Still Fighting for Independence

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Tomorrow, independence day will be widely celebrated all over the country despite the fact that it is slowly losing its meaning, its importance and its significance especially among the youth. However, there are still a lot of people in this world that have not obtained their freedom yet. Freedom from poverty. And the battle for freedom is still on. And we have just found one weapon which we believe to be sufficient to win the war and ultimately, gain independence. Co-operativism!

Today, I am featuring one particular co-op that is fighting for our cause. There are a lot of them of course, but this one is one extraordinary co-op. It is named, Treasure Link Co-operative Society.

Treasure Link Co-operative Society holds the record as the fastest growing co-op in the region. It soared in a lightning speed of 7 years in its blistering journey to become a large co-op. This is phenomenal considering that the average growth of co-ops in the Cordillera is around 25-30 years before becoming large, which means acquiring an asset of at least P100 million.

This co-op sprang to life legally when it was formally registered in April 26, 2006 but the founding members have been doing meetings as early as 2002 honing and perfecting their skills in savings and lending. By the time the co-op was registered by the CDA, it has a paid up capital of around P200,000.00.

Going back further or as early as 1998, a group of alumni of Bangaan National High School at Sagada, Mt. Province tried to sell the idea of forming a co-operative but there were no takers among those who congregated. It took another 4 years, before the idea was finally embraced, albeit only a few brave souls during another Alumni Homecoming in 2002. Thanks to the persistence of just one person.

Nevertheless, the group continued to meet just to sustain the momentum until they gradually start to seriously look into organizing themselves. They named their organization as Bangaan National High School Alumni Co-operative. Meanwhile, amidst the excitement of these original organizers, rumors circulated in town that the group is becoming an exclusive organization as observed by some sectors. It was perceived that membership is reserved only for those who are educated. So, in order to become inclusive, they renamed the co-op into its present name.

With only one year in operation, it expanded in Baguio City, then to Besao and Bontoc both in Mt. Province in 2009. The Lepanto sub-office was opened in 2012 and two years after, the co-op was introduced in Tabuk City, Kalinga and in Metro Manila. They were also able to establish a partner at Hongkong for their Money Padala service catering to the Filipino OFW’s there. The average growth of the co-op in terms of assets is a mind-boggling amount of 100 million per year.

Indeed, this is a great help for the members on wealth creation. That is why I am confident that we are winning the war. It is for our freedom!

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