MAN-UP MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE: A Cooperative with a Heart for its Members and the Environment

Man-up Multi-pupose Cooprtative (MMPC) was created in 1973 as one of the 138 local cooperatives composed. Samahang Nayon (SN) in Aklan. It was registered in Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in 2000 and re-registered in 2010 with registration No. 9520-06013674.  Its primary activity was micro-lending.  In 2003, the Municipality of Altavas was one of the first Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) established by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Aklan and recognized MMPC as an ARC organization with Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) as its officers and members.

In 2004, the cooperative raised 1.2M in fresh capital from the members to venture into coco-based crude oil and copra cakes production. The coconut mini oil mill in Man-up started its operation in 2005. It was managed efficiently and running very well as targets were met and profits realized early on. However, the bankruptcy of the Cooperative Rural Bank of Aklan (CRBA) in 2007 greatly affected the affairs of the MMPC, as the capital and savings were entrusted to the bank.  In addition, the failure of the members to pay their loans ultimately led to the collapse of the Cooperative. Subsequently, when typhoon Yolanda struck Aklan in 2013, around 85% of the machinery, equipment, and building and 100 % of the records were damaged. With the help of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), the Coco Mill was revived in 2014 and started operating again in September 2019 up to the present.

The BOD conducted a series of meetings to formulate a strategic plan and organize a management staff to run the operation of the oil mill. The Officers and management staff enhanced their knowledge by attending the necessary training conducted by CDA, DAR, and other government and non-government agencies in the management and operation of the oil mill. The MMPC received financial assistance from PRDP under the DA, PCA, P/LGUs, and other government and non-government agencies. Furthermore, to guarantee the smooth operation of the oil mill and a steady supply of raw materials, the MMPC establishes linkages with other cooperatives in Aklan.

The Cooperative aims to become a major supplier of crude oil and copra cake in Panay Island, livelihood income generating projects, farm machinery rental, consumer stores to give favorable prices of basic commodities among members and community, and lending.

Members of the cooperative are composed mainly of farmers, farm workers, and other members of the community. The management staff has expertise in operating the business since it started its cooperative enterprises way back in 2004 up to the present.

The cooperative is engaged in coco-based crude oil and copra cake production. Coco-based crude oil and copra cakes are primarily used as main ingredients in the production of animal feeds.  Suppliers of copra as raw materials will be the cooperative members, other coconut farmers in Altavas as well as other enterprise clusters.

Through CFIDP intervention, the Cooperative increased productivity, reduced vulnerability, diversified into high-value activities, and created an efficient market that contributed to farmers’ increased income, strengthening the determination of the cooperative to push for the uplift of the project. It provides employment and technical skills, and additional livelihood to cooperatives members and other coconut farmers.

The Cooperative carries the advocacy of climate change adaptation, recycling, and waste segregation. It will not alter the natural habitats in the municipality rather, it tries to improve the habitat within it. By-products of the coco-based will be ensured to ensure the safety of the environment.  Proper fencing is implemented to secure the properties on the premises.