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Ilocos Region to celebrate Cooperative Month

DAGUPAN CITY — The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in the Ilocos, in partnership with the Regional Development Cooperative Council and the city government of Alaminos, will conduct the Regional Cooperative Month Celebration on October 18-19, 2019 in Alaminos City, Pangasinan.

Van Ian Enriquez, senior cooperative development specialist and information officer of CDA in the Ilocos, said the celebration is pursuant to Proclamation No. 493, s. 2003 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declaring the month of October as Cooperative Month. 

“The observance aims to encourage wider participation of all sectors of society in nation-building through cooperativism and to raise the consciousness of people to join the cooperative movement and uphold the principles and values of cooperativism, serving members’ needs and not profit-oriented,” he said. 

Enriquez said the event, which will be held at the Don Leopoldo Sison Convention Center, includes a trade fair, commemorative program, Gawad Parangal Awards and Recognition, Coops Got Talent, learning sessions to be given by CDA, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Department of Trade and Industry, and sharing of best practices of successful cooperatives. 

“To capitalize Alaminos City’s tourism, participants of the two-day activities may also avail of the island tour at the famous Hundred Islands National Park and hotel accommodation,” he added. 

One of the highlights of the celebration is the 9th Gawad Parangal Awards and Recognition, which will recognize the best performing cooperatives in the region.

Enriquez disclosed that a cooperative in the medium category from the province of Ilocos Sur and a regional awardee will serve as Ilocos Region’s entry to the national level. 

“As of September 30, 2019, a total of 1,752 coops are registered in Region 1 with 884 of them in Pangasinan, 279 in La Union, 255 in Ilocos Sur and 334 in Ilocos Norte,” he said during the ‘Pantongtongan Tayo’ (Pag-usapan Natin) radio program of PIA Pangasinan aired over DZMQ Radyo Pilipinas-Dagupan on Tuesday. 

He said that out of 1,752 cooperatives in the region, 772 are compliant or operating with 394 in Pangasinan, 129 in La Union, 116 in Ilocos Sur and 133 in Ilocos Norte, while 513 are dissolved coops.

Enriquez advised the public who are interested to join a coop to ask CDA if the cooperative is registered or not, operating or dissolved to avoid scams because there are unscrupulous individuals who used “pseudo-cooperatives” to lure people to invest to get their hard-earned money. 

“If it’s too good to be true, huwag magbitaw agad ng pera at huwag magpabulag sa pangako ng return of investment,” he added. 

This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme, “Cooperativism: A Countervailing Force Against Climate Change and Violent Extremism through People Empowerment to Trailblaze Shift in Paradigm Towards Sustainability and Social Inclusion!”.