The Institute of Cooperatives and Bio-Enterprise Development (ICOPED) of the College of Economics and Management (CEM), held an online round table discussion and webinars to mark October as National Cooperative Month.
The activities, which targeted participants from cooperatives, enterprises, associations, groups, youth, and students, were held on Oct. 19, 20, and 26 via video conference.
The celebration of the National Cooperative Month is provided for by Presidential Proclamation No. 493 series of 2003 to recognize the crucial role of cooperatives and cooperativism in economic and social development.
This year’s celebration took off from the International Cooperative aAlliance’s call to “rebuild better together” and the theme set by the Cooperative Development Authority, “Kooperatibang Matatag: Tumutugon sa mga Hamon, Daan sa Pagbangon, Nagbibigay Pag-asa sa Makabagong Panahon!”
In recognition of its stakeholders who participated and collaborated with them in cooperative development, ICOPED celebrated the occasion with its own theme, “Rebuilding Coops: Better Together, Stronger Together.”
Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. gave the opening message during the event, sharing his observation to the online audience that cooperation always rises to the forefront, especially in the midst of crises.
He affirmed cooperatives as sterling models for people uniting for a common goal and collectively addressing their needs.
He said that the celebration is fitting as it promotes understanding of the cooperatives’ stories amidst crises and provides a venue for agencies to discuss the different adaptive ways and solutions suited for cooperatives.
The celebration began with the “COOPversation: A Round Table Discussion on the Future of the Cooperative Sector in the New Normal.”
“Coopversation” looked into the situation of cooperatives in 2020 up to the present, as well as the support given to them to make them more resilient and in a better position to promote recovery from the crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Invited speakers were Atty. Imelda T. Ong, provincial director of TESDA Cavite; Alaiza Marie D. Loretizo, science research specialist of DOST-CALABARZON; and Amabel P. Perez, account officer for Cooperative Financing, LANDBANK Laguna Lending Center.
Reactors invited to the discussion were Celia L. Atienza, department head of the Batangas Provincial Cooperative, Livelihood, and Enterprise Development Office (PCLEDO); Paulo G. Velasco, department head of the Sta. Rosa City Cooperative Development Office, and Bon Ian D. de la Roca, assistant vice president for Returns of Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC).
ICOPED also held the “COOPligsahan: Collective Action in Action,” which featured prime movers for collective action during the pandemic to inspire the youth to become part of the movement.
Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy, a professor in political science and international relations and president of TechnoPerformance Corp., discussed the benefits of collective action in the national and international arena.
Ana Particia Non, founder of the Maginhawa Community Pantry, shared her experiences in initiating and organizing community pantries.
ICOPED also held the Tiktok Challenge and Infographics Making Contest participated in by students enrolled in the course on Cooperative Studies. The top three and People’s Choice Award winners were announced at the event.
The last day of the celebration was a webinar tackling digital transformation for cooperatives entitled, “Kaya Natin Mag-Digital: Digital Platforms and Solutions for Cooperatives in the New Normal.”
The webinar aimed to introduce platforms and transaction channels that will enable cooperatives to transition to e-commerce in response to the changes and opportunities brought about by the pandemic.
Evangeline C. Lopez, head of Payment Services Group of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) oriented the participants on the services provided by their KAYA online platform.
Traxion Technology Service Cooperative, through its president, Joshua Allen Santos, also demonstrated to the participants how to navigate the DIGICoop application, an online platform designed for cooperatives.
The event concluded with ICOPED’s relaunch of “eKOOP: Online Marketing Hub for Cooperatives and Enterprises.”
eKOOP is a marketing website under the leadership of Dr. JP Roma D. Duque, ICOPED university extension specialist.
It was set up in October 2019 after ICOPED explored the possibility of assisting cooperatives and enterprises using an online platform.
Initially, eKOOP aimed to address the need for cooperative enterprises to further expand their presence and market reach through a platform where they can showcase their products and services and facilitate linkages among cooperatives and their customers.
This also allowed the Institute to formalize the process of enlisting a prospect partner cooperative in eKOOP.
The ICOPED’s services through eKOOP may be availed of by customers without any charges.
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