The cooperative movement in the country has heeded the call of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to utilize their Community Development Fund (CDF) in order to contribute to the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and help their respective community members mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis.
“We in the cooperative movement have largely heeded the call of Senator Bong Go to do our share in helping our members as well as the communities and barangays where our entities are located,” the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) said in a statement.
The PCC detailed the forms of assistance they have extended to their communities to support the government’s efforts against the further spread of the virus.
“The forms of assistance that we have been extending include, among others, the donation of basic commodities such as food; preparation and distribution of food packs and hygienic aids; logistics support for health/medical workers through the provision of PPEs; and engaging in sanitation/disinfecting work within coop offices as well as barangays,” said the PCC in the statement.
PCC also mentioned that many of their cooperatives, federations and affiliated entities throughout the country “began performing these deeds and more as early as the first few days of implementation of the lockdown and will continue to provide relief, support and whatever help they can give.”
“This stresses the timely call of Senator Bong Go to utilize the cooperatives’ Community Development Fund (CDF) in order to contribute to the government’s efforts to fight the disease and help communities mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis,” PCC further stated.
The organization also assured that “cooperatives will continue mobilizing the movement in order to assist local government units and provide help to frontliners, health workers and marginalized communities affected by this pandemic.”
“And our cooperators have, like soldiers called to battle, courageously heeded this call. We at the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) and the cooperative movement as a whole, stand for strength, courage and compassion in performing what we consider our mandate.”
Earlier, Go, who is also Senate Committee on Health and Demography Chair, suggested the use of the CDF of cooperatives for projects that will benefit the community during the enhanced community quarantine.
“Hinihikayat po natin ang ating mga kooperatiba na gamitin ang kanikanilang community development fund upang mas lalo pang mapalakas at mapalawig ang paglaban natin sa mga banta ng COVID-19,” Go said in a previous statement.
“Malaki po ang maitutulong ng pondo na ito upang mapunan natin ang pangangailangan ng ating mga komunidad habang sumasailalim tayo sa enhanced community quarantine,” he added.
Under Article 86 (3) of Republic Act No. 9520 or the “Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008”, cooperatives are mandated “to allocate not less than three per centum (3%) Cooperative Development Fund from its annual net surplus.”
Go’s request is also in line with Memorandum Circular No. 2020-30 issued by the Cooperative Development Authority which encourages cooperatives “to utilize their Community Development Fund (CDF), which under Article 86 (3) of R.A. No. 9520, shall not be less than three per centum (3%) of their net surplus, for projects or activities that will benefit the community where the cooperative operates.”
Go, who also sits as a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee overseeing the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, has also continuously reiterated that a “whole-of-society” approach is needed in combatting the unprecedented public health emergency.
“Lahat po tayo kailangang tumulong sa ating komunidad. Lahat tayo naghihirap at lahat naman tayo gustong malampasan ang krisis na ito. Gawin natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para pagserbisyohan ang kapwa nating Pilipino. Magbayanihan tayo,” Go explained.
The Senator also expressed his gratitude to the cooperatives for their positive response to his request. “Nagpapasalamat po ako at ang sambayanang Pilipino sa inyong kontribusyon sa laban nating ito.”
“Magkaisa po tayo at sama-sama nating talunin ang virus bilang isang nagkakaisang bansa. Ipakita natin na walang imposible kung ang diwa ng bayanihan at pagtutulungan ang mangunguna sa ating mga isip at puso sa paglaban ng COVID-19 sa Pilipinas,” he added.