Thursday, May 9, 2013


Sadly, the professionalization of the officers corps of the cooperative movement  in the Philippines appears to have taken a setback.

According to reports, only 9% of over 500,000 officers of cooperatives nationwide has taken the training curriculum/modules mandated by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). That is roughly only some 45,000 officers.

Assuming that there is an average of 20 officers per cooperative, that means only some 2,250 cooperatives sent their officers to train.  And if my guess is right, these cooperatives are those few millionaire/billionaire cooperatives.  They can easily defray the training fees and the additional allowances given to these officers as training incentives.


The apparent non-compliance and inability by the officers to train, for various reasons, are among the issues that came out during the 1st National Forum of Accredited Training Providers (TPs) called by the CDA last April 30, 2013 to assess the project.

Off hand, what could be some reasons behind this? Could it be that there are not enough TPs and trainors to undertake the trainings/seminars?  

Are the costs of training too costly for the majority of micro-type of cooperatives (those with assets of P3-M and below), which comprise the majority of Philippine cooperatives?


According to a status report made by CDA Chairperson Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, Ph.D.,there are now 143 TPs accredited by CDA as of April 2013, which have a total of 1,177 registered members- pool of trainors of these TPs.

Can 143 TPs service the training requirements of over 500,000 officers of the registered cooperatives in the Philippines?  Go figure.


It was reported during the above-mentioned Forum, that training fees of as much as P1,500 per cooperative officer-participant per training session are allowed by the CDA. 

Let's assume that there are an average of 20 officers of a cooperative required to train.  Let's assume that there are 10 training seminars required to be taken.  Likewise, we assume that the fees are P1,000 per person/per seminar, as an average.

That would be a training cost of some P200,000.00.  Can these majority of micro-cooperatives afford this? These micro-cooperatives comprise more than 70% of all cooperatives registered in the cuntry. Go figure.


Indeed, the program to require cooperative officers to train is necessary and urgent. More issues raised such as some TPs, are shortselling cooperatives in training (i,e., 2-day training completed in 1-day lakbay aral); and even outright selling Certificates of Completition for some seminars were alleged to have been committed.

Is there need for CDA or any of its partner institutions to conduct Trainors' Training Seminars to the trainors' pool of these TPs?  Some TP representatives alleged there were none given prior to the implementation of the program.  There were just table inspection of the credentials and requirements of institutions who applied as TPs.?


Moreover, what CDA alllegedly  gave the TPs are curriculum guidelines.  It is up to the TPs to come up with their own training modules, based on these curriculum guidelines. 

But this is not to say that CDA did not take corrective action against some of these TPs.  The very least of the "sanctions" given by CDA is that the renewal of the accreditation of some TPs were deferred, until the submission of some compliance requirements and review by CDA.

We are not calling for the CDA to undertaken some of the compliance trainings.  Some CDA officers are sometimes invited as speakers/resource persons.  But under the principle of subsidiarity, the cooperative movement, through its organizations, confederations, unions, etc., are tasked to give the training seminars.


But at least, given the rate of training compliance, could the CDA at least consider extending the deadlines for the cooperative officers to complete the seminars, by at least one year more.  

If not, we might face a leadership crisis in the local cooperative movement, as those who were not able to comply will not be allowed to run as officers again.  And to think that officers of cooperatives are on pure voluntary service basis.

Your comments are welcome.  (END).  

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