CEBU CITY, Philippines – Representatives from 15 medium and large cooperatives in Region VII gathered at the Cebu Parklane International Hotel in Cebu City on October 29, 2021, to get ideas on how to sustain the cooperative sector against shocks external.
“The pandemic, which has limited the mobility of our population for almost two years now, has intensified the trend towards digitization,” said Region VII director of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Doreen Ancheta in her message to participants. CDA is the government agency mandated to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of equity, social justice and economic development.
Ing. Ancheta noted that cooperatives follow the trend of digitization, although this is largely limited to large ones.
“The best co-ops around the world are using technology to engage their members in governance and decision-making,” added keynote speaker Ann Cuisia, who is the visionary behind digiCOOP, a technology platform dedicated to serving co-ops. . “Unfortunately, the adoption of the technology in the local setting is still considered low,” she added.
Ing. Ancheta echoed the same observation earlier.
“Digitization is a natural progression for the members of the cooperative who are part of the huge, [asset-rich] cooperatives. But what about small and micro cooperatives? This is still our country’s challenge, ”she said.
In the Philippines, 54% of cooperatives are classified as micro-cooperatives. In total, they only hold 2% of all cooperative assets.
“Either we digitize or we die… But how do we make the cooperative sector sustainable? By partnering with the right technology platforms, ”Ms. Cuisia said. “DigiCOOP is a platform that aims to unite and serve several member cooperatives [in terms of improving their income streams]; and individual members by building their wealth by participating in a living ecosystem [beyond their own cooperative]. “
The digiCOOP platform is complemented by the digiCOOP business centers which have started to emerge in the countryside. The event also recognized the latest business centers that were launched in the main branches of the Tekton Entre (Cebu City), Sta. Multipurpose Cooperative Monica Bukidnon (Bukidnon) and Multipurpose Cooperative San Jose (antiquity).
Other cooperatives represented at the event include Perpetual Help – Dumaguete Community Cooperative, Metro Ormoc Community Cooperative, Cebu Market Vendors Multipurpose Cooperative, CORDOVA Multipurpose Cooperative, National Teachers and Employees Cooperative Bank and Vendors. multipurpose buildings in the public market in the city of Mandaue. Cooperative. / RP
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