Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The Filipino people were urged to engage in cooperativism citing its productive value and role in socio-economic development.
"A cooperative serves as a bridge so that everybody can join the process of societal change and development. Forego the unproductive dole-out mentality," Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, told the 37th anniversary of Baclaran Vendors Development Cooperative.
Citing inclusive growth as a buzzword, Sen. Villar expressed the belief that cooperatives would play a role in bringing the benefit of the country's economic growth to the grassroots level.
Villar acknowledged that cooperatives could also help to extend financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). She noted that more than 90 percent of businesses in the country are SMEs and cooperatives.
She reminded supporters of the cooperative industry to increase their membership to help more people and for cooperatives to expand and develop. She said that giving recognition and honoring the best cooperatives is a way of encouraging them to exert their best efforts.
"My husband, former Senate President Manuel Villar, and myself believe that SMEs and cooperatives are key to get poor Filipinos out of poverty," Villar said. She was the principal author of Republic Act 9178, or the Magna Carta for Micro Enterprises, during her stint as congresswoman of Las Pinas City.
Villar urged cooperatives to promote self-reliance and to harness people power. "Cooperatives operate for surplus to enhance the benefits of members, which will be beneficial to the community at large because increased purchasing power can trigger increased economic activity and spur development," she stressed.
The same goal of cooperativism, Villar cited, had inspired her to develop livelihood enterprises.
To allow the benefits of cooperatives to directly trickle down to beneficiaries, Villar said she made them "barangay based or community enterprises".
By Mario B. Casayuran
Manila Bulletin, April 23, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
There are reasons compelling enough why there is need to amend R.A. 6939, the Charter of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
Cooperatives leaders, stakeholders and policy makers/legislators have cited the following key provisions of such amendment:
1. Granting CDA the sole power to register cooperatives;
2. Provide supervision and jurisdiction over all types of cooperatives registered with CDA;
3. Empower CDA to issue appropriate regulations regarding the supervision and inspection of cooperatives;
4. Direct the CDA to cancel or revoke the certificate of registration of cooperatives not compliant with the provisions of R.A. 9520;
5. Provide a consultative mechanism in order for the coop sector to participate on matters of planning and execution of government projects and programs;
6. Enhance the mediation, conciliation, and settlement process on inter/intra cooperative disputes as provided in RA 9520 and RA 9285;
7. Provide for the organization and re-organization of the CDA key positions
8. Institutionalizing the dissemination of coop principles and practices and their integration in the formal and non-formal education
Part-time vs. Full-Time
I. Why Full-time Board of Administrators (based on the CDA Unofficial Position Paper):
1. Full-time Board of Administrators provides a cycle of continuous inflow of ideas.
2. CDA has both developmental and regulatory functions and will do close monitoring of these functions.
3. BOA has to ensure its oversight functions.
4. Part-time Board of Administrators cannot be made accountable to the decisions.
5. There is need for a full-time Board of Administrators since there is an expansion of the role of the agency.
II. Why Part-time Board of Administrators (Based on the Consolidated Bills, Consultations/Position Papers from the Coop Sector and Government Agencies).
1. No-issue. Ideas come also from the staff or consultations from the coop sector. The BoA may tap Resource Persons/Experts to formulate or refine policies, rules.
2. Development and regulatory functions are mainly line functions. The board does not do the monitoring everyday, it is done by line officers and the results of which will be reported to the BOA as basis for decision making/policy.
3. The role of the BoA is to formulate policies according to studies, proposals and feedback during policy implementation. Such policies are not made everyday, week or month. \
They are not expected to go to different areas and check the implementation since real oversight functions are done by the regional officers and those at the central office.
4. Whether part-time or full-time, it does not diminish the accountability of the decisions made by the Administrators.
5. It is affirmed that the role of the agency is expanded, but not that of the board's. It is the rank-and-file who will have expanded functions or tasks, hence we need more people on the ground.
The Administrator's functions continue to be policy making.
II: Cooperatives in Education System (Based on the CDA Unofficial Position Paper):
1. CDA proposes to create a system of education and training for cooperatives and re-define the use of CETF (Cooperative Education and Training Fund).
Based on Consolidated Bills, etc.:
1. CDA to tap the expertise of private schools or state universities and colleges, coop federations and unions in having a coop education system.
Coops development and administration may be offerred as a baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate or as masteral courses including provision of equivalency credit and accreditation of work experiences and non-formal education and training of coop leaders, managers, and members.
The future usage and policies of CETF is best left to the cooperatives.
III. On Cooperatives in Agriculture and Rural Development (Based on CDA Unofficial Position Paper):
1. CDA proposes for the promotion and development of agricultural cooperatives, in coordination with the Dept. of Agriculture, and Dept. of Agrarian Reform, shall be a primary concern of the Authority to ensure food security and reduce rural poverty.
Based on Consolidated Bills, Consultations, etc.:
Agriculture is still a recognized sub-sector for cooperatives, hence, its inclusion in R.A. 9520, as other types of coops, such as producers, marketing, agrarian reform, dairy, or multi-purpose coops, however, is not needed to be articulated in the proposed revised charter.
IV. On The Requirements of Tax Exemption
(Based on CDA Unofficial Position Paper):
1. CDA proposes the Certificate of Registration (CoR) as sufficient document of tax exemption privilege for small coops. For large coops, CDA proposes to require Certificate of Compliance with reportorial requirements, aside from the CoR.
(Based on Consolidated Bills, Consultations, etc.):
1. The Certificate of Registration issued by the Authority to a duly-registered cooperative shall ipso facto constitute as the sole basis of the full enjoyment of the tax exemptions granted under Articles 60 and 61 of R.A. 9520.
V. On Savings from the Part-time Board of Administrators
(Based on Consolidated Bills, Consultations, etc.):
1. The savings if Administrators will serve part-time, roughly P15 million, can be used to pay the salaries of 40-45 Cooperative Development Specialists (CDS) nationwide or 2-3 CDS per region.
VI. On termination and retirement of CDA rank-and-file.
1. Only the BoA, Executive Director and Deputy Executive Directors will be affected by the proposed reorganization. However, they will be protected by Civil Service policies.
VII. On why only the six Administrators will serve as part-time, while the Chairman will be on full-time basis.
1. Civil Service regulations provide that as Chairperson, he should be the Head of Office. As such, he needs to serve full-time. Being appointed by the President with a rank of Undersecretary, the Chairperson wields political power that would be helpful to the sector.
Note: What is you stand on these issues? Pls. feel free to send in your comments (END).
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Claiming it is their "moral and official obligation" to participate in the crafting of the amendments to the charter of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the agency's personnel have published their "Position Paper of the CDA Personnel Nation-Wide".
Uploaded in the Facebook Fan Page of CDA Region 1, the paper claims the personnel were represented by the Executive Committee members, Regional Directors, and the CDA Employees Union.
They made known their stand on the following:
1. Abolition of CDA's development function.
They are firm on the retention of the development function of CDA, saying that it is the very reason for the agency's existence.
The paper averred that the abolition of this function, among other things, is unconstitutional. It also cited that under R.A. 9520, "..the Government...shall ensure the provision of technical guidance, financial assistance and other services to enable said cooperatives to develop into viable and responsive economic enterprises..."
2. On the conduct of trainings.
They want CDA to retain this function under Section 3(b) of R.A. 6939, which is "to develop and conduct management and training programs upon the request of cooperatives..."
3. On the abolition of CDA's rule-making power.
The rule-making power of CDA must be retained as such function is an integral part of its regulatory functions, the paper said.
4. On status of personnel on CDA reorganization.
The personnel should be automatically absorbed and not just given preference, while those who opt to be separated be given a separation pay computed at 1.5 month's salary for every year of service.
5. On grant of CDA's quasi-judicial power.
They wish CDA to be granted this power, to resolve intra-cooperative conflicts involving election of officers and governance issues of cooperatives, among other things.
6. On cooperatives in education system.
Their stand: The CDA should be allowed to create a system of education, training and research for cooperatives, and be given authority to redefine the use of Cooperative Education and Training Fund (CETF) to partly finance the operation of a Cooperative College.
7. On agricultural cooperative
They proposed for the particular definition of an agriculture cooperative, which it was claimed was not done under R.A. 9520.
These are among the positions raised in the paper purportedly signed by Dir. Orlando R. Ravanera, president of Association of Regional Directors; Dir. Ray R. Elevazo, OIC Executive Director; Dir. Giovanni T. Platero, Deputy Executive Director; and by Ms. Emerlina T. Racelis, president of CDA Employees Union.
As members of the cooperative sector, what can you say? Does the CDA Board of Administrators have an official position of their own? (END).