds. Problems are common, but ATTITUDE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.”
Arminda Pasia Carandang
Manager – Ibabao MPC
Nelson C. Labio