Thursday, February 25, 2016
CO-OP BRANCHING MORATORIUM
That is the problem when one doesn't give a clear and comprehensive reason for one's action. You force your public to speculate, make a guess (rightly or wrongly) for the reason why. I guess you can't blame me to do the same.
As a stakeholder of the local cooperative movement since 1978, I am making this reaction to the recent advisory from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). It recently announced a moratorium on the processing/approval of co-op branches/satellite offices.
Okey, the CDA Board of Administrators approved the move. Co-ops need more clarity than saying that they have to wait until CDA comes out with the amended guidelines on co-op branching.
I cannot imagine that there might be internal resource constraints in CDA to merit the moratorium. The reported limited number of CDA personnel against the many co-op concerns had been raised before. I don't think there is a glitch in CDA processes, as it is reported and vaunted to be ISO certified.
This CDA action appears to run counter to its published objective to make the number of cooperatives more manageable. Instead of more "unwieldy" micro cooperatives being formed, existing cooperatives may just be encouraged to branch out or put up satellite offices.
Moreover, to note that many areas in the country still have no bank presence, this moratorium appears to run counter to the what the situation calls for. The CDA is among the 13 government agencies in the forefront of promoting financial inclusion. Ironically, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which leads in this effort, recently issued more liberal branching regulations for banks.
If the CDA move is towards this end in revising its rules and regulations on co-op branching, it may be worth the wait, and the moratorium. But, please, CDA friends, don't take too long. (END).