The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the national government Agency primarily responsible for the institutional development and regulation of cooperatives, in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted the 1st National Convention of Cooperative Development Officers (CDOs) on February 23-24, 2023 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
573 CDOs and Sangunniang members from all over the country participated in the event. In his message during the convention, Mr. Pablo De Castro, Division Chief of the Local Government Relations Division of the DILG reported that as of March 7, 2022, 775 CDOs have been appointed. Republic Act 11535, An Act Making the Position of a Cooperative Development Officer Mandatory in the Municipal, City and Provincial Levels, Amending, for the Purpose RA No. 7160, Otherwise Known as the Local Government Code of 1991 as Amended is a welcome development in mainstreaming cooperative development in the Local Government Units (LGUs).
Thru a video message Vice-President Sara Zimmerman Duterte congratulated the CDA and the CDOs underscoring the vital role cooperatives play in inclusive financing nationwide especially for the less privileged, and more so as cooperatives are organizations founded on people’s collective support through pooling of funds and sharing of resources. The Vice-President ended her message by inviting all to work passionately to ensure that each farmer, fishermen, and common Filipino is emancipated from poverty because of the significant support that the cooperative movement has done to empower them, to create sustainable sources of livelihood for their family.
In a message read for him by Asec. Elizabeth Lopez de Leon, DILG Sec. Benjamin “Benhur” C. Abalos, Jr., conveyed the Department’s deep appreciation to the CDA for holding the activity as a venue for CDOs to discuss the latest policies affecting cooperatives nationwide.
The heads of the cooperative clusters presented the programs and future programs of the cluster, how the cluster can provide opportunities to cooperatives in the LGUs and how can the CDOs respond, complement or provide support to the cluster. The presenters include Assistant Secretary Abdulsalam A. Guinomla for Education and Advocacy Cluster, Assistant Secretary Virgilio R. Lazaga, MD. for Agriculture, Agrarian, Aquaculture, Dairy, and Fisherfolk Cluster, Assistant Secretary Pendatun B. Disimban for Consumer, Marketing, Producers, and Logistics Cluster, Assistant Secretary Abad L. Santos for Public Utilities: Electricity, Water, Communications, and Transport Cluster and Assistant Secretary and Acting Administrator Myrla B. Paradillo for Human Services: Health, Housing, Workers, and Labor Service Cluster. Atty. Mickel Borigas, President Sectoral Apex Organization presented for the Credit and Financial Services, Banking and Insurance Cluster Presentation.
Retired MGen. Gilbert S. Llanto President of the National Alliance of Cooperatives (NAC) talked on the topic NAC and CDOs Working Together to Promote a Robust Cooperative LGU Partnership while Mr. Alexander Raquepo, President of the National Cooperative Development Council (NCDC) discussed the Role of Cooperative Development Councils (CDCs) in Effective Local Governance and Sustainable Cooperative Development. Outgoing President of the Liga ng mga CDOs sa Pilipinas (LCDOP) Cecilia L. Atienza shared the LCDOP Experience in Mainstreaming Cooperative Development Programs in LGUs.
CDA Chairperson Joseph B. Encabo informed the CDOs that CDA has tread extra miles to deliver services needed by cooperatives especially the micro and small ones. He hopes CDA’s and the LGUs continue to nurture a partnership for the benefit of both the sector and the LGUs. He underscored the convention’s theme, For cooperatives. We partner. We share.
In front of almost 600 participants, Sen. Mark A. Villar assured the participants of his commitment and support to the cooperative sector.
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