“Salamat ha iyo!” the simple yet sincerest thank you uttered by the almost fifty (50) elderlies and PWDs cooperative members who joined the first-ever conduct of the “Coop Shares for Elderlies and PWDs”, on October 25, 2023 at the 2nd Floor Robinsons North Abucay, Tacloban City.

This is one of the significant and inspiring activities lined up for CDA Region VIII month-long celebration of the 2023 National Cooperative Month. The event was spearheaded by the Cooperative Project Development Assistance Section (CPDAS) of the CDA Region VIII Office, in collaboration with the Tacloban City Cooperative Development and Livelihood Assistance Office (TCCDLAO), and the Community Livelihood and Extension Program (CLEP) of the City Government of Tacloban. Cooperatives such as Perpetual Help Multipurpose Cooperative (PHCCI MPC-Tacloban), Allen Municipal Officials, Employees and Communities Multipurpose Cooperative (AMOEC MPC), ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative, PASAR Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PEMC), Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus Consumers Cooperative (PSHS-EVC CC), and private organizations namely Robinsons North Tacloban, Robinsons Supermarket Corporation (RSC), PHILUSA Corporation, and Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc. likewise supported the initiative and their involvement towards the success of the activity was greatly recognized and appreciated.

During the program, CDA RO VIII’s Senior CDS of the Cooperative Project and Development Assistance Section (CPDAS), Rowan L. Delos Santos welcomed the guests and participants, beaming spotlight on the specific group we hold dear – the elderlies, who mostly are cooperative pioneers, and the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), who have indeed equally participated in the cooperative sector and in the society. Acting Assistant Regional Director Maripaz M. del Pilar gave a powerful message of support to continue the legacy that the elderlies and PWDs in the cooperative sector have established. Likewise, Ms. Ruena Mate of CCDLAO and Ms. Elizabeth Pretencio of PHCCI-MPC, expressed their appreciation to the generous partners and the Wellness Professionals who have come forward to share their expertise to support this initiative. To conclude the program, Senior CDS of the Cooperative Research, Information and Training Section (CRITS), Jordan A. Madjus conveyed in high spirits that we shall all look forward to future activities and collaborations of CDA and partner agencies for the benefit of cooperatives.

Highlights of the event were the smiles on the faces of the participants from the cooperatives of the province of Leyte enjoying free services such as Haircut, Massage, Nail care, Eye consultation, Medical consultation, and Legal consultation. Likewise, the collaborative efforts of the CDA RO VIII and its esteemed partner agencies/cooperatives shined as they were able to raise giveaways such as hygiene kits, bread, canned goods, coop shirts and tote bags for the Elderlies and PWDs in the cooperative sector as simple appreciation for their dedication and hard work through the years in their respective cooperatives and to the whole cooperative movement.

The CDA RO VIII shows certainty in continuing its advocacy for collaboration amongst its stakeholders to ensure an enabling, caring, and reassuring environment for our ever-resilient society. Indeed, “for Cooperatives, we partner, we share.”