by JON ANDREI EMMANUEL O. BANDAY, CDS II/Protocol Officer and MR. RICHARD P. NABUA, LPT, EA II/PIO of BISCAST
Naga City – Assistant Secretary Abdulsalam A. Guinomla, Board Member III of Cooperative Development Authority arrived in the evening of May 22, 2023 at Naga City to spearhead the exploratory talk with Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology, and with Local Government Unit of Naga.
A warm welcome was given by LGU Naga by hosting a dinner for Asec Guinomla on his first night in the city. Councilor Ghiel G. Rosales together with the Secretary to the Mayor, Atty. Paul John Barrosa, and the City Cooperatives Development Officer, Mr. John Paul Buendia was present during the dinner.The D-Day for exploratory talk kicked off with a meeting held at Naga City Hall, with Mayor Nelson S. Legacion. Asec. Guinomla personally expressed his gratitude over the recently donated lot by the city government to CDA. Various talking points centered on cooperative development were also discussed.Immediately after meeting the city mayor, the CDA Board Member was invited to proceed at the Session Hall of Sangguniang Panlungsod where a session is ongoing. Through a motion of Councilor Lito Del Rosario, the CDA Board Member was acknowledged and was allocated a time for privilege speech. Asec. Guinomla cited the mandate of CDA and SUCs as stated in Section 19 of RA 11364, to have a strong collaboration and partnership. He also mentioned the remarkable number of cooperatives spread all over the city and thanked the city government for its unwavering support.Prior to the main event of his visit, Asec Guinomla addressed the personnel of CDA Region 5 Extension Office. He delivered several news regarding the Education and Advocacy Cluster, along with other salient plans and programs of the CDA Board of Directors under the leadership of Undersecretary Joseph B. Encabo.On the 11th hour of May 23, 2023, the exploratory meeting held at Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology (BISCAST) marked a significant step towards establishing a Cooperative Development Program. The meeting, held at the BISCAST Conference Room, brought together esteemed guests and delegates from the Cooperative Development Authority, Naga City Cooperative Development Council, and Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with college officials of BISCAST.The meeting commenced with a vibrant festival performance by the BISCAST Cultural Group, followed by a warm welcome extended by the BISCAST Powerhouse Team, led by College President Dr. Alex H. Navarroza, who emphasized the importance of this collaboration. Dr. Navarroza acknowledged the significant role cooperatives play in uplifting communities and empowering individuals, and he expressed his belief that this joint effort would foster a thriving cooperative sector, contributing to sustainable development and economic progress.CDA Board Member Asec. Abdulsalam A. Guinomla further inspired the participants with his assurances of the invaluable support that CDA would provide throughout this initiative. He emphasized the importance of this partnership, which he believed would have a lasting impact on the lives and futures of numerous individuals.Atty. Emilio D. Escueta III, the CDA Region 5 OIC-Director, provided an overview of the establishment of the Cooperative Development Program, setting the stage for further discussions and planning. Distinguished speakers, including Ms. Annabelle Tuy from the Education Advocacy Union Cluster for Cooperatives, Secretary of Sectoral APEX Organization, and Ms. Ma. Daisy G. Geolin, Chairperson of the Naga City Cooperative Development Council, shared their experiences and insights, highlighting the significance of cooperative partnerships in their respective institutions and regions.Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jake M. Laguador, and Professor Ana Sheryl Lynn S. Catura responded on behalf of BISCAST, expressing their enthusiasm for the proposed program. They emphasized the feasibility of integrating cooperativism into the existing curriculum, specifically within the elective courses of the general education program. They envisioned Cooperative Management becoming a specialization within Entrepreneurship for the long-term sustainability of the Cooperative Development Program. Additionally, they mentioned the possibility of offering a stand-alone degree program, such as a Bachelor of Science in Cooperative Management, if deemed viable.
The discussions among the delegates from CDA, NCCDC, CSCCI, and the BISCAST powerhouse team proved fruitful and productive. The ideas and suggestions presented during the meeting will be taken into consideration when crafting the Memorandum of Agreement, to be drafted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as BISCAST, CDA, and NCCDC prepare to forge their tripartite partnership.
After the highly productive discussion, the delegates had the opportunity to visit BISCAST’s Shared Service Facilities, which showcased potential avenues for cooperativism. Led by knowledgeable guides from BISCAST, the delegates were given a comprehensive tour of the facilities, highlighting how these resources could be leveraged to support cooperative enterprises.The visit to the Shared Service Facilities not only showcased BISCAST’s commitment to fostering cooperativism but also provided the delegates with a tangible vision of how cooperative enterprises can thrive within the institution. It served as an inspiring and informative experience, strengthening the delegates’ resolve to support and promote cooperative development in their respective organizations and communities.
The establishment of the Cooperative Development Program at BISCAST holds great promise for promoting cooperative values and practices within the institution and the broader community. With the collective efforts and commitment demonstrated during the exploratory meeting, this initiative is poised to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and contribute to the region’s socioeconomic growth.