Tuesday, July 30, 2013
CDA CHAIR VOWS TO REVIEW, SHORTEN TRAINING TIME FOR CO-OP OFFICERS
I would like to believe that the leadership of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) is sensitive and responsive to the situation of cooperatives.
I felt this way, when Chairman Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, Ph.D. promised to review the current training curricula, with the intention of cutting the period for the required training for officers of cooperatives, as required by R.A. 9520, or the Cooperative Code of 2008.
AT PICPA FORUM
Chairman Santiaguel was a speaker in a technical session of the 2013 PICPA Cooperative Day held last July 19, 2013 at the Hotel Intercontinental Manila, Makati City. He spoke on the topic: "The New CDA Circulars: Revolutionizing Cooperativism in the Philippines."
The two-year mandatory period for the completion of the required training for cooperative officers ends in 2013, after an extension of the period of implementation.
Recently, the training program came under fire from a farmer-leader and former legislator, Leonardo Montemayor. In his blog post published in Tapat News on April 17, 2013, Montemayor took CDA to task in behalf of some "20,000 micro-and small-scale enterprises that constitute 92% of registered cooperatives".
"It is estimated that a coop will be spending P60,000 to P70,000 (for registration fees, accommodations, meals, transportations, etc.) for each board member over a two-year period in order to meet the CDA (training) requirements," Montemayor was attributed to have said.
"How can, say, a credit cooperative with assets of less than P3 million and a monthly income of P60,000 afford the cost of training its board members and other officers? By laying off some of its employees?," Montemayor was quoted to have said.
CDA CHAIRMAN VOWS TO CUT
TRAINING TIME BY HALF
In the PICPA symposium, Chairman Santiaguel said that after two years of the implementation of the training program, CDA is reviewing the training curricula to shorten the training to 1/2 the present period of 30 days to about 15 days.
Defending the need for such training, Dr. Santiaguel cited that due to lack of training, among other things, from some 78,000 cooperatives prior to R.A. 9520, only some 11,800 were registered initially upon effectivity of R.A. 9520.
In a written message to PICPA, Dr. Santiaguel said: "..We at CDA are very thankful and proud that we have a strong partnership with PICPA, hailed by the Professional Regulation Commission as the "Most Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization in 2013", in professionalizing the accounting system of the cooperative sector through a series of trainings and workshops purportedly designed for cooperatives. And we relied on PICPA to train and capacitate our accredited External Auditors."
Responding to the Montemayor blog, a CDA reaction was also published. Cooperative Philippines is reprinting some pertinent excerpts, as follow:
"..First and foremost, we would like to emphasize that the policy on mandatory training requirements of cooperative officers currently in place came out not from the unilateral action and arbitrary initiative of the Cooperative Development Authority.
It stemmed from the provisions of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 (Article 44 of R.A. 9520)....
"...CDA is not the one setting the training fee that the cooperatives are obligated to pay - it is the training service providers depending on the scope and quality of the services they offer and the cooperatives are willing to avail and pay..."
"...While admittedly there are some gaps and concerns that the current policy, system and structure on the mandatory training implementation, we are continuously conducting meetings and consultations on how to address those gaps and concerns. The current policy is under review..," the CDA added.
(So there. As they say, all is well that ends well. CDA has promised to lessen the time period of training. For me, as a cooperator, that is assurance enough of the goodwill and responsiveness of CDA). (END).