The Chairman of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Dr. Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, and the Secretary of Department of Agriculture DA), Proceso J. Alcala, signed Joint Memorandum Circular #1 last July 3, 2013 creating a Technical Working Group (TWG) who will be responsible in drawing the framework and roadmap on possible partnership of both government agencies.
The collaboration is through the initiative of the Cooperative Project Development and Assistance Division (CPDAD) who saw the need of addressing the predicaments confronted by farmer’s cooperatives because of the challenges posted by Republic Act 9520, otherwise known as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.
The TWG, composed of representatives from both government agencies, has developed an assessment tool to have a birds-eye picture of the undertakings of agricultural cooperatives registered with the Authority (3,500 in number). Some of the information TWG wants to know are the asset size of the cooperative, business activity engage into, and the technical assistance needed by agri coops. The tool is currently evaluated by the DA counterpart for their final comment. Once finalized, using the network of DA, the same shall be farmed out to the coops for TWG’s reference in finalizing the Terms of Reference of partnership. — Jun Defensor