LESCOFAMCO Towards Development and Greater Progress

The LEON SMALL COCONUT FARMERS MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE better known by its acronym as LESCOFAMPCO, is one of the many Cooperatives that have availed the Financial Assistance/Grant from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). The Financial Assistance is part of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Program (CFIDP) and LESCOFAMPCO being a Coconut Farmers’ Cooperative was identified by the CDA and PCA to be qualified as a recipient.

Last December 12 – 15, 2022, six (6) Coop staff of LESCOFAMPCO attended the four (4) days of training at Zuri Hotel in Iloilo City, intended for Cooperatives who are recipients of the grant. The training includes: Parliamentary Procedure; Bookkeeping and Fund Utilization; and Liquidation of financial assistance availed. It was very useful training for the Cooperative and on the last day of the training, financial assistance in the amount of PhP 250,000.00 was released to the beneficiaries.

As a background, LESCOFAMPCO was organized by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) way back in 1994. It was founded by 32 members mostly coconut farmers and as a start, the cooperative initiated various businesses like copra trading and buko marketing. Also, the Cooperative tried to establish a Mini-Coconut Oil Mill in 1996, however, the oil mill operation was severely affected by the supply of raw materials caused by El Niño, thus, the milling operation was stopped. In 1998, the Coop offered Lending Services to its members through the availment of a Credit Line from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).  The Credit Line provided a source of funds for lending to its members. This resulted in a massive membership application to the cooperative and this increased their Capital Share. By 2002, the cooperative was able to purchase the gasoline station in the Municipality of Leon as an addition to existing business operations. Currently, the gasoline station has been the main income-generating business of the Coop. Other business operations maintained by the cooperative include; Copra Trading, Fertilizer & Agri – Chemicals Store.

Unfortunately, the destruction of typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013 greatly affected the operation of the Cooperative. Members who have availed of loans failed to settle their accounts causing liquidation problems and this was further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their funds for lending operations are scarce resulting in limited loan availability for members.

With the availability of the PhP 250,000.00 grant from the Cooperative Development Authority – through its Coconut Farmers & Industry Development Program (CFIDP) the cooperative is indeed grateful. Adding to the grant, the cooperative put up a counterpart of PhP 50,000.00 having a total of PhP 300,000.00 that was used as additional capital for copra buying and re-lending to identified coop members. As an initial implementation, farmers who delivered their copra produce were paid using the grant, and members availed loans using part of the fund. For the copra buying: copra purchased by the cooperative will be sold to traders in Iloilo City for a certain markup and will be revolved again as capital for another copra buying activity. For the lending operation, the Coop shall collect monthly payments of the borrower for a term of six (6) months and will again re-loan to members who are good payors.

Despite struggles and difficulties experienced by the Cooperative during the last five (5) years due to typhoons, COVID- 19 and others, the Cooperative still exists with minimal services.

Currently, the Coop is recovering from its operation, especially on lending services. The availability of Financial Assistance from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) through its Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Fund (CFIDP) will echo to the members that their LESCOFAMPCO is still in operation.

LESCOFAMPCO is very thankful for the financial assistance provided by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the PCA. They are working hard to get back on track and are moving forward cooperatively for their members and stakeholders.