Thursday, September 4, 2014


"...As I told the leaders of the cooperative movement in the Philippines, they should promote the playing of football in their respective regions in the Philippines.

Because the sport is an effective means of inculcating in Filipino children from the age of five or six, the spirit of cooperation, something direly needed in our culture.

Although we proudly speak of the "bayanihan" spirit, it is unfortunately limited to a very small circle of relatives or at best a clan.

The sense of the common good is generally absent in Filipino communities.  Most cooperatives in the Philippines have failed miserably.  The leaders I addressed came from the exceptional ones.

A successful cooperative is in a better position to look beyond the economic dimension of human existence.  As I mentioned above, it can address the cultural defect of individualism or a clannish mentality among many Filipinos.

It can heighten the social consciousness of people in business by making them more aware of how interlinked are their varied activities in the supply chain - as in agribusiness, where farming; post-harvest processing; marketing, wholesaling; transport; and retailing have to be closely coordinated for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Cooperatives can play a major, if not exclusive role in every link of this supply chain.

From the sad experience of many cooperatives in the Philippines, the successful ones  realize how important is moral integrity among their members, since dishonesty has been a very common cause of failure of cooperatives, with the treasurer running away with the money.

Finally, cooperatives cannot afford to ignore the political dimension of their members.  

They have to be active in dialoguing with government officials from the Local Government Units until all the way up to Congress whose members they must enlighten so that the right laws affecting cooperatives (as in the innovative workers cooperative movement) will be passed.

It was providential that Congressman Cresente Paez, who represents the cooperative sector in the Lower House was among those in the audience..."*

*Excerpts from "Cooperatives antidote to rugged capitalism", by Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas, August 28, 2014,


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