R7-Connecting the Dots

By Gracia Nenita B. Banogon, CDS II

Southern Negros Agri-Fisheries Multi Purpose Cooperative (SONAMCO), a forty-six hectares’ fishpond located at Sumaliring, Siaton, Negros Oriental, used to send tons of shrimps to Manila weekly via commercial air freight.

COVID-19 pandemic posed a big challenge to the cooperative. On April 4, 2020, the manager, Mr. Juventud V. Chavez reported to CDS II Ms. Gracia Nenita Banogon, while monitoring the agriculture cooperative. The cooperative has 33 tons of shrimps ready for market and commercial flights were unavailable. They tried seaborne freight which entailed longer days and presumably affecting the product quality and the sales.

By connecting the dots, CDA-7 mobilized the cooperatives in Dumaguete City, the various cooperative development councils headed by the Provincial Cooperative Development Council of Negros Oriental, and the support of NEDA-7 with DTI networks in the province, forecasted lost of livelihood of the members and negative income for the cooperative were overcome.

Latest data released by the cooperative on May 4, 2020, the estimated sales amounted to P7,893,600.00 for the 33,000 kilos.

The network established amidst the Enhanced Community Quarantine(ECQ) found a way to help other cooperatives. The Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental bought Php10,000.00 worth of shrimps and donated to Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital Credit Cooperative(NOPHCCO), members of which, are the personnel of the provincial hospital. The NOPHCCO receiving the donation sold the shrimps to the members and added the proceeds to the existing CDF budget for purchase of N95 facemasks for donation to the personnel medical facility.

COVID-19 ECQ extracted the best talent and opportunities to help one another, bannering the spirit of cooperation as expressly pronounced in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The livelihood of the fisherfolks and the members of SONAMCO continues and the supply of agri-product is sustained and will continue for the next quarter with the incoming production of 40 tons.

Cooperatives served as marketing channels including individuals to save the forecasted loss of SONAMCO and responded immediately to the call o fCDA are as follows:

Perpetual Help Community Cooperative, DCCCO Multipurpose Cooperative, Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental, PFCCO-Visayas, NORECO II Employees Credit Cooperative, Silliman University Community Cooperative, Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital Credit and Consumers Cooperative, Bacong Small Coconut Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative ,Dr. Profetiza S. Lim, Mr. Cliffordson T. Lariosa, Mrs. Flordeliz V. Bokingkito, Atty. Gloria G. Futalan, Mr. Reynaldo B. Gomez, Mrs. Emma S. Dela Cerna, Mr. Vincent Farole, Mr. Kairos C. Lasta

More challenges are stored ahead with the on-going general community quarantine condition, but the cooperative spirit proves to surpass all odds.