A Cooperative Destruction Authority?

GrassrootsIs the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), an agency tasked by law to promote and develop cooperatives, bent on destroying the cooperative movement?

This question has been plaguing some 20,000 micro- and small-scale enterprises that constitute 92% of registered cooperatives.

Under existing CDA regulations, all cooperative officers (board member, general manager, secretary, treasurer and member of audit/election/mediation committee) are required to attend a series of training courses over two years. Board members and general managers should take nine and eleven courses, respectively. Secretaries, treasurers and members of audit/election/mediation committees must finish between four and seven trainings.

Non-compliance with these educational standards will result in the erring coop’s loss of its CDA certificate of good standing. As a consequence, the cooperative will forego its tax exemption privileges.

On the other hand, training expenses are now extremely onerous, especially on new or small cooperatives. In Cebu, for example, a CDA-accredited training provider charges a P9,000 daily training fee, or P27,000 to conduct a three-day basic cooperative course. In addition, the coop concerned shoulders the trainors’ accommodations and meals, plus the cost of photocopying training materials.

It is estimated that a coop will be spending P60,000 to P70,000 (for registration fees, accommodations, meals, transportation, etc.) for each board member over a two-year period in order to meet the CDA’s requirements.

How can, say, a credit cooperative with assets of less than P3 million and a monthly income of P60,000 afford the costs of training its board members and other officers? By laying off some of its employees?

To aggravate matters, the CDA has imposed an accreditation fee of P50,000 for auditors of cooperatives. So, now, most cooperatives spend P15,000 for the services of an auditor, compared to the P3,000 to P5,000 they were paying previously.

Why is the CDA making business more difficult for cooperatives? Is it true that some incumbent CDA officials are reportedly acting as trainors/resource persons of a non-governmental training provider organized by retired CDA employees? Or that, in official CDA forums in the Central Visayas, receipts are issued allegedly not by the CDA but by a cooperative training provider established by current CDA employees?

Should the CDA be renamed “Cooperative Destruction Authority”?

You May Also Like

  • In reference to your news blog posted inTapat News on April 17, 2013, permit us to elucidate our reaction to your Article which we hope you would very much welcome. The tenet of Journalism dictates that all views are given equal chance to be heard and seen before the general public and the netizens are hooked to pass one-sided conclusive judgment on our agency.

    First and foremost, we would like to emphasize that the policy on mandatory training requirements of cooperative officers currently in place came out not from the unilateral action and arbitrary initiative of the Cooperative Development Authority. It stemmed from the provisions of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 (Article 44 of RA 9520) which states that:

    “ART. 44. Functions, Responsibilities and Training Requirements of Directors, Officers and Committee Members. The functions and responsibilities of directors, officers and committee members, as well as their training requirements, shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations issued by the Authority.”

    Heeding the mandate of the aforecited provision of the law enacted by Congress, the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) were promulgated to include among others the Functions, Responsibilities and Training Requirements of directors, officers and committee members (Rule 7). Section 5 of Rule 7 of the same IRR states that:

    “Section 5. Training Requirements for the Officers of the Cooperative. Officers of the cooperative shall be required to undergo necessary training conducted by cooperatives, Federations and/or other trainers or training institutions duly accredited by the Authority. The training program should contain the minimum requirements in the module/curriculum as prescribed by the Authority. The initial courses or any equivalent substitute thereof must be undertaken.”

    The accreditation system was institutionalized not only to impose criteria within which the training service providers are qualified and be allowed to offer training courses and programs to cooperatives but also to set parameters and standards as to the kind and type of the trainings required to be attended to by cooperative functionaries in line with their respective positions and functions with their cooperatives. The training curriculum were likewise prescribed by the Authority to ensure that the legislative intent by which the attendance to such trainings by concerned coop functionaries are carried through – that is to enhance their knowledge and skills and use those knowledge and skills to improve the operational performance of the cooperatives. There are 137 training service providers accredited so far by the Authority that the cooperatives may choose. Below is the link listed and posted in the website of the CDA and the cooperatives may choose from the list the training service provider-institution near their place that can offer training that suit their needs. We would like to put it straight that the CDA is not the one setting the training fee that the cooperatives are obligated to pay – it is the training service providers depending on the scope and quality of the services they offer and the cooperatives are willing to avail and pay. That is the essence of market-driven system in cooperative world. There are accredited institutions among the local government units like the Valenzuela City, Cavite PCDO, Batangas PCDO which provide subsidized services for as low as P300 per participants
    (http://www.cda.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=266:list-of-accredited-cooperative-training-providers&catid=9:uncategorised&Itemid=514&lang=en) There are likewise cooperative unions, federations and advocacy cooperatives offering reasonable and affordable fee if only the cooperatives would explore their options. On the issue on a training provider organized by an alleged current employee of CDA, we would welcome the substantiation of such allegation for we will not allow the image that we have just rebuilt and regained be tarnished by such accusation. As early as last year, we have issued a directive to all our personnel refraining them to get involved in the conduct of the mandatory trainings for cooperatives. While admittedly there are some gaps and concerns that the current policy, system and structure on the mandatory training implementation, we are continuously conducting meetings and consultations on how to address those gaps and concerns. The current policy is under review.

    We reiterate that the mandatory training requirements for cooperatives are not a self-imposed program by the CDA –It is the law that mandates us to execute those requirements for the cooperatives. As a former Congressman, we are sure that you are aware of the dynamics of legislation that the RA 9520 went through the rigors of public consultations and hearings. As a matter of fact it took Congress 19 years to amend the predecessor law (RA 6938). The cooperatives and all other interest groups are consulted before it became a law. Even in the formulation of Implementing Rules and Regulation, the same process of consultation nationwide was undertaken. And the cooperative sector is a major player in those consultations. When the New Philippine Code of the Philippines of 2008, otherwise known as RA 9520, took effect on March 22, 2009, one year and two months had passed before CDA drew up the accompanying IRR on June 16, 2010. This is because we adopted a broad-based consultation mechanism: meaning we dish out the information and elicit participation of every interested group nationwide down to the provincial level. Even in the formulation of training curriculum standards, it took us close to one year from the effectivity of the IRR to finalize such standards in partnership with the cooperative sector—the Cooperative Education Forum (CEF).

    On the issue of accreditation fee of P50,000 allegedly being imposed by our agency in accrediting the CPA, that is bereft of factual basis. The accreditation we collect amounts to P3,000 per application.

    Branding our agency as Cooperative Destruction Authority is unkind, uncharitable and uncalled for. It is not fair and just for men and women of the CDA who are doing the herculean tasks mindful of the development of the cooperative sector. Nonetheless, we appreciate your interest in examining the way we do things because it will give us opportunity to revisit some policies and find areas for improvement.

    • Marian

      sir anf PCDO namin dito sa Palawan P50.00 lang ang hinihinging fee per pax sa mandatory trng ng mga coop officers dito sa Province. FYI.

      • Dan Abaga

        wow!napakamura naman! cnu po training provider nu?

  • Mario L. Limbaga

    It is a sad fact but to a certain extent it’s true. Micro-coops. and the newly registered ones find it very difficult to comply this requirement of CDA. The newly registered coops. don’t have the CETF yet. What they have is the P15,000.00 initial paid-up capital requirement for registration.They have no business yet but they have to comply the training requirement after six months from registration. The P15,000.00 paid-up capital is not even enough to spend for the training of its officers. CDA should give these coops. a grace-period for compliance of the training requirement as well as the other statutory reports. Training is good, yes, it is beneficial to the participant and to the coop. itself. It will enhance capability and improve performance. However, if it is highly commercialized that defeats the purpose.Imagine in one training, there are one hundred to two hundred pax in attendance. How could the trainor effectively relay his message and impart knowledge to the pax in this kind of situation? Ideally, in a training there are only 30-50 pax required to be effective in the transmission of knowledge. One hundred to two hundred is already too much which only benefit the training provider money-wise. CDA should revisit its policy on the matter.It should consider the condition of our micro coops., the newly registered and the agri-based coops. that can not afford the high registration fees of accredited training providers. We have government training institutions like the ATI, DAR, DA and even the CDS IIs who can ably handle some of the required trainings at very low cost. Why not give them the accreditation if the government is bent in extending genuine and sincere service to the poor?

    • pressie

      well said mr mario… and even for big/large or medium coops, these honoraria/training fee/registration fees charged by accredited trng providers will deplete their resources. it is high time for the cda, coop sector and everyone involved in the crafting of the irr, to sit down and review these regulations…

  • calyd

    May I know wat institutions (now a registered training provider) are active in giving trainings to the cooperative even before the RA 9520 or the implementation of MC which requires 2yr training for coops? Thank you

  • constantly i used to read smaller articles or reviews that
    as well clear their motive, and that is also happening
    with this paragraph which I am reading at this time.

  • raul ingente

    parang nakakadismaya, wala ka ngang tax pero katakot takot ang expenses sa trainings. Kala ko pa naman social justice tool ang kooperatiba, wala rin pala. Wala na rin palang pinag iba sa SEC and CDA, puro gastos din pala. Very ironic sa prnciples ng cooperative ang ganitong sistema