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PIA Press Release

More opportunities in store for members as PGMA signs into law Coop Code of 2008

Tacloban City (February 17) -- Amidst the global economic crisis that is threatening to affect the Filipino people, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is scheduled to sign into law today, the proposed Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 which will give cooperatives greater opportunities to serve their members.

The President's signing into law the much awaited Republic Act 9520, comes as a fresh breath of hope to the almost 24,000 cooperatives all over the country. This is perhaps the reason why some 500 leaders of cooperatives are expected to witness the signing at Malacanang today.

The signing also brings to forth the importance of cooperatives not only as an important tool in poverty reduction but also in mitigating the impact of the current global economic meltdown on the Filipino people.

To less than President Arroyo cited the cooperative as she once said, "at a time of great challenges, cooperatives have helped the government in forging strong economy by bringing in investments, cutting down the incidence of hunger and helping reduce the unemployment rate with the creation of seven million jobs in seven years."

"When we bring in investments including the cooperatives' investments and create jobs, our people have a more stable and predictable life. And with more investments come more tax revenues that can be invested in schools, roads and bridges as well as healthcare, education and environment. Over time, everyone will benefit."

Sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, chairman of the chamber's committee on cooperatives, and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ernesto C. Pablo, the bill was passed in Nov. 2008.

The new law, Republic Act No. 9520, which amends the 1990 Cooperative Code of the Philippines or RA No. 6938, gives cooperatives greater opportunities to serve their members, not only in terms of financial assistance, but also in undertaking more productive activities geared toward the economic upliftment of their members.

The new cooperative code outlines in greater detail the requirements in professionalizing the management and operation of cooperatives. It provides a monitoring and evaluation tool for the cooperatives to conduct self-assessments in terms of its managerial, financial, and social objectives.

The main aim of the enactment of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 is the utilization of the cooperatives for social justice and sustainable economic development.

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) reported that since 1990, the number and types of cooperatives registered include 4,812 savings and credit cooperatives; 1,369 consumer cooperatives, mostly in public and private offices and schools; 1,409 producers cooperatives; 911 marketing cooperatives; 1,806 service cooperatives providing power distribution, potable water and irrigation system, public and private transportation service; and 60,000 registered agricultural and non-agricultural cooperatives.

The entire cooperative sector generated 1.636 million jobs in 2006, 1.563 million jobs in 2005 and 1.498 million jobs in 2004, the CDA report stated. (PIA 8) [top]

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