Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Joint Memorandum Circular 2019-01 enjoins provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, punong barangays, DILG, and concerned offices for cooperative promotion, organization and development among LGUs. This is in consonance with the Local Government Code on the delivery of basic services which include coop development.
LGUs are tasked to formulate Local Cooperative Plan to be incorporated in their Annual Investment Plan and Comprehensive Development Plan, and ensure the provision of assistance in developing coops into viable and responsive economic enterprises.
It is also the role of LGUs to appoint local cooperative officer, and initiate and implement localized program for coop promotion and development.
LGUs may also establish local coop development office as a vehicle to promote cooperatives.
The CDA is tasked to provide information on policies and standard on coops, assist LGUs in coop development, coordinate efforts of the government and financing institutions, private sector, cooperative sector and other LGUs, and provide list and status of coop registered within their jurisdiction.
“We really have to push for the creation of coop in every LGU because it is for their own benefit; if it will grow in their own communities they contribute to the development of the area,” said CDA Cordillera Regional Director Franco Bawang Jr.
There is a bearing on the growth and prosperity of coop in an area, Bawang said, comparing those with and without local coop office.
With local coop development offices and coop officer or municipal cooperative development officer (MCDO) that focus on the sectoral concerns and monitor progress, there is growth of coops in their respective areas. Such is the case of La Trinidad LGU, he said.
The rest of the municipal LGUs in the province have designated their MCDOs but without local coop development office, he added. In the case of the provincial government, a local development coop office was created with staff provision.
Bawang admitted their office cannot look into the concerns and welfare of all the coops with their huge number, but he acknowledged that their support is a great help in moving forward coop growth and progress.
It is a matter of helping each other with LGUs because once the situation improves they become vibrant and eventually develop fast especially in remote areas. He cited the Bokod Sulphur Springs Multipurpose Coop which grew from a micro coop into large coop in just four years, and now extends support to Bokod LGU. (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)
By Susan C. Aro