One-Day Forum & Oath-Taking Ceremony of COOP-NATTCO Partylist

Maraming salamat sa Cooperative NATCCO Network Party, Inc. o COOP-NATTCO Partylist sa imbitasyon para maging bahagi ng One-Day Forum na ito at ng oath-taking ceremonies mamaya. Masaya ako na makasama kayong lahat ngayong araw.

Ang Coop-NATCCO bilang representate ng mga  marginalized farmers at nga kanila mga cooperatives nationwide ay isa sa mga organisasyon na kapareho ko ang mga advocacies para sa mga Pilipinong magsasaka at sa suporta sa mga kooperatiba.

And together, we will also continue work in pursuing legislations that will spur the growth and development of cooperatives, especially agricultural ones, to empower Filipino farmers who remain among the poorest in the country. On my part, I really make sure that the bills I author will benefit cooperatives directly or indirectly.

I have been working on removing all the barriers that prevent farmers from being successful and competitive. These include lack of technical expertise, lack of financial literacy, lack of access to cheap credit and lack of mechanization. And since most cooperatives are comprised of farmers, those are the same barriers faced by coops. I have passed various legislations that are helping tear down those barriers already.

These include the enactment into law of Republic Act (RA) 10848 or the act extending the period of implementation of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund up to year 2022. ACEF provides a level playing field in access to not only education and training, but opportunities to modernize and mechanize existing facilities or operations.

Eighty percent (80%) of the (ACEF) fund will be in the form of credit with minimal interest, which shall not exceed five million pesos per project loan to cooperatives; and maximum of one million pesos to small farmers. For the remainder of the fund of 20 percent—ten percent (10%) will be extended as grants for research and development (R&D) of agricultural and fishery products, and upgrading  research facilities of qualified state universities and colleges (SUCs); and ten percent (10%) will be used for the funding of a comprehensive scholarship and attractive grant-in-aid program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and veterinary medicine education, to be implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Dapat naman natin talaga itodo ang suporta sa mga cooperative dahil hindi matatawaran ang kanilang kontribusyon sa pag-angat ng antas ng pamumuhay ng kanilang mga miyembro, pati na rin ng mga komunidad na kanilang sineserbiyohan, at higit sa lahat sa ating bansa na rin.

Noon pa man ay parati ko ng sinasabi na ang mga kooperatiba ay talagang kaakibat ng goberyo sa pagsugpo sa kahirapan at sa pag-unlad. At alam naman ninyo na malapit talaga sa puso ko ang mga kooperatiba. Kaya noon pa man, ganon na lang ang suporta ko sa mga kooperatiba.

As the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) itself cited: “Through the various livelihood programs and projects initiated and different products and services offered by coops, people get the chance of enjoying more improved lives and thus open the door for transforming the society from that of being hopeless and enslaved by poverty to that of being conquering and flourishing.”

Indeed, cooperatives have been promoting self-reliance and helping people attain economic development and social justice. Iyan din ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit taon-taon ay pinaparangalan namin sa Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG)   ang mga cooperatives through the Villar SIPAG Awards on Poverty Reduction.

Paraan namin iyan para hindi lang para parangalan, kung hindi para engganyuhin pa ang iba pa nating mga kababayan na tumulong sa kanilang mga komunidad para makaahon sa hirap ang ating mga kababayan.

At the end of the day, isa lang naman ang ating layunin at iyan ay ang labanan at tapusin ang kahirapan. Para once and for all ay maiayos na natin ang kalagayan sa buhay ng ating mga kababayan. Kaya hangad ko na lalo pa ninyo palaguin ang inyong kooperatiba at palawigin pa ang mga produkto at serbisyo na inyong pinagkakaloob sa inyong mga miyembro at pati na rin sa publiko.

So, as in the past, let us continue working together para sa ating mga kababayan. We cannot do it alone, kailangan talaga ay partners tayong lahat. Napakarami pang kailangan at pwede pang gawin para sa ikauunlad natin, ng ating mga kababayan at ng ating bayan. Iyun dapat ang patuloy  natin pagtuunan ng pansin at panahon.

Muli, maraming salamat. More power at mabuhay ang COOP-NATTCO Partylist!