Wednesday, October 26, 2016

4,500 AT 13TH CO-OP SUMMIT





13th Summit Rallies 

4,500 Cooperators

 

 

PASAY CITY – More than 4,500 leaders and stakeholders of cooperatives from all over the Philippines gathered at the SMX Convention Center for the 13th Cooperative Summit on October 24 &25. The biennial event is the biggest co-op occasion this year, and was an display of solidarity where co-op leaders discussed issues affecting the sector  and threshed out directions they would take in the coming years.
 
 
 
 
 The Summit was co-organized by the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).  PCC is considered to be the “apex” of the co-op sector, being composed of the greater portion of the cooperative federations.
 
 
 
 
Issues discussed were the Bills filed in the House of Representatives threatening to repeal the tax exemptions enjoyed by co-ops, as stipulated in the Cooperative Code of 2008.  However, AGAP Partylist Rep. Rico Giron who chairs the House Committee on Cooperatives, assured the participants at the Summit that he, together with COOP-NATCCO Representatives Anthony Bravo and Sabiniano Canama, will oppose such Bills.
 
 
 
 
CDA Chairperson, Orlando Ravanera, reiterated that co-ops, while they are not taxpayers, are “actually tax makers” because they directly or indirectly employ 2.5 million persons, generated P313.8 Trillion in  last year, and manage P250 Billion assets owned by the co-op members.
 
 
 
 
There are currently 25,610 cooperatives registered with the CDA and these co-ops have a combined 14 million individual members who deposit funds, can obtain loans, plus many other services.
 
 
 
 
 Balu Iyer, Chairman of the International Cooperative Alliance in Asia-Pacific, provided an international perspective, saying Filipino co-ops have much to share and can also learn from co-ops in Asia.  He admired the theme of the event, “Philippine Co-ops: Exceeding Limits; Sustaining Excellence”  because it is a “bold and forward-looking statement of purpose.”
 
 
 
 
PCC Chairperson Hamilcar Rutaquio reported that at the Cooperative Show of Force in October 2015, thousands of cooperators pushed 1) the recognition of genuine electric cooperatives owned and controlled by its member-customers, 2) for market vendor cooperatives to operate market , 3) lobby for an increased budget for the CDA, and 4) fight against the repeal of tax privileges of co-ops.  One year later, he said the fight continues: “The PCC is rallying every cooperator and talking to our legislators as new bills in both houses of Congress have been filed in effect to again repeal our tax privilege.  We will strongly oppose such moves.”
 
He added: “The problem of one co-op is the problem of the entire cooperative movement.”
 
 
 
 
The PCC also gave the prestigious “Bigay Pugay” Award to co-op leaders age 70 and above, who devoted their youth to establishing co-ops and have nurtured their organizations through the years.  The awardees were Franco Baricuatro, Elvira Dandan,  Romeo de Jesus, Clarita Napoles, Norma Pereyras, Ruben Presilda,  Fidel Samson, Napoleon E. Sentillas, and Atty. Federico Triste.
 
 
 
 
The first day concluded with the representatives of CDA and the Department of Trade and Industry signing the Memorandum of Agreement to develop small enterprises under Republic Act 10644 known as the “Go Negosyo Act.”
 

Reposted from COOP NATCCO Website News.

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