DAVAO DEL NORTE, Oct. 20 (PIA)---To strengthen the position of home-grown cooperatives, the provincial government has continued to provide assistance for continued education, Cooperative Division Chief Humber Cabunoc of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) said.
Guesting at the Kapihan sa Kapitolyo, Cabunoc (also the assistant PAGRO) revealed this cooperative development direction set by the provincial government as it foresaw the impact of the economic integration next year upon the opening of the trade liberalization of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) nations.
Through his office, the provincial government has gone aggressive on extending technical and management trainings for local co-ops to stand the threats of economic integration especially in the agriculture sector, he said.
While Cabunoc saw the significant contribution of cooperatives in terms of job generation and employment opportunities, he was looking at trade liberalization and the ASEAN integration as challenges especially to cooperatives.
He further revealed that the province allocated a budget of P2.25-million to roll out cooperative development programs anchored on education and training covering those mandated by the Cooperative Development Authority for all cooperatives to undergo.
Meanwhile, the provincial government however, has stepped aside from the traditional way of directly financing cooperatives and has adopted the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Surety Fund to which participating co-ops put in its respective P10,000 initial contribution to the fund from which they can borrow.
“This is to empower co-ops to pay; they should also be committed. The provincial government is more on facilitation only,” Cabunoc explained.
The Davao del Norte Surety Fund now grows to about P65 million since 2010 when co-ops in the province first grouped themselves and put in their contribution, he said.
“There are criteria to follow to join the group and borrow from the fund. They should be well managed and well capitalized with asset base of P1million above,” Cabunoc said. (PIA 11/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan)