COTABATO City– To further improve and promote the viability and growth of cooperatives in the region, the Cooperative Development Authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CDA-ARMM) launched on Monday here in the city the 1st ARMM Cooperatives Congress, officials said.
Dimnatang Radia, CDA-ARMM administrator, said successful cooperatives will present their best practices — specifically new management techniques, good governance and entrepreneurial activities — to newly established cooperatives.
“The Cooperatives Congress will form part of the benchmarking program of the CDA-ARMM and will enable small and micro cooperatives to be inspired by the best practices of the successful ones,” Radia said, adding that many cooperatives in the region have struggled to uplift their members’ economic status.
“With their unyielding conviction, hard work, and determination, some of these cooperatives surpassed their goals and have become millionaires,” he said.
The CDA-ARMM has registered around 4,600 cooperatives from 2010-2014, the highest number among regions in the country.
Orlando Ravanera, CDA national chairman, said the cooperatives are one of the ways to end poverty.
“With the promotion of cooperatives as instruments for equity, social justice, and economic development, we can hopefully end poverty that besets the region,” Ravanera said.
Data show more than 12,000 cooperatives are registered in Mindanao with P150 billion worth of assets.
Partners of the cooperative movement at the local, national and international levels will also share during the event their respective programs, projects and services that the region’s cooperatives may avail of.
Those scheduled to make presentations during the event include international agencies such as the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as well as national partners led by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
The congress also serves as a venue to showcase the services and goods of ARMM’s successful cooperatives.
About 200 participants from the five provinces of the region — Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – participated in the two-day activities. (PNA)