MANILA The potential of furthering the cause of "cooperativism" is seen to push back poverty and counter social injustices in the country.
"Cooperativism has relevance as a counter bearing force against poverty, social injustice, destruction of the environment, violent extremism," Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) chairman Orlando Ravanera said on Saturday in an interview on the occasion of the International Day for Cooperatives.
"Those who have dreamed of social change struggled, sacrificed and even died. The social transformation has been so elusive all these years despite 14 years under martial law and the People Power Revolution because the system and ingredients that are breeding poverty is as formidable as ever. But not anymore now because President Rodrigo Duterte has considered cooperatives as the key to a social transformation," he added.
In the first half of the chief executive's term, Ravanera reported that cooperatives have already "scaled heights".
Within the past three years, cooperatives focused on assisting drug dependents and former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Front start a new life were also added.
Through this and the government's normalization program in the south, Ravanera said the CDA was able to enter and provide support and training to former combatants who are members of any accredited cooperatives.
"We organized them and provided training, introduced a paradigm shift from conventional to sustainable agriculture. That is contributing to peace in Mindanao," he said.
According to the 2017 CDA data, there are at least 18,605 cooperatives operating nationwide.
"By end of 2019, I can see a scenario where the cooperatives' number will increase and we are about 11 million. I can see that before the year ends, we could reach 13 million members," Ravanera told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
July 6th is declared by the United Nations as the International Day of Cooperatives with this year's theme: Cooperatives for Decent Work. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency