Feature: Coop movement, now a vehicle for peace
by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob
Cagayan de Oro City (29 October) -- "The cooperatives in Mindanao have silently but effectively worked to make life better for the oppressed, the poor and the down-trodden, in whose name and for whose cause, cooperatives exists."
This was stressed by Regional Director Orlando R. Ravanera of the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA) in region 10, who said the cooperative movement should now be considered not only as a vehicle for progress but also as an instrument for social justice and peace.
He said the jobs and economic opportunities offered by the cooperative sector is even bigger than the micro and small and medium enterprises (SME) as it has assisted the coops to create more employment and livelihood of its members.
"Somehow, the movement could be a solution to the hundred-old problem of the Mindanao conflict which could be actually traced to the unequal distribution of wealth resulting on just a few people getting richer leaving the greater population to live in poverty," he said.
Citing the 2006 figures, Ravanera said a total volume of Php24.156 billion in investment was posted by the cooperative sector of Mindanao, with about 1.2 million members, that provided jobs to 29,124 Mindanaoans.
Of the 100 top performing coops in the country, 26 are Mindanao-based and are considered champions in financial, banking and services sector, agrarian reform and agricultural production.
As far as Northern Mindanao is concerned, some Php8.31 billion in investment was posted by the 3,846 cooperatives of the region, last year, that employed some 6,263 workers.
These investments came from the cooperatives in following provinces: Misamis Oriental, Php5.39 billion, Bukidnon, Php1.77 billion, Misamis Occidental, Php553.7 million, Lanao del Norte, Php528.2 million and Camiguin, Php72.7 million.
Topping the type of coops in the region are: multipurpose cooperatives (MPC)-agriculture, 2,051, MPC-non agriculture,1,336, credit coops, 160, service coops, 91, consumer coops, 62, producer coops, 60, marketing coops, 45, federated coops, 27, coop unions, 7, coop banks, five (5) and insurance and confederated coops, one (1) each. (PIA 10) [top]