This is the story behind the creation of PLDC. It is also the story of the formation of the first Large Cooperative in the island province of Catanduanes. Above all, it is the story of the dreams of the founders for a cooperative through which members might better the conditions of themselves as well as the community. It is the story of how Catanduanganons worked with each other to turn those dreams into a reality.
Pinoy Lingap Damayan Multipurpose Cooperative or PDC is a story of the true essence of ‘damayan’ – lifting others while others lift you up. In 2010, a group of passionate and dedicated group of individuals, all inspired to help in levelling up the living of Catandunganons, founded a cooperative. True to the mantra of the group, the group crafted the cooperative’s By-Laws and Article of Cooperation giving birth to People’s Livelihood Development Cooperative or PLDC – its first name. With just P 176,000 capital, PLDC was registered and had its first loan members and release of loans. With only few members coming from the municipalities of Virac and Bato, PLDC was able to hold its first general assembly thus, electing its first set of Board of Directors on August 18, 2010. The same group of passionate and dedicated individuals behind PLDC’s establishment, now known as the founding cooperators of PLDC, worked harder above and beyond what is expected of them even without overtime payments nor extra pay. The mindset is to strengthen the cooperative’s foundation sustaining its goal and mantra – help alleviate the living of those who need it; lifting each other up.
In 2011, People’s Livelihood Development Cooperative revamped its name into Pinoy Lingap Damayan Credit Cooperative, still known as PLDC. With the same fervor and dedication of the founding cooperators, members from the municipalities of San Andres and San Miguel were added. In just a span of one year, PLDC received its first award as one of the 100 Cooperative Top Grosser by Cooperative Development Authority in Naga.
That recognition fueled the already burning fire of passion in the hearts and minds of the people behind PLDC. Thus, in 2012, PLDC extended its passion to help to the municipalities of Baras and Gigmoto adding to its growing number of members. It was also the same year that PLDC’s head office, Virac Satellite Office and Bato Satellite Office were opened providing easier access and adding comfort to its members.
In 2013, PLDC grew exponentially which was evident during its 3rd Annual General Assembly leading the cooperative to adapt the system of Representative Assembly. Because of this, the first District Representative Assembly were held in the municipalities of Bato, San Miguel, San Andres, Baras, and Gigmoto.
In 2014, the first ever Annual Representative Assembly Meeting was held. The progress and innovation did not stop in the exponential number of members but also in PLDC’s wise investments. In that same year, PLDC was able to purchase a house and lot in Viga which eventually turned into PLDC’s Viga Satellite Office. The same fervor and dedication of PLDC’s management was applied in recruiting members from the three municipalities near its newly-opened satellite office. More members from the municipalities of Viga, Payo, and Bagamanoc were added to the already huge number of PLDC members.
In just four years, PLDC has proven to be strong and stable because it holds its anchor to the truest sense of Lingap-Damayan. PLDC did not stop from expanding; it did not stop from being a cooperative alone but the people behind PLDC knew there could be so much more help that PLDC can do. Thus, in 2015, PDLC ventured the world of Abaca Trading being one of the main sources of income in the province. PLDC felt that help is needed by the beloved Catandunganon abaca farmers and it did not turn a blind eye.
It was also that same year that PLDC was able to purchase more assets and properties including the building and lot at the Airport Site, and a lot in Sipi, Bato where the Abaca Trading’s site will be established. PLDC also rented a place that served as the satellite office in Pandan for easy access to those members living from and near this area.
When the World Bank through the PRDP heard of PLDC’s venture in Abaca Trading in 2016, they extended their support and assistance giving PLDC the confidence to go full blast in the Abaca Trading. That same year, PLDC ‘s efforts were recognized several times through different awards: Cooperative Top Grosser, Examplary Award from DTI, the prestigious Regional Gawad Saka Award from the Department of Agriculture, and the highly esteemed Gawad Pitak Award from the Landbank of the Philippines.
The awards and recognition did not stop there. In 2017, PLDC was recognized in the Senate as 1st Runner Up in the Gawad Pitak Award from Landbank of the Philippines with the Chairman of the Board of Director Anita Tasarra, General Manager Antonio Jimenez, Jr. and the rest of the crew receiving the award at the Senate. It was the desire to support and help the Abaca farmers in the province that drives PLDC to continue in the Abaca Trading despite the difficult challenges that lies ahead. Thus, more recognitions were given to PLDC including that of the Villar Sipag Award, Special Awards from Cooperative Development Authority, recognition from the Congressional Office as well as from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Catanduanes. More so, financial and technical assistance from Agricultural Credit Policy Council from the Department of Agriculture were also given to PLDC being a cooperative pursuing a vision that will truly help the beloved Catandunganons.
PLDC is not a story of smooth ride to success but also bumps and humps along the way. One of which is the global pandemic which truly hurt almost everyone. But PLDC’s wise strategy, honest accountability, and strong dedication to its mantra of damayan enabled the cooperative’s stability and strength despite strong blow of the pandemic. It was also through the help of other agencies that PLDC was able to stand strong and proud amidst the hurting lashes of the COVID Pandemic.
As of the time of this writing, PLDC is composed of over 12,000 members, over 110 staff, over 400 Million Pesos of assets, and will continue to grow. PLDC stands true to the essence of its name – Pinoy na naglilingap at nagdadamayan. PLDC lifted others while others lifted PLDC, thus, PLDC’s success is the success of everyone.