Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Leaders of the cooperative movement in the Philippines who said that members of cooperatives are numerous enough to elect a senator, if only they will vote as one, were proven wrong by the results of the recent elections.

For one, there were only some 11,622,477 estimated number of cooperatives' members, according to the statistics of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). 

On the other hand, the 12th senator proclaimed winner (reelectionist Sen. Gregorio Honasan) got total votes of 13,070,031; while the 13th-placer, former Sen. Dick Gordon got 12,364,091 votes.


Moreover, it seems that the wish that members of the country's 23,000++ cooperatives would vote for candidates who champion the cooperative movement, remains just that - a wish.  

For example, the well-known party list groups advocating for cooperative causes, for example, got only a miniscule portion of the total number of cooperatives' members.  Before the Commission on Elections resumed tallying the votes of party list groups on May 20, 2013, leading cooperative party list group Coop Natcco garnered only 507,38l votes. 


This is equivalent to only 2.25% of the 31,570,441 who actually voted for party list groups; and only 4.36% of total number of cooperative members of 11,622,477.  Ating Koop got less with 209,789, which was equivalent to 0.93% of those who voted party list groups; and a measly 1.8% of the total members of cooperatives.

It was reported that Coop Natcco's votes will make it eligible for two (2) seats, while Ating Koop will have one (1) seat, this is not many considering that number of cooperatives' members who did not vote for cooperative party list groups.


What could be the reasons?  Could the earlier notion of "political neutrality" stance of many cooperative leaders still holds its sway? If many co-op leaders have started appreciating that need to vote for their cooperative party lists, it seems that the same level of appreciation has not seeped down to the general membership.

Much worse, the cooperative party list groups might have failed to reach out to the cooperatives' members, and to the general voting populace, and prove that they are worth voting for.  So, which could be the real reasons?

Your comments are welcome. (END).  


Alexander Raquepo said...

At present, my answer is Yes! Seemingly we are still overwhelmed and influence by traditional politics were the so-called 3Gs is still supreme and the major reason why one (including partylist) is elected into office. I also listed the lack of appropriate education to a majority of coop members and leaders (unfortunately) whose concept and impression about coops are just mere "convenient stores" for loans. The value, the appreciation, the self-help concept and solidarity doesn't seem to exist in the hearts and minds of some members. We "fizzled" also because of our internal differences. Federations, unions and other apex coop organizations obviously cannot unite at the moment and this dilemma further divide us for a solid coop vote. Now is it a hopeless case? I don't think so! We just need to be creative, more united and willing to share our talents and treasures. "Letting go" of one's position is also a virtue needed to be observed by some coop leaders. The moves to merge and consolidate is a slow and sure step in cooperative unification in the Philippines. I fully support this move in my own little way.

Charlene Mendoza said...

It's sad that the cooperative movement couldn't get more seats in the Congress. People may have different reason for choosing party lists they deem worthy of their vote. Sadly, even members of cooperatives couldn't have voted for NATCCO or Ating Koop or other party lists that represent the cooperative sector simply because they are not convinced not of the advocacy of these party lists, but of their respective leaders. These supposed leaders have succumbed to the power being a politician gives so it's no longer a wonder why they did not gain the support they were expecting from people from the very own sector they represent.

People are getting wiser and obviously, they could have seen how these people do not actually live by their advocacy. They have become politicians and no longer the cooperative leaders they claim to be.

What happened to the former coop nattco congressman who is suddenly dropped from the nominees? What happened to the two factions of Ating Koop?

Think, my coop friends.

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