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PIA Press Release

Regional Cooperative Month Program moved to November 13-14

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (24 October) -- The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) joins the nation in celebrating Cooperative Month. Due to the devastations wrought by typhoon Pepeng in the region, however, annual regional program scheduled on October 23-24 is moved to November 13 and 14.

The two day program will be highlighted with sessions on cooperative works, partnerships and linkages, and actual testimonies of cooperative best practices.

The celebration, spearheaded by the Regional Cooperative Development Council (RCDC) in partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), adopted this year's theme of "Cordillera Cooperativism: Culture of Sharing and Caring."

As part of the celebration, RCDC sponsored a kapihan forum last Thursday to discuss updates, issues and concerns on cooperativism.

CDA-CAR Director Rey Elevazo affirmed that cooperatives in Cordillera is strongly becoming a serious movement, which is capable of establishing a billion peso asset or network like the Baguio-Benguet Credit Cooperative Cooperative.

In Baguio City alone, there are already 382 cooperatives and in Benguet there are more than 600 coops now. He also attested that, being new in the region, he observed that the cooperative movement, even in the other provinces of CAR is vastly growing.

Notwithstanding the growing success of cooperatives in CAR, the RCDC is still working for the further development of cooperativism in the region. According to RCDC chair Joe Taguba, the RCDC, in partnership with the government line agencies are pushing for the creation of provincial coop development officers in every province of the region and even to the municipal level so as there will be a headman in every area of the region that will coordinate and assist CDA in advancing cooperativism.

The RCDC also hopes that young people will also realize the vision of cooperativism, which could greatly help in improving the economy especially during this trying times. Thus, they are also pushing for the inclusion of cooperativism, in the curriculums of the universities and colleges.

The RCDC will be putting their plans or visions into a resolution and present it to Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, and other lawmakers who are expected to grace the Nov. 13 program.

On the other hand, Cordillera Administrative Region Cooperative Union chairman John Bugaling is encouraging all agricultural cooperatives to make a resolution pushing for "crop insurance."

"Philippines is mostly an agricultural sector and we cannot entirely depend on the government to give aid whenever our crops are damaged by typhoons or other factors. Though this would be hard to attain, other countries have done it. If we can approve this in the region, then we can bring it into the national summit," Bugaling said.

Other panelists in the forum were Ms Amparo Rimas, chairperson of the NorthWestern Luzon League of Cooperatives (NORWESLU) and Mr. Martin Manodon of CDA-CAR. (PIA) [top]

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