Cooperatives operating in the province of Davao Oriental can now anticipate a bright future with the plans of the provincial government of Davao Oriental to strengthen cooperatives by empowering them more, help each other grow, and be competitive and inculcate a mindset of entrepreneurship.
In the recently concluded “Serbisyo Caravan ng mga Kooperatiba ng Davao Oriental, the provincial government, through Provincial Cooperative Officer Rotchie Ravelo laid down the plans of the provincial government and the challenges that awaits in materializing the said plans.
“Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang and I had a talk on this matter while preparing for the Cooperative Caravan. The Governor said that to make things easier in helping the cooperatives in the province, it’s high time now to put up a cooperative academy,” he said.
Ravelo explained that the Academy is a physical structure that will house the software and the hardware of cooperative development, the systems and processes of cooperative operation and development.
He added that the Governor wants the Academy to be a two-way process, as an avenue to provide them with the necessary interventions, and as an avenue to hear from them, to know what still needs to be done.
To date, there are more than a hundred cooperatives in the province of Davao Oriental, and the Provincial Cooperative Office is optimistic that even just half of them will persevere, as they hope to increase their number.
Cooperatives are also highly encouraged to avail of the Davao Oriental Credit Surety Fund, wherein they can borrow financial assistance to enhance their business endeavors, as there are only five cooperatives as yet, who availed of the assistance.
Aside from the credit surety fund, to maximize all its efforts, the provincial government allocates 5 million pesos assistance to qualified cooperatives operating in the province, under the Local Government Development Fund.
“We have a very minimal interest for this financial assistance. It’s only 2.5 to 3%, depending on their pay back period. But we are still working on the guidelines. However, cooperatives, associations, organizations can now submit their proposals,” Ravelo furthered.
He emphasized that the name of the game is really survival, and so the province is supporting all means for the cooperatives to survive.
“There are mandatory trainings given to them by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) before registration and its renewal. They also have to partner with private entities. It is because the competition in economic growth is not only cooperative to cooperative, but cooperatives have also to compete with private organizations. Cooperatives has to think and work as a company, and this is a real challenge for us,” he continued.
The Serbisyo Caravan catered to the needs of the cooperatives, like processing conversion to cooperatives, and answering to different queries from the attendees, primarily through the Cooperative Development Authority.
It was attended by CDA Regional Director Elma Oguis, Mr. Ednar Dayanghirang, Chief of Staff of Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, Councilor Ma. Gracia Tiago representing the City of Mati, and representing the cooperative sector was Mr. Marlon Magno.
It was held at the Provincial Capitol Covered Court.
For the cooperatives, Ravelo said, their motivation must be “together we are strong, but alone we are weak”. By: Ms. Neela G. Duallo