ON its 26th year, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) will celebrate its long-list of achievements and milestones.
Among them are the signing of RA 9520 otherwise called as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008; signing of the Rules and Regulations Implementing Certain Provisions of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 or RA 9520 on January 25, 2010; awarding of ISO re-certification of CDA Central Office and 14 extension offices and certification of CDA Tacloban Extension Office and signing of the Amended Implementing Rules and Regulations on March 18, 2015.
Meanwhile, Hon. Orlando R. Ravanera, CDA Chairman, explains that through the directions and priorities outlined in the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Roadmap, the agency will continue to pursue its mandate. CDA Roadmap was prepared in pursuance of the Social Contract of the President with the Filipino People. It is also based from results of consultation with the cooperative sector through the cluster congresses conducted in 2015.
CDA will specifically advance the paradigm that cooperativism may well be the answer to poverty and powerlessness of the people because cooperatives are the coalition of the poor to collectively have access and control over their resources.
CDA Chairman, says, “The cause of poverty is not the lack of resources but powerlessness of the people to have access on and control of resources. The only measure to correct this wrong is when people bind together and harness their potential, and pool their source together.They say its cooperativism.”
Ravanera pointed out that such could aptly be done through cooperatives which are increasingly becoming a vehicle of empowerment to democratize wealth and power and therefore, lessen economic and social disparities.
Being politically and ideologically neutral, cooperatives have shown that all warring forces can come together in the spirit on unity. In Mindanao, there are cooperatives of the military, the MNLF and cooperatives in conflict areas.
This will be implemented through the seven paths to peace, namely:Peace through Sustainable Agriculture; Peace Through Protection, Rehabilitation, Conservation and Preferential Use Rights of Natural Resources; Peace Through Rights-Based Management of Utilities; Peace Through Good Governance and People Empowerment; Peace Through Human Resource Development; Peace Through Conflict Transformation, Management and Resolution and Peace Through Promotion of Halal Food.
Adoption of sustainable agricultural practices
In partnership with policy makers, other agencies of government and the cooperatives, it will advocate for the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.
It is an approach that is economically viable, environmentally sound, and socially beneficial. This agricultural practice will enable farmers to produce their needs and meet the present generation’s needs.
Ravanera firmly believes that long-term development in the country can be won or lost through agriculture. To this effect, CDA will conduct activities that will encourage cooperative farmer-members to adopt sustainable agriculture and open opportunities to identify potential markets for organic products.
Awards and recognitions
Through its annual Gawad Parangal program, the agency will continue to give awards and recognitions to cooperatives and cooperative development partners for their exemplary performance and best practices.
The Chairman also reiterated that CDA will continue to be an active player in the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion of the government because cooperatives have a great potential to bring effective financial services to their members. The adherence of cooperatives to the universally accepted cooperative principles and values is among the reason why cooperatives are very inclusive.
CDA will continue to honor its commitment as member of the Regional Network for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives for Asia and the Pacific (NEDAC), ASEAN Centre for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives (ACEDAC), and Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Associations (APRACA), as these international organizations are established primarily to help develop agricultural cooperatives. This is in line with the Authority’s commitment to participate in activities and support policies and initiatives beneficial to agricultural cooperatives in the Philippines. It will also apply as become member of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).
Other CDA plans
Likewise, CDA will continue to improve regulatory performance of cooperatives by cultivating an environment of compliance among cooperatives; pursue an aggressive capacity building program for the micro and small cooperatives; continue to strengthen the CDA through capacity building for its personnel, maintain its ISO certification, improve its quality management system and seek approval for the authority to fill all its authorized plantilla positions; and intensify its communication and advocacy program for cooperatives.
CDA Roadmap 2015-2021 priority area
There are five priority areas that CDA Roadmap would pursue from 2015 to 2021. They are as follows:
Priority Area. No. 1 – Rapid, Inclusive, and Sustained Economic Growth
Priority Area. No. 2 – Poverty Reduction and empowerment of the poor and the vulnerable
Priority Area. No. 3 – Transparent, Accountable and Participatory Governance
Priority Area. No. 4 – Integrity of the Environment and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Priority Area. No. 5 – Just and Lasting Peace and the Rule of Law
Other activities lineup for the celebration includes launching of Kooperatibalitaansa CDA, launching of the CDA GawadParangal for 2016, workshop for the Development of Tools for Gender Mainstreaming, Secondnational Gender and Development (GAD) Summit and the awarding of ISO re-certification of CDA Central Office and 14 extension offices and certification of CDA Tacloban Extension Office.
“The CDA and the entire cooperative sector are now ready to face the next one hundred years underscoring that all along the cooperatives in the Philippines have been advancing a brand of cooperativism that has been embodied in the recent issuance of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Yes, the UN’s SDGs call for Transformative Cooperative for People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Purpose has been the battle cry of the Philippine Cooperatives since 2012.”
“It is also amazing that His Holiness Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si, has jibed well with the cooperatives’s raison d’ etre of advancing social justice, equity and economic development when he recently pronounced that “it bids us all to break the bonds of poverty and social injustice that give rise to glaring and scandalous social disparities,” Ravanera concluded.