SUBJECT:CLARIFYING CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 2022-06, POLICY ON THE CANDIDACY OF AN OFFICER OF A COOPERATIVE IN THE NATIONAL OR LOCAL ELECTION
Several issues and concerns have reached the Cooperative Development Authority from the cooperative sector regarding the implementation of MC No. 202206. Meetings were held to address the said issues and concerns.
In view thereof, this memorandum is hereby issued to clarify the issues and concerns raised during the said meetings regarding the implementation of MC 202206.
Issue No. 1. On the prohibition for the cooperative or any officer of the cooperative to engage in any election campaign or partisan political activity to support any election candidate or party-list organization using the mandatory cooperative funds and other funds of the cooperative.
Answer: Section 6 MC 2022-06 says, “It shall be prohibited for the cooperative or any officer of the cooperative to engage in any election campaign or partisan political activity to support any election candidate or party-list organization usinq the mandatory cooperative funds and other funds of the cooperative.” The mandatory cooperative funds or statutory funds as required by law include the reserved fund, the cooperative training and education fund, the community development fund, the optional fund, a land and building, and other necessary fund, and the remaining of the net surplus to be made available to the members in the form of interest on share capital and patronage refunds. Other funds of the cooperative may include funds like retirement benefit funds and other funds allocated for the benefit of the members of the cooperative, or funds to which a particular purpose has been allocated as approved by the general assembly, it shall also include funds for the day to day operations of the cooperative.
It is clear that what is prohibited act as election campaign or political partisan activity extends to the use of mandatory cooperative funds and other funds of the cooperative. It should be clarified that the cooperative or any officer of the cooperative are not prohibited or barred from expressing their views on current political problems or issues; mentioning the names of candidates or parties whom they support; expressing their opinions or engaging in discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election; or liking, commenting, sharing, reposting, and following a candidate’s/party’s account, unless these are resorted using the mandatory cooperative funds and other funds of the cooperative.
Issue No. 2. All cooperative officers who have filed a COC in the National or Local Elections and have not been disqualified by the COMELEC to run shall be considered on leave from the commencement of the campaign period up to the time of proclamation of winners after election. The officer on leave shall not be allowed to receive any compensation, per diem, allowances, and honorarium. The officer on leave shall not be allowed to represent his/her cooperative in the federation/union of which it is affiliated or in an insurance cooperative or cooperative bank and any other organizations and councils of cooperatives.
Answer. An officer of a cooperative was elected/appointed by the general assembly to perform the functions as an officer of a cooperative in accordance with the articles of cooperation and by-laws of the cooperative and RA 9520. As officers reposed with said powers and responsibility, they should remain focused on the discharge of their duties and functions and to insulate said officers from politics. The officer, upon his personal decision to become a candidate, is personal on his/her part, it’s his or her personal choice, and hence, whatever endeavor that comes with his/her filing of COC in the local or national elections, should not be at the expense of the cooperative.
The same is true with a party list nominee. Upon her/his designation to represent the party list, it now becomes personal on his/her part by accepting said designation. Under the Party-list Act, only persons who have given their consent in writing may be named in the list. In fact, each registered party, organization or coalition shall submit to the COMELEC not later than forty-four (45) [Sic] days before the election a list of names, not less than five (5) from which party-list representatives shall be chosen in case it obtains the required number of votes. No change of names or alteration of the order of nominees shall be allowed after the same shall have been submitted to the COMELEC except in cases where the nominee dies, or withdraws in writing, his nomination, becomes incapacitated in which case the name of the substitutes nominee shall be placed last in the list.
It should be clarified that the officers who filed the certificate of candidacy in the national or local elections remain to be officers of the cooperative. In case the coop officer/candidate is duly proclaimed as winner in the election, he or she should be deemed resigned in his or her position in the cooperative pursuant to Art. 27 (2) of RA 9520. The disqualification however to be ineligible to become or to remain as officers and directors does not extend to a party list representative being an officer of a cooperative he or she represents.
Issue No.3. Whether or not a cooperative officer who was on leave during the campaign period and proclaimed winner after the election may go back to his/her office or position as officer of the cooperative? How about if the candidate cooperative officer did not win during the election?
Answer: MC 2022-06 deems that any cooperative officer is deemed to be on leave from the start of the campaign period until after proclamation as winners (Section 3). After proclamation, Section 5 thereof declares that there shall be a permanent vacancy upon proclamation. Since the position is now considered vacant, there will no longer be any office to which the officer could go back into. As a result of such, the winning cooperative officer is deemed resigned.
On the other hand, if the candidate cooperative officer did not win, then Section 5 of the said Circular does not apply There is no declaration of vacancy, hence, the cooperative officer may go back to his office after the proclamation of the winners. All concerned are hereby enjoined to be guided accordingly
Approved by the CDA Board of Directors pursuant to Res. No. 255, S-2022 dated April 20, 2022.
For the CDA Board of Directors
(sgd) USEC. JOSEPH B. ENCABO