Sunday, August 21, 2016


Acceptance Speech at PCC Officers Oath-taking Ceremony
Sulo Hotel, Quezon City
August 4, 2016

First of all, let me try to explain something.
I was re-elected Chairperson not because my cooperative has
the biggest asset, as it would have gone to Tagum Cooperative,
NOVADECI or PAFCFIC. Not because I am the most
handsome, as the Vice-Chair and the rest of the men here
would vehemently contest the title.  Not because I am the
most experienced in cooperative affairs, as most everybody
here have longer resumes that me.  Not because I’m the brightest, as most of you here have more white hair and more lines on the forehead than me. 

I was re-elected Chairperson because I was at the comfort room when the members of the Board were already conspiring against me so that when I got back they just told me it was me again.  It’s a lesson learned next year after the General Assembly.  I will have to hold my bladder a little longer until a new Chair is elected.  Anyway, why and how I am the Chairperson is not that important.  But let me take this opportunity to thank you for the vote of confidence. I humbly accept the vote and please accept the confidence I will take with me because I know I will have all of you to support me.

I first became a member of the Board when Senator Butz Aquino just finished his last term 4 years ago.  Was it a passing on the baton?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  His are big shoes to fill. Just as the others who came before me like Normskie, Ibing & Doris. The responsibility is not just felt by the Chair, I think. Do you agree June, after you replaced Fr. Mar?  Dado, after Ibing?  William, after Loreto?  Monica, after Normskie?  It is said in Proverbs 3:27, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."  Theirs are big shoes to fill for us.  But what I know is that the state of the Philippine cooperative is a little better when they left it to us.  So it is up to us to do our best now that we’re it and make it "betterer".

The statistics show that there are 25,610 registered cooperatives with around 14 million individual members.  According to CDA, the coop sector directly employs 520,578 people and indirectly creates 2 million jobs.  The volume of business we generate is P313.8 trillion and the value of assets of the coop sector is P248.5 billion.

But does the average Filipino care?  Does government know our contribution?

We want to believe they are now because the very first executive order of President Rodrigo Duterte places the CDA under the supervision of the Office of the President.  This executive issuance is consistent with RA6939, which recognizes “the promotion of growth and expansion of cooperatives as a major and indispensable component of national development plans”.  It acknowledges the potential of the cooperative movement to contribute positively to the anti-poverty efforts of the new administration.

We should be confident that the President’s first EO is a sign that change is truly coming, change that will redound to the benefit of all our countrymen, especially the millions of Filipino families who wallow in poverty.

Most of us have gone through PCC’s grueling strategic planning process together and we all equally understand and share the great responsibility of PCC’s core purpose as the unifying and transforming voice of the cooperative movement.  Don’t tell me that the core values of integrity, leadership and community are PCC’s alone because I know that they are our values individually as well. 

So much is expected of us.  Let me borrow the wise words of a fraternity brother of mine, the UP activist Ditto Sarmiento, who said “Kung hindi tayo kikibo, sino ang kikibo? Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?"

As such, we need to keep track of our stategic plans that we ourselves have formulated:
In showcasing of coop best practices, we should document breakthroughs of our cooperatives and link all websites of our cooperatives to PCC.
In being the strong voice of the coop movement and in positiong PCC as the apex, we should be at the forefront of all issues pertaining to cooperatives & should be active in influencing public policy. Let us learn from our ASEAN neighbors. Drs. Robby Tulus and Balu Iyer in their paper, CO-OPERATIVES AND THE ASEAN ECONOMIC BLUEPRINT: Call for greater Co-op engagement and visibility, have said, "In Malaysia, as in other ASEAN countries, co-operatives have gained increased recognition as a third economic sector. It is a unique blend of the two other sectors, namely the public sector that emphasizes on the social welfare of the community, as well as the private sector, which focuses on profit maximization. The 2011-2020 National Cooperative Policy (NCP) launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Malaysia attests the government’s recognition for the cooperative movement’s role in economic development. It recognizes the cooperative sector as one of three contributors to the country’s economy with a target income of RM50 billion by 2020. The NCP charts the direction for cooperative development without compromising the values and philosophies of cooperative, i.e. transparency, trustworthiness and honesty."
As a sought-after catalyst, we should always seek solutions rather than complain of problems that beset the cooperative movement.
To have a stable resource base and to sustainable operations, we should campaign for the acceptance of the concept of annual coop membership dues based on the number of individual members. Let us employ what other coop apex in other countries do. Let's have our own 4Ps to be known as Piso-Piso Para sa PCC.
Let us find a way to borrow from successful coops to replicate their best practices as models in capacity-building of similarly-situated coops as a way of being a big sister to a small sister.
On policy influence, our experience in the fight against the repeal of our tax privilege has shown us that when we cooperatively work together, we are a major force to reckon with. Legislators listen to us we speak as one.
With the guidance of our Directors-in-charge, operational clusters will indeed be operational. We see at least one major cluster forum per quarter for this to work.
There is a great pool of experience as well as local and international exposures among coop leaders that would require only a system for us to forge necessary linkages to build a better coop environment.
For us to have published data on coops, we must partner with universities, colleges & other learning & research institutions to conduct & come out with research on coops.
In the settlement of conflicts, let us strengthen our policies to institute the Coop Mediation Center as who better to settle our differences but ourselves.
Of nurturing of strong affinity with PCC, let us seek out coops who are in need. Dahil ang suliranin ng isang kooperatiba ay suliranin ng buong kilusang kooperatiba.
On capacitating PCC leaders, we must have Level 5 trainings available to us now.
Same with staff competence, but our priority is to seek and hire a CEO who will ably implement our strategic plan.
On IT-enabled processes, it's time we harmonize and modernize our systems.
Hope springs eternal in our quest to have our land titled to PCC & build a modern structure on it. But I hope, it will not be all hope. Dapat walang forever sa paglalakad na mailipat na ang titulo sa pangalan ng PCC. Sen. Migz Zubiri has said he will help us talk to BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay.

Having said all of this, let me give you my fearless forecast for our term:
In September, a major review of all our policies will be underway.
In October, a 100% chance of success of the 13th National Cooperative Summit.
In November, we would have submitted, appeared, explained and convinced the Committee on Cooperatives Development in the House of Representatives our position that CDA has the power to define what a coop apex is as well as acknowledge that PCC is it.
In December, a 100% chance that PCC will meet its income target.
In January 2017, PCC will have a CEO.
In February, a big chance that PCC will already be processing the transfer of the land title to its name.
In March, during the General Assemblies of our primaries, we would conduct an information campaign for support for the Piso-Piso Para sa PCC.
In April, a 100% chance that a cluster forum would be a success.
In May, a 100% chance that we will partner with a College or University for research work on cooperatives.
And lastly in June 2017 after our successful General Assembly, there is a 100% chance that I will not be Chair anymore.

Before I finish let me share to you something close to my heart, The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith, which he wrote when he was still a sophomore at Harvard University and was found on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta. It goes like this:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

I am Hamilcar Rutaquio.  I am not the brightest here.  I am not the most experienced in cooperative affairs.  I am not the most handsome.  My coop is not the biggest.  But I am the Chair of PCC and by the trust and confidence given to me by the Board of Directors and the General Assembly, I humbly appeal to each and every one of you to: love people, do good, succeed, be honest and frank, think big, fight for a few underdogs, build, help people, and give the world the best we have-  the cooperative as the most viable mechanism and most important model for nation-building.

Salamat.  Mabuhay ang PCC!  Mabuhay ang Kilusang Kooperatiba!

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