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October becomes Cooperative Month

THE House of Representatives has passed a bill into law declaring every October of the year as Cooperative Month to recognize the importance of cooperativism.

Rep. Sabeniano “Ben” Canama of the Coop NATCCO Party-List said that cooperatives in the entire country celebrated cooperative month every October. He said the House of Representatives, through the House Committee on Cooperatives, make it stronger by passing a law.

Canama said he has learned that the Senate has also approved the bill making every October into a cooperative month.

Canama also said that Congress also passed a law making mandatory the position of a cooperative officer in every municipality, city or province.

The Lower House is also looking for ways on how to extend help to the community,

In the Cebu City Government, there is a special body called Cebu City Cooperative Development Council (CCCDC) but there is no cooperative office, hence, there is no cooperative officer.

Canama said the cooperative officer is now a mandatory position in the Local Government Unit (LGU) to supervise and help a cooperative to grow.

In the House Committee on Cooperatives, it organized forums on how to improve the cooperatives.

Canama noted that the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) said there are more or less 27,000 registered coops in the entire country. However, because some of them are micro, the active ones in operation are about 18,000.

So, there are about 9,000 which are not anymore in operation and cancelled registration.

Canama said he is saddened by the fact that of the 18,000 registered active coops, about 8,000 only have Certificate of Tax Exemption (CTE) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) so there are about 10,000 which did not avail of the tax exemption as embodied in the 1987 Constitution.

Canama initiated meetings with the CDA and BIR. The BIR listened to their issues and concerns, and has a commitment to help. There are now several cooperatives which will receive CTEs after long delay of its issuance.

There are still cooperatives which said that it is difficult to secure CTE. He thanked BIR for solvingf the issue and finally solving the problem. ELIAS O. BAQUERO