Another school year have passed and another batch of fresh college graduates, thousands of them, are expected to flock to the job market. As they exit their respective campuses, they will soon be entering the real world and look for real work. Sending application letters, going through interviews, talking to strangers, just to find a job. The sad thing is, this critical stage of their lives, these were not emphasized or even taught in college. It will be another nerve wracking moment on their part. Anyway, we wish you all the best and happy job hunting.
Just like any other parent, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) would be proud to see the co-ops graduating from micro to a higher level. Progressing and prospering just like any other serious business. Unfortunately, there are micro co-ops that have remained micro for a long time. There are also co-ops that folded up even before taking off. Critics blamed the CDA for not doing its job and that it cannot do anything. There are several factors for the occurrence of this problem and the CDA should not shoulder the blame alone. In fact, the CDA is doing its best to take remedial measures and make things better.
As reflected in the data of CDA – CAR, there are quite a number of co-ops who are still micro for more than 20 years. It is surprising that since their registration more than 20 years ago, these co-ops never grew an inch. It seemed like the officers are merely maintaining a small club and don’t want to make it as a business enterprise. The good news however, is that they are still alive and kicking.
There is nothing wrong in not growing. Even a bonsai has beauty in it. But with the ever changing regulations of CDA, these micro co-ops will be facing a steep mountain to climb just to survive. The difficulty of complying with regulations and requirements will eventually overwhelm the limited mindset of those running the co-op. Therefore, the CDA saw it fit to do some nudging, to stir them up and empower them to be able to look beyond the present.
Again, there is nothing wrong in barely surviving but it is way much better for co-ops to grow. It provides better benefits to members, services will be improved, the social and financial needs of members will be met and the same co-op will be providing employment opportunities for their graduating children. If co-op officers and other personnel will develop the growth mind-set, not only the co-op will grow. This will flow to the community and we all know what will be the effect if this happen. There will not only be development in the community. There will be progress.
Right now, the CDA-CAR is doing all the means to come up with programs and activities to transform our micro and small co-ops into a competitive business enterprise because that’s what make them grow. The Koop Kapatid program is intended to partner a micro co-op with that of a bigger co-op so that there will be a sharing of experiences, coaching, training and other capability building that big co-ops can provide. There is also an existing partnership with Local Government Units (LGUs) for training and other livelihood assistance. There is likewise a partnership with other government agencies to consolidate efforts for co-op development. Other entities and NGOs are offering their services to assist co-ops in whatever capacity.
With these developments, there is a great expectation that there will soon be a series of graduation of co-ops from micro to small, the small to become medium and the medium to become large in the immediate future.