The Republic Act No. 11364 (RA 11364), otherwise known as the “Cooperative Development Authority Charter of 2019”, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last August 08, 2019 and took effect on August 29, 2019.
It accordingly repealed RA 6939 dated March 10, 1990, purposely to strengthen and reorganize the Cooperative Development Authority (AUTHORITY) to carry out the provisions of the Act and those of Republic Act No. 6938, as amended by Republic Act No. 9520, otherwise known as the “Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008”. Adopting the statement of the Honorable Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri that “This will respond to the clamor of the cooperative sector, to make the Cooperative Development Authority more responsive to the needs of the sector and further promote cooperativism as an effective tool in achieving inclusive growth“. (Press Release dated August 10, 2019 as posted at http://legacy.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0810_zubiri1.asp).
After RA 11364 was signed into law, the Technical Working Committee (TWC) was immediately constituted for the crafting of the IRR of RA No. 11364. The initial draft was done by September 2019 and a series of TWC meeting till October 2020 was conducted including presentation of the draft to all Regional Directors of the Authority. From November 2019 up to December 2019, consultations with the cooperative sector and other concerned government agencies were conducted pursuant to Section 26, RA No. 11364.
On September 21, 2020, the copy of the IRR was submitted to the National Printing Office for publication in the Official Gazette. On October 12, 2020 the said IRR was published in the Official Gazette making it effective last October 28, 2020, or 15 days after its publication.
As such, the following are the salient or key features of RA 11364 in strengthening and reorganizing the Cooperative Development Authority (Authority):
- The Authority shall be an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for policy and program coordination for cooperatives. It shall have its head office in the National Capital Region (NCR), and shall maintain the existing sixteen (16) Extension Offices. In the case of the NCR, the same shall be comprised of field district offices and shall maintain offices and branches in such other places as the proper conduct of its business shall require. (Section 3 of RA 11364)
- The Authority already have 37 powers, functions and responsibilities as compared to the 15 powers vested under the old charter. The Authority shall exercise developmental, regulatory and quasi-judicial powers, functions and responsibilities. (Section 4 of RA 11364)
- To emphasize the provision under Section 4 (z) thereof, sectoral apex organizations and a national alliance of cooperatives shall also be recognized. These groups shall serve as the overall consultative and coordinating body with the Authority.
- Section 5 thereof mandates the creation of a Board of Directors composing of a Chairperson and six (6) members of the Board, to replace Authority’s Board of Administrators under the old charter. Instead of two (2) representatives each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, there shall be one (1) board of director from each of the following of cluster of cooperatives a) Credit and financial services, banking, and insurance; b) Consumers, marketing, producers, and logistics; c) Human services: health, housing, workers, and labor service; d) Education and advocacy; e) Agriculture, agrarian, aquaculture, farmers, dairy, and fisherfolk; and, f) Public utilities: electricity, water, communications, and transport.
- Also in Section 5 thereof, the Secretaries of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall serve as ex-officio members of the board and may designate an alternate in a permanent capacity with a rank of at least an Assistant Secretary and whose acts shall be considered as that of the principal.
- The Administrator of the Authority shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines, as recommended by the Board of Directors, who shall have the rank of an Assistant Secretary, and shall execute and administer the policies, decisions, orders and resolutions approved by the Board and shall have the general executive direction and supervision of the work and operation of the Authority. (Section 11)
- For purposes of processing tax exemptions, the Authority has been mandated to furnish the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), LGUs which include provinces, highly urbanized and independent cities, and other concerned agencies a certified list of duly registered cooperatives. (Section 14)
- A strong partņership between the Authority and the cooperative sector and the academe shall be established in implementing the developmental functions of the Authority to ensure the maximum participation of the cooperative sector on matters of government plans, projects and policies affecting cooperatives. (Section 18)
- Section 19 of the Act provides that “The history, philosophy concepts, values, principles and practices of cooperatives and their role in nation building, shall be part of the curriculum of both in formal and non-formal education”.
Considering the foregoing, the new charter of the Authority holds true with the mandate pronounced under Section 15 of Rule XII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, that is, to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for social justice and economic development.