Coop movement strongly supported by La Trinidad officials

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Dec. 1 (PNA) — Support of the local officials and cooperative partnership with local government units, regional line agencies and relevant stakeholders, are some of the identified strategies to promote a strong cooperative movement in this municipality.

Orlando Pacya, Coop Development Specialist and Municipal Cooperative Development Officer, on Tuesday, December 1 said the local officials support the promotion and development of cooperatives.

This was the emphasis in the 1st La Trinidad Cooperative Congress conducted by the Municipal Cooperative Development Council (MCDC) composed of coop federations and unions in cooperation with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

With the theme “Mobilizing Cooperatives and Local Government towards Community Development”, the congress aims to present issues and concerns affecting the cooperative sector and to create a venue to strengthen the cooperative movement.

The MCDC, Pacya said, was created by a Municipal Ordinance authored by Councilor Horacio Ramos Jr., Chairman of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) Committee on Cooperatives, Peoples’ Organizations (POs) and non-government organizations (NGOs).

La Trinidad is the only municipality in the province that established its cooperative council. It has a total of 103 cooperatives registered with the CDA with a total membership of 31,205 as of December 2013.

The total registered coops in Benguet is 205 while the whole Cordillera Administrative Region has a total registered coop of 509, Pacya added.

Cooperatives create sustainable growth and quality employment, bring economic growth, foster food security, securing legal recognition for co-operative enterprises and coops gives people a voice.

There are seven coops in Benguet belonging to the top 500 coops nationwide – Cooperative Bank of Benguet at 53; Benguet State University Multipurpose Cooperative at 122; Philex Community Credit Cooperative at 125; La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post Multipurpose Cooperative at 214; Bad-ayan Buguias Multipurpose Development Cooperative (283); Benguet Government Multipurpose Cooperative (427) and Kabayan Multipurpose Cooperative (491).

In a separate interview, Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan said the cooperatives have contributed in the development of livelihood in the countryside which is one of the parameters in the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2012-2013.

The provincial government has been very supportive to the cooperative sector providing funds for the yearly conduct of cooperative convention including free training by the CDA to beef up the capability of coop officials in running their respective coops, Fongwan said. (PNA)