Press Release
September 30, 2021

Zubiri Opens National Cooperative Month

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri took to the floor on Wednesday to usher in the National Cooperative Month--the first official celebration after the passage of Republic Act 11502, an Act Declaring October as our National Cooperative Month. Zubiri, who chairs the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, spoke on the contributions of cooperatives to the country, and the legislative measures that the committee has forwarded for and with the sector.

"I want to publicly thank and recognize the coop sector for its outstanding contributions in the country's fight against COVID-19. According to the Cooperative Development Authority, the sector was able to provide a substantial 5.5 billion pesos' worth of assistance throughout the pandemic," Zubiri reported. "At hindi lang po iyan sa mga coop members, kundi sa mga non-members rin po at sa kanilang community. This is what our cooperatives embody--the Bayanihan spirit."

According to the International Cooperative Research Group, about 13 percent of the country's population are members of cooperatives. And per the Cooperative Development Authority, there are currently 18,848 operating cooperatives across the country, directly generating over half a million jobs. Indirectly, they have paved the way for the creation of about 2.5 million jobs.

"Many of those jobs are in the countryside. Napakalaki po ng ambag ng ating mga kooperatiba sa ating countryside development. Andiyan talaga sila on the ground, engaging with our people and providing services on the grassroots level," Zubiri asserted. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that our agricultural sector, for one, would be on its knees without support from cooperatives."

Zubiri highlighted legislative measures the Committee on Cooperatives has successfully shepherded into law, including the Cooperative Development Authority Charter and the Cooperatives Development Officer Act. He has also filed three more bills for the sector, namely the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program Act, the Transportation Cooperatives Development Loan Fund Act, and the Cooperative Banking Act of 2021.

"Tuloy-tuloy po nating palalakasin at palalawakin ang ating coop movement, so we can help more Filipinos have access to resources that they need in order to uplift themselves and their communities. That is our commitment this Coop Month and beyond," he vowed. "Tuloy-tuloy na pag-asenso ng mga kooperatibang Pilipino. Sa kooperatiba, sama-sama tayong babangong muli sa pandemyang ito."

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