CDA Grants digicoop special coop license

January 13, 2022 Bro. Clifford T. Sorita 526 views

SoritaAiming to accelerate tech transformation and provide web and mobile banking capability to its members, DigiCOOP Technology Service Cooperative (DTSC) has secured its special type of cooperative license from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), achieving the milestone of becoming the very first technology service cooperative in the Philippines.

DigiCOOP is the first Philippine cooperative-owned technology platform for cooperatives. It is focused and dedicated for cooperatives that aims to “RevolutiUnite” the Philippine cooperative sector through digitalization of banking and finance, insurance and healthcare, e-commerce and value chain, and management and logistics using the latest technologies particularly AI and Blockchain. It is managed by its technology provider, Traxion Technology Services Cooperative, headed by Ann Cuisia.

Prompted by the need for cooperatives to be able to develop and provide a complete technology platform and transaction apps for their members, CDA issued Memorandum 2021-14 on November 2021, which includes guidelines for the registration of a Technology Service Cooperative (TSC), a special type of cooperative organized among registered cooperatives of all types and categories.

Under CDA’s TSC memorandum, DTSC is expected to pool its resources to introduce technological innovations, particularly in supporting members of its cooperative through e-commerce, portals, and innovative ways of bridging the gap in market access.

“We are honored to be the first to organize and apply for registration under this special type of cooperative. With this, DTSC envisions to offer e-commerce-related products to accelerate the digitization of cooperative operations among our members,” said Ann Cuisia, founding president and CEO of DTSC.

Assistant Secretary Vidal Villanueva III, Head of the CDA’s Credit and Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, and Credit Surety Fund Cooperatives Cluster, said that this step is a response to the changing needs of the cooperatives sector and community in general.

“While some cooperatives—particularly the bigger ones—have already started their own digital systems, there is still room to improve their smaller counterparts’ access to online services. The special type of cooperative will give us the opportunity to build the digital infrastructure for our movement,” Villanueva shared.

The DTSC leaders include Fr. Anton Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila; MGEN Gilbert Llanto (Ret.), chairperson of the ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative; Roy S. Miclat, president of 1 Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP); Isagani Daba, First Community Cooperative (FICCO) representative; and Traxion Technology Services Cooperative’s Ann Cuisia, visionary and proponent of the digiCOOP platform of DTSC. “As the first technology service cooperative in the country, DTSC aims to be a model cooperative federation for similar endeavors in the Philippines as well as in Asia and beyond,” Cuisia added.

Truly, a cooperative is a strong indicator of an SSE (Social & Solidarity Economy) framework. Cooperatives is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state- dominated economic systems. In SSE ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. It also aims to transform the social and economic system that includes public, private and third sectors. SSE is not only about the poor, but strives to overcome inequalities, which includes all classes of society. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals.

Allow me to conclude by using the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis when he says, “Your cooperative model, precisely because it is inspired by the social doctrine of the Church, corrects certain tendencies typical of collectivism and statism, which are sometimes lethal to private initiatives; and at the same time, it curbs the temptations of individualism and selfishness typical of liberalism. In fact, while the capitalist enterprise aims primarily at profit, the cooperative enterprise has as its primary purpose the balanced and proportionate satisfaction of social needs. Certainly the cooperative must also aim to produce profits, to be effective and efficient in its economic activity, but all this without losing sight of mutual solidarity”.

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