Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)  has granted expanded powers to Co-op Banks, under Circular No. 865, series of 2014.  Issued last Dec. 22, 2015, the Circular contains amendments to Section X101 of the Manual of Regulations for Banks.

Published in a newspaper, the Circular says that "..while a Co-op Bank shall primarily provide financial, banking and credit services to cooperatives, and their members, it may provide the same to non-members or the general public..."


In addition to the powers granted to Co-op Banks under existing laws, any Co-op Bank may perform any or all of the banking services offered by rural banks under Item 4.a to 4.g, as contained Circular No. 865, says the Circular.

Such services include:  offer other banking services as provided in Section 53 of R.A. No. 8791; and buy and sell foreign exchange.  

 "A Co-op Bank may likewise perform any or all of the banking services offered by rural banks under Item 4.h to 4.m, as well as any or all of the banking services offered by other types of banks, subject to prior approval of the BSP."


The banking services referred to (Item.h to 4.m) are:

    (h) accept current or checking accounts:  Provided such Rural Bank has net assets of at least P5.0 million;

    (i)  accept negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts;

    (j)  act as trustee over estates of farmers and merchants;

    (k)  act as official depository of municipal, city or provincial funds in the municipality, city or province it is located;

    (l)  sell domestic drafts; and

    (m)  invest in allied undertakings.

    The Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette, or in a newspaper of general circulation.  This was published in Manila Bulletin, Jan. 8, 2015, p. B-3.  (END).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


The House of Representatives has approved a bill which would allow cooperatives, engage in agricultural activities, to own up to fifty (50) hectares of agricultural land.

 Approved last December 1, 2014, was House Bill No. 5175, principally authored by Rep. Rico B. Geron, AGAP Party List; and co-authored by Rep. Anthony M. Bravo, COOP-NATCCO Party List; Rep. Jose I. Tejada, 3rd District, North Cotabato; and Rep. Cresente C. Paez, COOP-NATCCO Party List, and by Rep. Nicanor M. Briones, also of AGAP Party List.

Rep. Cresente C. Paez is also chairman of the House Committee on Cooperative Development.

The Bill is entitled: "An Act Strengthening the right of cooperatives to develop into viable and responsive economic enterprises, amending for this purpose Article 9 of R.A. 9520, otherwise-known as "Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008".

HB 5175 proposed amendment is:

"..Section 1. Article 9, Cooperative Powers and Capacities of R.A. 9520, otherwise known as the "Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008", is hereby amended by adding a new subsection 5-A that shall read, as follows:

"(5-A).  In the case of cooperatives engaged in agricultural activities, the right to own, purchase, receive or retain any public agricultural land, the size of which shall not exceed fifty (50) hectares."

The Bill had been transmitted to and received by the Senate on December 3, 2014.  (END).

Monday, January 5, 2015


What is in store for Philippine cooperatives in 2015?

Dr. Eulogio Castillo, OIC-Chairman of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), in his published New Year's message, has listed some significant events and programs of CDA for 2015.

"Accepting the challenge of the New Year, let us give close attention to some projects of CA," he intoned.


First among these is the Centennial Celebration of Cooperatives in the Philippines.  Dr. Castillo said that this celebration will remind us of the success of cooperatives in the country during the past 100 years and will point to where we are going in the next millenium.


Secondly, CDA will prepare for the 25th year of the creation of CDA, or CDA Silver Jubilee Celebration as the country's instrument  in promoting economic development and social justice, Dr. Castillo informed.


In 2015, we will passionately pursue the goals of CDA Vision 2020, to scale up the small cooperatives to the next level; harmonize with the provisions of law the growth of large cooperatives; pursue the creation of a Cooperative College; start the Cooperative Audit System; hasten the Information Technology, and Public Affairs Offices of CDA.  The agency will also pursue the Asset Recovery Program to beef up the resources of CDA, the CDA Chairman pointed out.


He also exhorted CDA officers and personnel to "perform our mandate in pursuit of the Daang Matuwid tenets of His Excellency, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III".

"Let us embrace the rendering of honest service to the people.  We are part of the success of the small and marginalized people of our citizenry who believe in and depend on cooperatives as weapons in the war against poverty,"  Dr. Castillo urged.

IN 2014 

He also cited CDA's gains in 2014.  These include the ISO 9001: 2008 Certification in 2014 of all (except Tacloban Extension Office) CDA Extension Offices and Main Office.

The Department of Budget and Management also granted 113 items to the CDA plantilla, in support of CDA's development and regulatory functions.

TO IRR OF RA 9520 

He also reported that CDA had submitted the the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives its proposed amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9520.

In addition, CDA formulated in 2014 the CDA Vision 2020, the Medium Term Development Plan 2015-2010, or the program framework of CDA in the next six years, starting 2015, Dr. Castillo concluded. (END).


Sunday, December 14, 2014


Proving the cooperatives' role in the country's poverty reduction efforts, 18 cooperatives ran away with 20 awards in the nationwide search for community enterprises that "..served as engines of growth.." to help lessen poverty incidence in the Philippines.

Under this search, given by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), 8 cooperatives (out of 10 awardees) were awarded P250,000 prize each under the category: "Outstanding Community Enterprise.

On the other hand, 10 cooperatives got all the citations under the "Most Promising Community Enterprises", and got P150,000 prize each.

The 10 Most Outstanding Community Enterprises are Sta. Cruz Savings and Development Cooperative, Ilocos Sur (Region 1); San Jose del Monte Savings and Credit Cooperative, Bulacan (Region 3); Lorenzo Tan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Misamis Occidental, (Region 10);

Badagoy Irrigation Association, Davao del Sur (Region 11); Masisit-Dacal Livelihood Cooperative, Cagayan (Region 2); Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative, Batangas (Region 4-A); Calapan Labor Service Development Cooperative, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; 

Kaagap Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur;Nueva Vizcaya Alay Kapwa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya (Region 2); an Costales Nature Farms, Laguna (Region 4-A).

The 10 Most Promising Community Enterprises are:  Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Romblon, (Region 4-B); Don Bosco Multi-Purpose Cooperative, North Cotabato (Region 12); Nagkakaisang Magsasakan Agricultural Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Talavera, Nueva Ecija (Region 3);

Midsalip Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Zamboanga del Sur (Region 11); A&M Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Dinagat Island (Region 13); Capiz Small Coconut Farmers Marketing Cooperative-Ivisan Coco, Capiz, Ivisan, Capiz; Tagum Cooperative, Davao del Norte (Region 11); Bad-ayan Buguias Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Benguet; Moncada Women's Credit Cooperative, Tarlac, (Region 3); and San Dionisio Credit Cooperative, National Capital Region (NCR).

The criteria for selecting the winners for each category are:  effectiveness, financial viability, sustainability, an adaptability.  

The Villar SIPAG Awards for poverty reduction, a nationwide search, was launched in August 2013 to recognize the exemplary achievements of community enterprises that resulted in local economic development and improvement of lives.  (END).

Thursday, December 11, 2014


The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives (JCOCC)-House Panel  has created a Technical Working Group (TWG).

Headed by COOP-NATCCO Party List Rep. DR. ANTHONY BRAVO, it is tasked to conduct initial review of the proposed amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 9520, submitted by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

Under R.A. 9520, the JCOCC is mandated to review and approve the IRR of the Philippine Cooperative Code.

The JCOCC is composed of the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives; and the chairperson of the House Committee on Cooperatives Development (headed by Rep. CRESENTE C. PAEZ, of the COOP-NATCCO Party List); and by four members each from both Houses (House of Representatives, Senate).

In its recent meeting, the TWG focused its discussion on Sections 5 to 11, Rule 7 of the IRR, which provide for the specific training requirements for the officers of cooperatives.

Rep. Evelina Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon) and representatives from the Office of Rep. Paez; CDA, NATCCO, PCC, regional cooperative development councils; and Quezon City Council also attended the TWG meeting.

From:  Page 9 of Committee Daily Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 53.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014


The Banks and Financial Intermediaries Committee of the House of Representatives has approved HB 278, filed by COOP-NATCCO Party List Rep. CRESENTE C. PAEZ, during the Committee's Dec. 2, 2014 meeting.


Rep. Paez said the bill was in response to the need to institutionalize and legalize Credit Surety Funds (CSFs), which are already functional.

HB 278 

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor for Monetary Stability Sector, Diwa Gunigundo expressed his full support for the bill, saying that it would address two impediments to full access to bank credit by small entrepreneurs, namely, lack of credit information or track record, and lack of property that can be collateralized.

To further improve the bill, Gunigundo suggested that the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) should be made the supervisory body of the CSF cooperatives rather than the BSP, consistent with their respective charters.


He also suggested that the proposed law should clearly state the CSF is excluded from the coverage of Insurance Code.  The House Committee agreed to put the CSFs under the supervision of the CDA.

Lawyer Mona Lisa Amba of the CDA initially expressed opposition to HB 278, saying that the provisions run counter to the provisions of the Cooperative Code of the Philippines.

However, after the Committee and the BSP explained that the bill will cure the flaws of the law and further enhance the capacity of the CDA to serve the grassroots borrowers, Amba committed to re-examine the CDA's position and support the bill.

Source:  Report published in the House of Representatives'  Committee Daily Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 56, Dec. 2, 2014. Visit (12.02.2014).pdf

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