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PIA Press Release
2009/02/20

Cooperative Code needs strong national push coop expert

Iloilo City (20 February) -- The Cooperative Code of 2008 or Republic Act (RA) 9520 needs strong push from the national government so that cooperatives in the Philippines can serve social justice and sustainable economic development.

Iloilo Provincial Cooperative Officer detailed as Community Affairs Officer Jerry Bionat said that in addition to a new set of guidelines embodied in the Cooperative Code is an actual national program that can change people's traditional attitude and concept about cooperativism.

"We hope we can make the people understand that a cooperative is more than a 'sari-sari store'," Bionat said.

With the new code, Bionat said, there is need for the provision of better qualified personnel and ample financial subsidies from government to help in the initial formation as well as upgrading of cooperatives in the country.

Bionat, who has traveled extensively and observed a lot of cooperatives in Asia, said that the Philippine government's thrust on cooperatives development can succeed with the development of discipline and stronger sense of responsibility among members.

RA 9552 signed recently by President Gloria Arroyo seeks to give cooperatives wider opportunities to serve their members, not only financially, but also in undertaking more productive activities geared toward the upliftment of its members.

Bionat said the struggling state of many of the more than 70,000 cooperatives in the country makes them a social and economic problem to be solved, which the government is now trying to address with the new code.

The new cooperative code particularly details the requirements in professionalizing the management and operation of cooperatives.

It also provides monitoring and evaluation tool for the cooperatives to assess their managerial, financial performance and attainment of their social objectives. (ESS/PIA6) [top]

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