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).

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