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City officials urged the Cordillera office of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA-CAR) and the Baguio City Cooperative Development Council to (BCCDC) assist and make representations for and on behalf of the cooperatives in the city, especially the micro and small cooperatives with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and other line agencies to consider speeding up the processes for the grant of exemptions and other incentives due to the cooperatives.
Under Resolution No. 594, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the City Council declared it is imperative for the CDA-CAR and the BCCDC to help address the actual predicaments and concerns of local cooperatives, especially that October has been devoted for the celebration of Cooperative month.
The Council anchored the passage of the resolution to the fact that operations of business establishments, especially micro and small enterprises such as cooperatives, have been greatly affected with effects of measures to combat the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that limited their transactions with various government offices.
Further, the council pointed out that micro and small cooperatives at this time of health, social and economic crises need most the spirited guidance and assistance of the CDA-CAR and the BCCDC in consonance with the agency’s mandate in promoting viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of equity, social justice and economic development pursuant to Section 15, Article 12 of the Philippine Constitution.
According to the Council, one of the means to revitalize local economic activities is the rejuvenation of micro and small cooperatives which compose more than half of registered and active cooperatives in the city by fully aiding them in their transition to the new normal of doing business.
The council noted that tax exemption is one of the incentives or benefits accorded for by Republic Act (RA) 9520 or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, but the processing and granting of the same has been taking too much time which allegedly deprived the beneficiary cooperatives of the supposed benefit, especially at the present times where the micro and small cooperatives need the funds they could get from such benefit to beef up their capital and regain the vibrance of their economic activities that had been heavily impacted by the pandemic.
The CDA is the regulatory agency that governs the registration, operation and monitoring of various types of cooperatives while the BIR, DOLE and other agencies are in charge of granting tax exemptions and other benefits of the cooperatives but the same is subject to compliance to existing laws, rules and regulations of the said agencies.
A good number of micro and small business operating in the city are owned and managed by micro and small cooperatives that contributed to the robust economic activities before this health pandemic that caused the implementation of the different levels of community quarantine over the past eight months.
The city is extending technical assistance to individuals interested organising cooperatives from their ranks to help strengthen the cooperative sector contribute in spurring the local economy. By Dexter A. See