MANILA — On November 28 and 29 this year, about 2,000 delegates representing various federations, primaries, and other cooperative entities from across the country are expected to converge and take part in the 2022 National Cooperative Business Congress (NCBC) which will be held at the NOVADECI Convention Centre in Quezon City.
The convenor for this event is the Philippine Cooperative Centre (PCC) with NOVADECI as the event partner.
The NCBC will promote initiatives, programs, best practices, and business undertakings of coop entities involved in services such as insurance, finance, and credit as well as banking.
At the same time, the two-day event will feature discussions on agricultural pillar programs and challenges related to the crisis; the cooperatives in the different clusters/pillars and how they respond to the crisis; as well as their social impact on the economy, among other matters.
There will also be a trade fair that will showcase cooperative-branded products as well as services.
Time-proven benefits yet to be felt by society
Taking as its theme, Cooperative Enterprises: The Catalyst For Socio-Economic Development, the NCBC will underscore the great potentials that these entities possess in reaching out to the mainstream of society via the cooperative way — which has its time-proven benefits yet still has to be felt, as well as accepted by the mainstream of society.
According to a report from the International Cooperatives Alliance (ICA), as of 2020, there are 18,065 cooperatives throughout the Philippines, with 10 percent of the population (10.7 million) as members.
The ICA report also adds that Philippine cooperatives have a combined asset base of nearly P430 billion, with the top five entities, in terms of nature of operations being multipurpose coops, followed by credit and bank cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, producer cooperatives, and agricultural and dairy cooperatives.
In addition to the abovementioned statistics that prove how the Philippine cooperative movement is one with great growth potential as well as promises that can benefit those beyond their confines, it is also believed that through NCBC, federations can also work together to prove how their strength in terms of membership as well as resources can make that difference in easing the burdens of the crisis. It is also in this light when agricultural cooperatives themselves can come up with joint programs/projects whereas they can partner with LGUs, the government, and private sectors to make their programs/projects be felt and cascaded down to the mainstream of society.
Not to be outdone are the ‘big-brother, small brother’ concept of partnerships where such entities can effectively complement each other, plus the role of secondaries and primaries in further pushing the coop agenda.
Enhancing the role of clusters through synergy
For her part, PCC Chairperson Ms. Divine Quemi expressed her confidence in the hosting of this event, as one that will promote a strong sense of synergy by uniting the clusters while enhancing each of their businesses and capabilities.
“The clusters cannot stand alone, and each is dependent on and interrelated with each other,” she stressed.
“Just as the agriculture and transport clusters need the support of the financial clusters for capital to obtain Agri equipment and modern PUVs, respectively. Or how the marketing cluster needs the support of the transport cluster in delivering fresh produce.”
She also observed the importance of the education and advocacy cluster as “these provide continuing training that, in turn, will level up the image and boost up the sense of confidence of coop entities. Knowledge also means being open to new trends that these pieces of training providers, as processes change rapidly.
“Indeed the NCBC will enable the different kinds of cooperatives to be open to change, with PCC also there to provide its invaluable support in strengthening their businesses as well as potentials,” Ms. Divine enthused.