2017 was a fruitful year for the Cooperative Development Authority- Cordillera Administrative Region Extension Office; primary and secondary cooperatives; supportive local government units; national agencies; academe; and other stakeholders. The series of activities conducted to capacitate, enhance, empower and regulate cooperatives toward productivity and quality yielded positive results.
Consolidated rating sheets on technical assistance rendered to clients at the CDA CAR regional and field level is about 3,847. Bulk of the technical assistance was on inquiry (1,123) as to registration, amendment, reportorial requirements, and request for information. This was followed by queries related to training (985; other (856); consultancy (324); mentoring (250); coaching (222); legal concerns (70) and cliniquing (17) having the least.
An assessment of the above ratings pointed out that clients were satisfied with how personnel of CDA handle their queries or request. About 1,797 clients or 47% rated the services rendered as Excellent followed by rating of Very Good with 1,536 or (40%) responses and Good 514 (13%) respectively. So far no complaints or negative feedbacks were noted as to personnel actions in dealing with clients.
CAR Compliance to reportorial requirements increased by 6% from 515 cooperatives in 2014 to 519 cooperatives in 2016. The positive growth can be attributed to the institutionalized conduct of CDA updates during municipal, provincial and regional cooperative month celebration. Also, the increasing awareness and support of local officials on the roles of cooperatives in poverty alleviation is gaining momentum in the region. Partnerships with local government units in the conduct of trainings, fora and information education campaign complement the meager budget of CDA in attaining its mission to ensure safe and sound operations of cooperatives. While CDA as a regulatory agency stressed on the need to conform to state policies and issuances, it strikes a balance through mentoring, coaching and training cooperatives. Active role of functional unions and federations existing in the region contribute to the empowerment of the sector being responsive to the introduced innovations.
The Cooperative Development Authority Board of Administrators issued CDA Memorandum Circular No. 2011-16 related to the issuance of Certificate of Good Standing. Cooperatives then were issued two kinds of CGS based on purposes whether for regular or special purposes. In conjunction with the revision of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Philippine Cooperative Code, the issuance shifted from the CGS to Certificate of Compliance as provided under CDA Memorandum Circular No. 2015-08 subsequently amended by CDA Memorandum Circular No. 2016-07. These transitions had affected the issuance of COC as some previous COC requirements were relaxed in favor of cooperatives especially those with assets below P 3 million. An increase of 15.07% was noted from 2015 figures compared to 2017. Another possible factor in the increase of compliance was the required intensive trainings under CDA Memorandum Circular 2011-14 “Standard Training Curricula” that required all cooperatives to undergo seminars as requirements to become officers and for purposes of strengthening operations. Such trainings helped enhance the attitude, skills and knowledge of officers and management staff to perform their functions in consonance with the provisions of the Code, their by-laws and CDA issuances. The institutionalization of cooperative inspection requiring periodic visits of CDS IIs to cooperatives can be another factor that motivated cooperatives to comply with regulatory requirements.
Moreover, some local government units require COC as requirement in the issuance of Mayor’s Permit/Business license. Absence of COC would subject the cooperative to pay the regular rates imposed to businesses or corporations. Newly registered cooperatives were guided to immediately obtain COC upon release of approved registration that resulted in 100% issuance of COC to 42 newly registered cooperatives in 2017.
CDA-CAR Extension Office usually categorize cooperative based on submitted audited financial statements. Associated with the adopted measure to shift policy on the need for audited financial statements to be “stamped received by BIR”, and the submission of unaudited financial statements by micro-cooperatives, performance in the report submission of some micro cooperatives increased in remote provinces and municipalities of CAR.
The number of small (P 3 Million-15 Million), medium (15M-100M) and large (above 100M) increased while micro cooperatives (below 3M) gradually decreased. Such situation can be attributed to positive business enterprises engaged in by members that could have motivated them to invest in the cooperative through savings mobilization and capital build-up. Diversification of business enterprise and cost cutting measures may have improve financial operations of cooperatives.