Tuesday, April 22, 2014
"COOPERATIVES' ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT CITED"
The Filipino people were urged to engage in cooperativism citing its productive value and role in socio-economic development.
"A cooperative serves as a bridge so that everybody can join the process of societal change and development. Forego the unproductive dole-out mentality," Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, told the 37th anniversary of Baclaran Vendors Development Cooperative.
Citing inclusive growth as a buzzword, Sen. Villar expressed the belief that cooperatives would play a role in bringing the benefit of the country's economic growth to the grassroots level.
Villar acknowledged that cooperatives could also help to extend financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). She noted that more than 90 percent of businesses in the country are SMEs and cooperatives.
She reminded supporters of the cooperative industry to increase their membership to help more people and for cooperatives to expand and develop. She said that giving recognition and honoring the best cooperatives is a way of encouraging them to exert their best efforts.
"My husband, former Senate President Manuel Villar, and myself believe that SMEs and cooperatives are key to get poor Filipinos out of poverty," Villar said. She was the principal author of Republic Act 9178, or the Magna Carta for Micro Enterprises, during her stint as congresswoman of Las Pinas City.
Villar urged cooperatives to promote self-reliance and to harness people power. "Cooperatives operate for surplus to enhance the benefits of members, which will be beneficial to the community at large because increased purchasing power can trigger increased economic activity and spur development," she stressed.
The same goal of cooperativism, Villar cited, had inspired her to develop livelihood enterprises.
To allow the benefits of cooperatives to directly trickle down to beneficiaries, Villar said she made them "barangay based or community enterprises".
By Mario B. Casayuran
Manila Bulletin, April 23, 2014