The election fever finally ended as sealed with the oath-taking and turn-over ceremonies for elected local and national officials. Talks on the election results and margins fizzled as officials assumed office last July 1, 2019.
The challenge posed to the newly elected officials is their commitment to live up to their commitments to their constituents. To the electorates, now is the time to start monitoring the implementation of platforms and promises made during the campaign period.
As cooperative programs are not priority areas by some elected officials, there is a need to constantly assert the role of cooperatives in nation-building as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. Cooperatives as recognized entities under the local government code need to sustain linkages with various local government units (LGUS) and national line agencies and comply with the basic requirements for them to retain their juridical personality.
Foremost, cooperatives can renew their accreditation with local government units as peoples’ organization operating in the municipality or province. Accreditation requirements can be obtained from the Office of Sangguniang Bayan/Panlalawigan. This practice when done regularly can foster closer linkages between cooperatives and LGUs.
After accreditation, LGUs and cooperatives can cooperate and collaborate to identify and implement various activities supportive of cooperative businesses that can influence the lives of members. The involvement of cooperative officers in the Municipal/Provincial Development Councils as representatives and creation of municipal/provincial cooperative offices for those that have not institutionalized are among the challenges and opportunities requiring actions from elected officials.
We commend cooperatives that established linkages with government and private institutions. Their existing tie-up activities whether financial or non-financial transactions provide opportunities for members to take part in shaping development initiatives intended for the people. As cooperatives deal with people, it supports the idea that interventions succeed when people are at the center of development. Sustaining partnerships require dedication and commitment coupled with the required skills and competencies. Harnessing best practices in human resource management, quality management, information management, and innovations can mutually benefit members and the community.
I salute officials of local government units that institutionalized plans and programs and appointed responsible officers to cater to the needs of cooperatives. Through their sustained financial and technical support to cooperatives, we noticed increase in revenues and total assets of cooperatives.
Kudos to our legislators, stakeholders and CDA officials that worked hard in proposing measures toward the strengthening of the Cooperative Development Authority. At present, we are still awaiting developments concerning the changes in the CDA Charter. The changes would definitely affect the agency structure from the Central Office to the Regional levels.
In view of the changes, there is a need to strengthen linkages among cooperatives, line agencies, stakeholders and local government units. Having stronger alliance would pave the way for more partnership activities that may contribute to economic growth and development.