For the Community We Swore to Serve, CDA Gathers its Billionaire Coop Forum in CDO City

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) welcomed the participants during the Billionaire Cooperative Forum held on March 15, 2023 in Mallberry Suites Business Hotel, Limket Kai, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City with 110 participants representing 56 billionaire cooperatives nationwide.

Usec. Joseph B. Encabo, CDA Chairman, in his opening message reported what the CDA has achieved in helping the cooperatives sector, especially those in the micro and small category. He extended his appreciation for the attendance of the billionaire cooperatives who responded and supported the CDA initiatives. He further noted the role of the billionaire cooperatives in nation-building. He offered an invitation to the audience, quoting “to continuously improve the bond of your cooperative equipped with [enough] capacity which will lead us in a better state of cooperativism in the years to come to inspire other cooperatives to be like you [refers to billionaire cooperatives].”

The Forum was organized primarily to establish areas of coordination and collaboration for cooperative development with the Billionaire cooperatives in the country and introduce programs for the strengthening of cooperatives including the communities where the billionaire cooperatives operate.

Part of the proposals to the billionaire cooperatives in the Forum was shared by CDA Board Member and Acting Administrator Asec. Myrla B. Paradillo. In her presentation, she mentioned the CDA’s Koop-Kapatid Program encouraging partner-cooperatives (popularly known as “big-brother”) to help beneficiary-cooperatives (commonly referred to as “small brother”). The highlight of the topic was the projected strategy to beef-up competitiveness of cooperatives through merger and consolidation taking the way of the Koop-Kapatid program.

Following the CDA proposals to the Forum is Usec. Encabo with his “Adopt-a-School Program, Koop-Brigada Eskwela” which is a partnership initiative with Schools and Billionaire Cooperatives. The Koop-Brigada Eskwela’s main features are: a) in partnership with the National Alliance of Cooperatives (NAC), a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between NAC, and the Department of Education (DepEd) will be proposed to ensure the continuity of the project, and b) through the cooperative’s Community Development Fund (CDF), the billionaire cooperatives will donate two (2) classrooms every two (2) years to their selected area (province or Local Government Unit ‘LGU’) or based on the priority areas of the DepEd.

Atty. Jovilyn Gaffud-Marquez, CDA Legal Division Chief, gave a comprehensive report on CDA Omnibus Rules of Procedure that took effect on December 17, 2022. As embodied in the said Rules, these are the legal remedies available to cooperatives for dispute resolution: a) Conciliation-Mediation (Rule II), b) Conduct of Dialogue (Rule III), c) Voluntary Arbitration (Rule IV), d) Investigation (Rule V), e) Adjudication (Rule VI), f) Administrative/ Disciplinary Procedure (Rule VII), g) Dissolution, Cancellation, Liquidation (Rule VIII).

CDA Deputy Administrator for Legal Affairs Services (LAS), Atty. Leah Banagui-Han, meanwhile detailed the CDA position on Senate Bill (SB) No 418 introduced by Sen. Imee R. Marcos entitled “An Act amending RA No. 6939, otherwise known as the Cooperative Code of the Philippines,’ as amended, and for other purposes.” SB No. 418 seeks to facilitate foreign investments in the cooperative sector by relaxing the citizenship requirement for cooperative members and allowing foreigners to invest up to 40% of the membership shares in the cooperatives, provided that a majority of cooperative members shall be Filipino natural-born citizens.

 Usec. JB Encabo encouraged NAC to take a one united stand or approach, with parallel action with CDA, on the foreign funding to local cooperatives so as to finalize the bill tackling the issue on foreign funding. The more the sector is disgruntled in opinion, the more the legislators become confused in approaching the matter.

Main episode of the Forum is the signing of the ceremonial “Statement of Commitment, Collaboration and Support” where selected billionaire cooperatives affixed their signatures as they agreed to commit, collaborate and support the following CDA programs as proposed during the activity that will ensure the viability and sustainability of micro and small cooperatives:

  • Championing Merger and Consolidation of Micro/small Cooperatives through Koop Kapatid Program
  • Adopt-a-School, the Cooperative Way

At the background of the signing is the audio-visual presentation of ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative of their fruitful participation in the CDA’s Koop-Kapatid Program with testimonies of their beneficiary cooperatives.

Sealing the event’s success, Asec. Pendatun B. Disimban expressed his gratitude on behalf of the CDA to all invited. He recalled the first activity facilitated by CDA that involved billionaire cooperatives and hoped to have the same activity on a regular basis to improve the cooperative development programs of CDA.

The recent similar activity involving billionaire cooperatives happened last May 22, 2022 in Seda Vertis North, EDSA Quezon City with this Forum as a continuation of topics also counting on the plans and programs for cooperatives including Koop-Kapatid Program and approaches for merger and consolidation.