New Horizons of Opportunities for San Andres Farmers Development Cooperative (SAFDC) Under the CFIDP Program

San Andres Farmers Development Cooperative in its more than 33 years of existence has been a conglomeration of farmers & fishermen associations. A mother umbrella that worked and stood side by side parallel with the government organizations, pushing forward the nongovernment organizations and People’s Organization partnership ideally known as “GO-PO-NGO Tripartism” with the Bayanihan spirit. There were tangible accomplishments that can be written in the history of San Andres, Quezon’s growth and development.

However, despite all the hardships and difficulties, SAFDC life became unstable and it almost died a natural death like most countryside organizations due to the volume of activities, accountabilities, problems, and inability to cater to members’ concerns due to coop organizations’ structural problems, financial and manpower resource scarcities. The majority of the members are no longer interested in the coop welfare as it may no longer recover.  This kind of scenario leads to frustration and financial collapse. In this instance, hardcore founders, officers, and members unified themselves to start anew while carefully consolidating the remaining available resources.

Coincidentally, the SAFDC was qualified to be a recipient of a PhP 250,000.00 financial grant. A microfinance project was opened and offered to coconut farmers members of the cooperative. It started with 24 selected borrowers in January 2023 which by now have around 36 borrowers with loans ranging from PhP 5,000.00 to 30,000.00 payable weekly for six months.

    Consequently, the cooperative was able to collect some previous loan receivables. Little by little, all the other businesses of the cooperative reinvigorated and bounced up producing a positive impact on the operations of the talipapa, Community Fish Landing operations, rice retailing, home lot development, Peso Vendo, Tiangge and Volleyball Sports Game. Members are now returning with additional new memberships with high spirits, lively and active.

In the last general assembly meeting, the membership deemed it proper to empower the organizational structure from the Board of Directors, down to all the standing committees, the management which will surely enhance and improve the performance of the five major services/divisions, to wit:

  1. Home lot Development Services
  2. Farm lot Development Services
  3. Business Operation
  4. Community Fish Landing Operation
  5. Sports Development Services.

All along, the CDA-R4A’s dynamic and active Provincial Cooperative Development Specialist II, Mr. Ranel B. Lingahan, has been instrumental in revitalizing the cooperative’s operations and the members’ interests. The officials, members, and staff think that with his capable supervision and mentoring, they would be able to achieve economic independence gradually but steadily. Similarly, other technical assistance such as mandatory and specialized training provided or conducted by the CDA through its regional office aided greatly in reawakening the interests of the cooperative and its essence, that cooperatives are the only way to uplift the lives of its members out of poverty.

Furthermore, they are confident that by using their five (5) year and annual development plans as a guide, and without a doubt with the grant of Php.250,000.00 to SAFDC, it will produce significant growth trends and inspire new horizons of opportunities looking forward to a more stable cooperative.