Press Release
November 9, 2020

Senate approves bill mandating Cooperatives Development Officer in LGUs

Coming off from a 3-week break, the Senate with 19 affirmative votes, passed on third and final reading the bill which seeks to make the position of a cooperatives development officer (CDO) mandatory in all municipalities, cities, and provinces.

Senate Bill 1855 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 which proposes to make the position of CDO mandatory in every municipal, city, or provincial government. The bill consolidates Senate Bill Nos. 1327 authored by Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri; SB No. 1360 filed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros; and SB No. 1510 filed by Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr.

Zubiri, principal sponsor of the measure, said the 28,784 registered cooperatives in the country could grow to unprecedented levels if government support for the co-op sector would be strengthened through local government units (LGU).

"And if we are able to harmonize the sustainability goals of our coops, we would be able to see great progress and development across all our regions, and all our industries, and all our class sectors. That is what we are hoping to achieve with this measure, which will establish CDOs in all our local government units, in order for us to provide accessible on-the-ground government support to our coops and strengthen the cooperative presence across the nation. They will be able to reach communities in our most far-flung areas, and they will be able to deliver vital cooperative support on the grassroots level," Zubiri said in his sponsorship speech.

Under the bill, CDOs will take the lead in identifying groups, sectors, or communities that may be organized into cooperatives in order to address poverty, generate employment, and steer the community towards socio-economic enterprises and development.

CDOs will also provide assistance to prospective cooperatives by guiding them through their pre-registration or pre-membership seminars, and through their preparation of requirements for registration.

In partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority, the Department of Trade and Industry, and other national government agencies, co-op unions and federations, and the academe and other private organizations, the CDOs will provide assistance to cooperatives to enhance their viability as an economic enterprise and social organization including but not limited to training and education, business management, finance and financial management.

CDOs will also assist cooperatives in the development and implementation of risk management plans and business continuity plans and management as a response to anticipated or unexpected man-made and natural calamities and disasters, to aid in their survival, and, if necessary, subsequent rehabilitation.

"With CDOs, we will be able to promote and support our cooperatives, and embolden them to raise their economic, social justice, and sustainability targets. And with CDOs, we will be able to coordinate our regional cooperative sectors toward a unified national cooperative movement," Zubiri said.

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