“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest”-Simon Sinek Baclaran, Paranaque.
The Baclaran Vendors Development Cooperative (BVDC) despite the ECQ still provides services to its members to help them cope with the difficulties brought about by this health crisis. Below are the activities which the cooperative undertook:
1. TWO (2) MONTHS PAYMENT HOLIDAY FOR ALL TYPE OF LOANS (MARCH AND APRIL 2020). After the President of the Republic of the Philippines announced the Proclamation No. 922, DECLARING THE STATE OF HEALTH EMERGENCY, on March 17, BVDC announces to all of its members that the cooperative will implement the 2-month payment holiday without imposing interest, fines and penalties for the month of March and April, 2020 and subjects to extension depending on the economic conditions after Enhanced Community Quarantine is lifted. The main purpose of it, is for the members to have available cash for their essential needs during the lockdown period. For those members whose businesses are not affected or has enough essentials, they can revolve their capital instead of paying or applying for business loan.
2. NO RENTAL FEES TO ALL BVDC STALL TENANTS FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MARCH, 2020 AND DURING THE TEMPORARY CLOSE OF MARKET UPON ORDER OF THE GOVERNMENT. Even before the effectivity of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, BVDC provided relief of non-payment of rentals to all of its stall holder for the entire month of March, 2020 while the market is still closed due to the lockdown.
3. IMPLEMENT THE SKELETAL WORK FORCE AND TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THE WHOLE OPERATION OF ALL SATELLITE OFFICES Effective March 16, 2020, the BVDC Operation is being manned by a skeletal force with services limited to Savings Withdrawal only. The coop implemented the social distancing and other protocols in its Office operation. All Management Staff who don’t reside near the Main Office were excused from reporting to office for their safety. Only employees who reside within the area (walking distance) were allowed to report for work to do skeletal task. Members who wish to withdraw from their savings but unable to come to the Main Office because of lockdown are being accommodated thru Online and money transfer transactions.
4. CONTINUOUS COMMUNICATION TO ALL MEMBERS TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE SAFE AND TO ADDRESS THEIR CONCERNS AND NEEDS Because of the lockdown, continuous communication with members is important. The members appreciated the fact that the cooperative is concerned with their status wherever they are during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, and that their needs and immediate concerns are being attended to. It shows that the coop really cares, in good and in bad times.
5. REMOTE SAVINGS WITHDRAWAL OF MEMBERS Members who wish to withdraw from their Savings Deposit but unable to withdraw over the counter because of lockdown were accommodated by remote savings withdrawal. Remote Savings Withdrawal means that members can request through electronic communications by sending their written instructions that include, but not limited to the amount and where to transfer their withdrawals (like Smart Padala, Cebuana, Palawan Express and ATMs’ nearest their area).
6. EARLY RELEASE OF ISCPR Days after the Authority allowed the early release of ISCPR, BVDC started to release the Php 14.6 Million ISCPR to its members. The early release will be a great help to the essential needs of members especially for those who are not financially prepared on the effect of this pandemic. Members can claim their ISCPR thru the following means: a. Over the Counter Members can claim their ISCPR in the cooperative office per appointment. This is to observe the social distancing requirements and to accommodate members depending on their availability due to their limited time and movement because of lockdown. b. Remote Claim This procedure is for the members who are unable to come to the office because of the lockdown. They can request the claim through the use of electronic communication and then the cooperative will send it through the money transfer of their choice.
7. RICE SUBSIDY FOR MEMBERS The cooperative provided 1 sack of rice (25 kilos) for Regular Members and 10 Kilos for Associate Members who are in dire need of help. The coop adopts the system or the principle of equity in the distribution of the subsidy. The coop categorized its member into 3 and based it on their financial capacity to survive during these trying times. The first group or category 1 is for members who have minimal savings and patronage refund that can support their essential needs for 30 days from the start of lockdown. The second group or category 2 is for members who have savings and patronage refund that can support their essential needs for 31-60 days from the start of lockdown and the last group or the category 3 is for the members who have savings and patronage refund that can support their essential needs for more than 2 months up to 4 months or more and for those members whose income were not affected by the lockdown. MANAGEMENT OF THE RESOURCES OF THE COOP AND MEMBERS AND THE IMPLEMENTATION The first wave of distribution of subsidy started 20 days from the date of the implementation of the lockdown and only members who are in category 1 benefited from it. The second wave of distribution was done 45 days after the implementation of the lockdown to members who are in category 2 and 1. The third wave of distribution was given 61 days after the implementation of the lockdown to all members. BVDC used this approach for members to utilize first their resources and for them to realize the importance of having reserves in times of emergency. And for members to experience the hardship of surviving not relying from the effort of others (self-help and not relief). Another strategy is to distribute only to those who are requesting for it. They continuously monitor their members to know who are in dire need of help.
8. BAYANIHAN ACT DONATION CAMPAIGN-THE COOPERATIVE WAY The fund collected from this activity was used as part of Rice Subsidy to members and other essential needs like milk for babies and vitamins for the elders.
9. MOTIVATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT TO MEMBERS Part of the Work from Home activities of the staff is to educate and motivate the members thru electronic means. Motivation can somehow ease the psychological effect or frustration brought by this pandemic. Motivating the members that, this time, the most important is the life and safety over other things and encourage the members to stay at home. They educate them and made them realize the importance of having savings for emergency, make them learn from this experience and appreciate the number one objectives of the cooperative, the practice of thrift and savings. They also highlight the principles and values of self-help and mutual help and the provisions of the BAYANIHAN ACT.
10. EARLY RELEASE OF THE HALF OF 13TH MONTH PAY OF ALL MANAGEMENT STAFF The early release of the half of the 13th Month Pay of the Management Staff helped them to prepare and buy essential needs before the implementation of lockdown.
11. ALLOWING TO UTILIZE THE LEAVE CREDITS OF MANAGEMENT STAFF IF THEY ARE UNABLE TO WORK Members of the Management Staff who are unable to work either Work from Home or on Skeletal were allowed to utilize their leave credits as basis of their salary for Second Half of March and First Half of April 2020 for them to continue to receive Salary.
12. WORK FROM HOME FOR DISTANCE EMPLOYEE The cooperative introduced the Work from Home to employees who are residing far from the coop office. Their task is to communicate with all the members thru social media or thru their Contact Numbers, to ensure that all members are safe, to promote the Stay at Home policy, and to attend to their needs and concern and how the cooperative can help them in these trying times.
13. FREE BOARD AND LODGING TO ALL EMPLOYEES DOING SKEETAL WORKS The cooperative provided free board and lodging to management staff who wish to stay at the office during the lockdown period while performing their duties.
14. 5,000 CASH BENEFITS TO ALL EMPLOYEES All employees, regardless of status, received Php 5,000.00 each as a benefit in addition to other regular benefits.
15. PROVIDING PPE’s TO FRONT LINERS AND HEALTHWORKERS The BVDC donated PPE’S for health workers of the Rizal Medical Center and the City Health Office of Paranaque. The coop also provided face shields and face masks to all front liners assigned in Barangay Baclaran.
16. PROVIDING FOOD FOR FRONT LINERS AND HEALTHWORKERS WITHIN THE AREA OF OPERATION. The cooperative provided food packs for 200 front liners and health workers. Not once, but thrice.
By: SKS; pictures and relevant data co-penned by Sonnyboy Regencia (GM) BVDC BOD, mgt.& staff.