This month marks the 29th Anniversary of the CDA as an Agency that fosters the growth and development of co-operatives as part of nation building by virtue of Republic Act 6939 signed by the then president Corazon Aquino in March 10, 1990. The organization of the office took a while or after a year and the creation of CDA-CAR Regional Office came a little bit later sometime in late March until the early days of April, 1992. I was still in college at that time and I entered CDA exactly 10 years later.
The Co-operative Office before 1990 was then a Bureau under the Department of Agriculture because the idea before was that co-op organizing is merely for the farming sector. But then co-op organizations gradually evolved and transformed into other types which cut across all sectors that are not are not agriculture related. Thus, the creation of CDA.
Consequently, co-operative development activities and assistance being undertaken by other national Government Agencies were transferred to the new office except some. One is Electric Co-ops which remained under NEA and the other is the Transport Co-ops under the Office of the Transport Co-operatives (OTC).
As the years passed by, it was observed that other government agencies started assisting co-ops again. In those same periods, the CDA has suffered gradual budget diminution coupled with the lack of sufficient personnel making it difficult to deliver the basic services the public needed from the Authority. So in this present dispensation, due to the similarity of plans and activities, the CDA deemed it appropriate to forge alliances and partnerships with willing partners geared towards a common objective which is co-op development.
It was decided eventually by top management that the above statement will be the CDA’s theme for this year’s Anniversary because it is a fitting description to what the agency is doing and aggressively pursuing at the moment. Considering the positive and fruitful results, the Agency intends to sustain these alliances in order to have concrete, tangible and long lasting developmental interventions to the co-operative sector.
Wikipedia explained that “the alliance is a cooperation or collaboration which aims for a synergy where each partner hopes that the benefits from the alliance will be greater than those from individual efforts. The alliance often involves technology transfer (access to knowledge and expertise), economic specialization, shared expenses and shared risk.”
The CDA-DAR Partnership was designed to provide the necessary and required training to the officers of Agrarian Reform Co-ops with the intention of upgrading their competence to govern and manage their co-op for growth and development.
The Co-op SEED Program which is a partnership between CDA and DTI to capacitate the officers of selected co-ops, provide livelihood, assist in increasing their production and help them market their products. We likewise partnered with TESDA for the organization of TESDA trained workers who are interested to go into co-ops. We even partnered with DENR for the conversion into co-ops the various People’s Organization being assisted by DENR. We also partnered with the LGUs, from the Municipal, Provincial and City Governments for training and community development. Then we have partnerships with the Academe for research purposes.
It is also expected that there will be more alliances to be established in the future.