Bontoc, Mountain Province – Cooperatives in Mountain Province are joining the call of other cooperatives in the Philippines to either delay or stop the implementation of the Credit Information System Act (CISA).
Passed into law in 2008, Republic Act No. 9510, also known as CISA, mandates all lending institutions to submit their clients’ basic and credit data to the Credit Information Corporation (CIC). Accordingly, the law calls on lending agencies like banks to submit the credit track record of their borrowers to the CIC so that every time the persons borrow, any lending agency could access the record for purposes of determining which action to take on the application for loan.
During the Provincial Cooperative Month celebration held in Paracelis on October 7-8, 2016, many cooperatives in Mountain Province said they are contemplating filing resolutions for the suspension of RA 9510 until they are capable of complying with the requirements. The cooperatives also agreed to meet any day this October to discuss and share their inputs on the crafting of their resolutions which the plan to present in the Regional Cooperative Month celebration during the last week of October.
During the occasion, Paracelis Mayor Avelino C. Amangyen, in his opening statement warmly welcomed all the participants of the Provincial Cooperative Month. He also acknowledged the role and significance of cooperatives in the community.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Stephen V. Afuyog who also chairs the Committee on Cooperatives, expressed his happiness for being with cooperatives in the province as they celebrate the Provincial Cooperative Month. Afuyog also extended his appreciation to cooperatives in the province as partners of the government in uplifting the economic status of their members and the community through the services that they offer.
Governor Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., in a message, urged the participants to always remember the cooperative spirit and their role as members of cooperatives. He emphasized that cooperatives are organized for the common and equal benefit of every member, and for the cooperative to serve their community and society as a whole. “Cooperatives exist to correct humanity’s tendency towards individualism –or the motivation for personal gain. In place of individualism, cooperatives advocate the advancement of the interests of every member, not just a few,” the Governor’s message emphasized.
The Governor, however, lamented that some become members or officers of cooperatives motivated by personal interest. Some become members or officers for personal benefit, at the sacrifice of other members, and at the sacrifice of the cooperative’s responsibility to the community and society.
In celebration of the Cooperative Month, the Governor said that every cooperative should be reminded of the many cooperatives that have gone bankrupt because of mismanagement. “Let us be reminded of the many members and officers who took advantage of their co-ops for personal gain. Let us be reminded of the many members of co-ops who became disgruntled. Let us be reminded, and let us learn our lessons, so that our cooperatives will live true to the principles of equality, humility and honesty. And so that such selfish acts will not undermine our cooperatives,” he implored.
With this, the Governor posed a challenge to all cooperatives. He said that “while every member of the cooperative has the same responsibility, the officers or board of directors have the doubly challenging task of being true to the trust and confidence that the members have given them. He added that as officers, they have to be more diligent members; as officers they must embody the cooperative spirit with more dedication; as officers they must avoid the pitfalls of individualism and personal interest. Only then shall the cooperative fulfill its objectives.”
The Governor’s message also mentioned that the success of a cooperative should not be measured by its assets alone, or by the number of its members. Instead,” the success of a cooperative should be measured by how much it has affected the community that hosts it. A cooperative will only be truly successful when the people in the community that host it are equally progressive, whether or not they are members of the cooperative. This is the essence of cooperativism.”
Shellan K. Addag, the Manager of Treasure Link Cooperative Society who was the Keynote Speaker, shared to the participants the best practices of the Treasure Link Coop Society. The Treasure Link Cooperative Society is one of the youngest cooperatives in the province being in its 12 years of operation as it was registered in 2006. Addag relayed that from micro small, small to medium category, it became one of the large cooperatives in the Philippines in 2013 for the nine years of operation having an asset growth of more than 100% per year since 2006. As of August of this year, the total assets of the cooperative amounts to some P 476M. Their services include credit with various loan windows to choose from, deposits to include savings and ATM, providential services, money transfer, overseas remittance, Bayad Center, Insurance, Money Changer, Transient Services and now, the cooperative is exploring the Foreign Exchange, Real Estate, and a lot more.
With this, she challenged the participants to do their part as cooperatives, especially because cooperatives are now recognized as a tool in President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of War Against Poverty. Addag also urged cooperatives such as those engaged in marketing, production, agro-based industries, fisheries, tourism and transportation to build their networks and tie-up with government agencies to help and assist them in value chain, training and capacitation and others.
This year’s Provincial Cooperative Month was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Mountain Province thru its Provincial Cooperative Office and Paracelis Local Government Unit thru its Municipal Cooperative Office in coordination with Mountain Province Cooperative Union.
By Alpine L. Killa