LEADERS of the cooperative movement in the Philippines have claimed as their champions the tandem of former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte for their consistent stand as staunch advocates of cooperatives.
“We acknowledge all the efforts of Bongbong Marcos and Mayor Inday in promoting the interests of the cooperative movement as engines of growth for the Philippine economy,” said Rep. Sabiniano Canama of the COOP NATCCO Partylist.
“Throughout the years, they stood as our reliable partners in expanding the role of Filipino cooperatives— from taking care of the needs of our members to fueling the growth of Filipino entrepreneurs,” Canama added.
Canama acted as moderator in Wednesday’s virtual Meet and Greet session of the BBM-UniTeam with other officers of COOP NATCCO held through Zoom and aired live over Facebook.
Aside from Bongbong, also present during the virtual session were UniTeam senatorial candidates Harry Roque, Jinggoy Estrada, Herbert Bautista, and Win Gatchalian.
The Meet and Greet virtual session with the cooperative leaders was the first joint activity attended by the BBM-Sara UniTeam since Bongbong and Mayor Inday decided to suspend all scheduled political gatherings due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“Per instruction of Bongbong and Inday Sara, we are suspending the conduct of all mass gatherings related to the election due to renewed COVID threat. In the meantime, our candidates will resume their Meet and Greet activities with political and sectoral groups only through virtual sessions,” said House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, Lakas-CMD Party President and campaign manager of Mayor Inday Sara.
The event with cooperative leaders was attended by 1,000 participants through Zoom and 70,000 participants through various Facebook pages.
Describing Bongbong and Mayor Inday as the “next President” and next Vice President” of the Philippines, Rep. Canama welcomed the holding of the event as an “opportunity to see what the next administration has in store for the cooperative movement in the Philippines.”
When asked about his programs for the cooperatives once elected President, Bongbong said he intends to mobilize the executive and legislative departments for the crafting and implementation of laws necessary to allow Filipino cooperatives to flourish.
He explained that the Cooperative Development Authority, for one, needs to be allocated more budget to allow it to perform its duties well and provide assistance to all cooperatives in all parts of the country.
The cooperatives, he pointed out, must be provided with ample seed money and provided with skills training to enable them to grow from loan and savings organizations into full-fledged entrepreneurs.
“Gagawin po natin sa buong bansa ang ginawa ko sa Ilocos Sur noon. Bibigyan ng seed money ang maliliit na cooperatives at tutulungan sila na i-upgrade ang skills tulad ng accounting, business planning, at bank loan access,” Bongbong said.
Bongbong said he would also let Congress re-examine the law granting tax exemptions to cooperatives to ensure that small cooperatives are protected and only those with capability to pay are taxed accordingly for their business operations.
“The Duterte administration is doing a great job in protecting the rights and promoting the interests of Filipino cooperatives. We will definitely expand on the gains it has achieved in supporting cooperatives,” he said.
“Kailangan ng pamahalaan ang mga kooperatiba kaya kailangan natin silang bigyan ng proteksyon para lumago at lumaki,” he added.