Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged continued bayanihan (concerted effort) among cooperatives as he recognized their role in economic development and nation-building.
“Cooperatives have become an important force in countryside development. Not only have they contributed to the development of the sectors they represent. They have also encouraged the empowerment of their respective stakeholders and communities,” he said during a recent virtual forum with cooperative leaders.
Go enjoined cooperatives to continue helping the country in any way they can.
“For bigger cooperatives that wish to make donations but don’t know where to go, my office will help you. We are willing to assist you to ensure that your donations will reach those who need help the most,” he said.
Despite to the economic impacts of the pandemic, Go assured cooperatives that the government will continue providing assistance to small businesses and vulnerable sectors through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
“The government provided assistance to vulnerable sectors and struggling businesses. However, the government is also requesting major companies and banks to extend the moratorium on payment of rental fees, loans and other utility fees as a way of helping the middle class and small enterprises,” Go said.
“The government will continue giving out assistance under Bayanihan 2. This measure is focused on our economic recovery as we continue to beat the virus.”
Through Bayanihan 2, Go said there will be a standby fund that will provide low interest loans for workers and businesses affected by the pandemic, coursed through government financial institutions.
Even cooperatives may avail of such loans, Go said.
“You may avail of these forms of assistance to strengthen your lending and loaning services in your communities,” Go told the forum participants.
Go also reiterated his call to cooperatives to utilize their Community Development Fund in order to contribute to the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus disease and help their members mitigate the socio-economic impact of the crisis.
Meanwhile, Go expressed his full support behind the endeavors of the country’s cooperatives through legislation.
“I will support, through legislation, the reforms that the Cooperative Development Authority would like to introduce in growing cooperatives, for us to attain sustainable growth,” he said.
He added that he will look into recommendations and programs to help the cooperatives industry, such as the provision of seed fund the farmers and women cooperatives; capability building on sustainable development for cooperatives; market development assistance for agricultural cooperatives; executive development program for medium scale cooperatives or Cooperative Development Academy; incentivizing cooperative formation to State Universities and Colleges; local government support to community-based cooperatives; organizing Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles into cooperatives for Indigenous Peoples communities; integration of cooperatives to ending local communist armed conflict; decentralization of cooperative development down to the barangay local government units; and creation of National Cooperative Development Training Center.
“We treat you as partners in this fight because we know that you are more than willing and capable to help our communities overcome this crisis,” he said.
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