Celebration: Philippine Cooperativism for Inclusive Growth

October is Celebrated as Cooperative Month, as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 493 issued on October 21, 2003 to give an opportunity for the Philippine cooperative movement to showcase its contributions and achievements in building lives and communities through cooporativism. The celebration theme this year is “Cooperative Paves the Way for Inclusive Growth.”

Cooperatives have a significant role to play in development, particularly in poverty reduction, job generation, and social integration. The country’s cooperatives promote self-reliance, create rural employment, and encourage entrepreneurial opportunities.

They enhance the livelihood of farmers, fisherfolk, rural workers, and urban poor. They provide for the needs of members through marketing support, credit and loan facilities, new technology, adult education, and scholarships for children.

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) data show that the country has more than 22,000 registered cooperatives today, with a membership base of 12 million individuals. CDA links with sectoral groups to improve productivity and bring the benefit of technology to beneficiaries, especially small farmers and fisherfolk. It is pushing for the crafting of a code of governance that will strengthen the goal of cooperatives to protect, promote, and advance the interest and welfare of the organization and the community.

Cooperativism in the Philippines started in the 19th century when Filipino travelers to Europe, including our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, brought the idea of the economic movement to the country. Exiled in Dapitan, Dr. Rizal set up a cooperative-based school and store for the poor.

We congratulate the Cooperative Development Authority, headed by Chairman Dr. Emmanuel M. Santiaguel and Executive Director Orlando R. Ravanera, its Board and other Officers, for their efforts to work for a strong, sustainable and empowered cooperative sector that contributes to peace, progress and social justice in our Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

Source: Manila Bulletin. Date Published: October 20, 2013