Strengthening cooperatives in the province through capacity building was the focus of the 7th Cooperative Leaders Conference held on October 25, 2019 at Alta D’Tagaytay in Barangay Iruhin East, Tagaytay City. Sharing the huge success of the event were around 300 cooperative leaders in Cavite who convened as part of this year’s coop month celebration bannering the theme “Business Continuity: The Next Evolutionary Phase of Business Continuity,”

With a powerful story of wisdom, Board Member Rommel Enriquez, Sangguinang Panlalawigan Chairperson of the Committee on Cooperatives welcomed guests, resource speakers and participants telling everyone that the future of a cooperative depends on its management.  Likewise, Provincial Cooperative Development Council (PCDC) Chairperson, Fr. Arturo Balagat together with PCDC Chairman Emeritus Ka Rodrigo Camia delivered their opening message, with inspiring stories of almost 40 years of dedicated service to coop highlighting the value of social responsibility while leading the success of cooperatives.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Governor Jonvic Remulla, Provincial Administrator for Community Affairs Mr. Alvin Mojica pledged commitment to the programs of cooperatives and thanked the coop leaders for their continued support through participation to various activities being led by the Provincial Cooperative, Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Office (PCLEDO) headed by Atty. Khervy Reyes.

Topics concerning business continuity management and related concepts filled the whole-day event of coop leaders who are very eager to learn and become resilient to achieve their goals.

Prior to the lecture and discussion proper, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Region IV-A Director Salvador Valeroso took the opportunity to present the 2018-2022 Philippine Cooperative Development Plan, expounding its overview, vision, goals and underlying principles. Also, in his words of encouragement, Director Valeroso shared a famous quote that says, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe,” adding that great coop leaders provide a more conducive coop environment.

Further learnings and motivation were shared by experts on cooperativism including Mr. Bon Ian De La Roca, Asst. VP for Returns of Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative, who also delivered the keynote speech on behalf of AGAP Partylist Representative Rico Geron; Director Diosdado Waña of the Center for Humanitarian Learning and Innovation; and Mr. Mark Cervantes, a National Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Specialist from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The talks helped participants better understand business continuity management to minimize economic losses and stay in the market for the benefit of every member of the coop. They wanted coop leaders to realize that low organizational leadership capacity equates to higher the risks, thus, the need to have strong internal control mechanism that will win the confidence of members.

In addition, General Manager Maria Jennet Avecilla of Bacoor City’s Bagong Silang II Multi-Purpose Cooperative shared their coop’s best practices starting off with their milestone journey. Ms. Avecilla emphasized how transparency and good record-keeping made them survive challenges, reminding coop leaders like her the value of integrity in handling finances.

Words of challenge from the Department of Trade and Industry-Cavite Provincial Director Noly Guevara aptly wrapped up the conference. Director Guevara asked for every coop leader’s application of the learnings and capacities they have developed in attaining the vision and mission of their respective cooperatives.

The event continued with the Gabi ng KOOParangal 2019, which highlighted cooperative excellence and gave wider recognition to coop leaders. Among the awards granted were The Most Promising Cooperative, Best in Assets, Best Coop in Micro, Small and Medium-scale Category, Most Diversified, and Most Participative Local Coop Development Officer and other special citations. Cash incentives assistance from Senator Francis Tolentino and Governor Jonvic Remulla served as motivation for cooperatives to do well every year. The AVP message of Cooperative Development Authority Chairman Orlando Ravanera equally inspired coop awardees, congratulating the province’s efforts in developing champion cooperatives.