The cooperative movement in the Philippines is already more than century-old. But it still a long way to go before it becomes a real influence to the growth and development of our people.
Records from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) indicated a not-so-encouraging statistics with respect to membership and growth of cooperatives in the country.
According to available data from CDA (which is based on its encoded reports from 10,762 and 24,652 registered cooperatives all over the country), as of Dec 31, 2014, there were some 7.8 million coop members in the Philippines, which the agency estimated to be a measly 14.41 percent of Filipinos qualifies to become coop members.
Even if we peg the membershi of cooperative in our country to say, 20 percent , the figure is still very low, considering the long period of time that the cooperative movement found its way to our country, more than 100 years ago (the UPLB Credit and Development Cooperative was established in 1908, one of the oldest cooperative in the Philippines).
In addition, the CDA report stated that there were only 395 large cooperatives in the country with Php 171.7 Billion assets. Under CDA’s medium coop category, there were 1,410 with a total assets of Php 52.1 Billion. For small coop category, there were 2,762 with Php 19 Billion in total assets. But micro cooperatives account for 6,195 with an assets of Php 5.6 Billion.
The foregoing figures demonstrated the snail-pace growth and development of cooperatives in the country.
And according to some Filipino economist and students of cooperatives, many cooperatives failed due to incompetent management, lack of proper understanding of the principles, practices and purpose of cooperatives, improper use of credits by the borrowers, political interference particularly in the collection of overdue accounts, lack of adequate safeguard against unscrupulous officers who took advantage of their position to grant loans to themeselves and their relatives or friends, among others.
But we are not even certain whether our so-called coop leaders are aware of this situation. We have not even heard from our government functionaries, disseminating this information with vigour, hoping that by doing so, those in the coop movement will be motivated to change, to improve and to work together and harder.
It is our hope that our coop leaders will study the trend of the coop movement and together with the Cooperative Development Authority do something about this very slow growth of membership and assets, among other things, in order that the potentail of the cooperative to become an instrument of people’s progress and development will be harnessed to the fullest.
THE CLIMBS Journal
Volume 1 Number 33
July – September 2016 Issue