Magic is often associated with things thought impossible and yet being witnessed happening firsthand. Magic is something that, for the many, only exist in movies. Magic is something superficial but for Cortes Multi-Purpose Cooperative magic is doing things, no matter how small, that has a great impact to society.
CMPC was organized and officially registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) on October 30, 1992. The cooperative is located in Cortes a coastal barangay of the municipality of Basilisa in the mythical province of Dinagat Islands. It started its operation with just 28 farmers and fisher folks who put up an initial paid-up capital of Php3,125.00.
Like most of the cooperative being organized with business activities that are the sources of capital, CMPC at present aims to: 1. Conduct advocacy; 2. Extends financial Support to members; 3. Facilitates monthly general assembly and other activities of the cooperative; 4. Strengthens networking, coordination among coop stakeholders and partners; 5. Initiates and participates in social responsibilities; and 6. Facilitates in the conduct of product and services promotion exhibits among others.
However, like other cooperatives, CMPC on its lending service and consumer store did not prosper much. It experienced instability. In 2007, only 35 members remained despite the fact that the cooperative campaigned for more members. But in 2015, coop assessment showed that the paid up capital had increased by a whopping 365% in 5 years (FY 2011-2016). All thanks to the collaborative effort of all members. This is a clear indication that the cooperative is being managed well and that membership is also increased significantly over those years in parallel.
With this CMPC has been a provincial nominee and received a Certificate of Recognition by the CDA Gawad Parangal 2014 search for the Most Outstanding Cooperative in Micro category. On CY 2015 CMPC was adjudged as as 2nd placer Most Outstanding Cooperative in the province. Sustaining its programs /projects/ activities, CMPC gained the most Outstanding Award from the Provincial level to the Regional level in the GAWAD Parangal 2016. It also passed the critiques of the National Technical Working Group, hence, besting all other regional cooperative nominees along with the Provincial Cooperative Development office of the province
But what really are in the CMPC that did great impact to society? Its social advocacies did the magic.
It has contribution to the environment: it spearheaded the Community Coastal Clean-up Drive. Led the establishment of Communal Gardens of root crops which when harvested added income for the coop members. Participated in the Barangay Reforestation which initiated tree planting and maintenance of Cortes Watershed which is the primary source of potable water in the community. It also participated in the MindaNowsTreeVolution: GreeningMindaNOW which planted trees simultaneously in multiple locations.
The Social Program of CMCP includes Scholarship Grants to indigent but deserving pupils. Quarterly, it conducts supplemental feeding to children up to 5 years old. It has a Pamaskong Handog to Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) every December. Also participates to Annual Barangay Charter Day activities and Fiesta Celebration. It is best to mention that the coop provided Continuous Education Program to its employees under which, Rubie Princess Flores was groomed as assistant bookkeeper and was given financial assistance to gain a Certificate from TESDA in Bookkeeping. Fortunately, she passed the assessment/exam in the same period. Along this line of program, the coop sent its incumbent officers to attend all necessary mandatory trainings.
Cortes MPC has been involved as Member in the Barangay Development Council and other barangay committees, i.e. Barangay Peace & Order Committee, Barangay Council for Child Protection, Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, among This helped improved the implementation of BLGU projects/programs and activities in the area. It forged a MOA with the Sangguniang Barangay for disaster preparedness and being a recipient of the KALAHI-CIDDS Project it operated and maintained the project responsibly that it gained citation from the Barangay LGU being an active partner in all barangay endeavours.
Lastly, it has successfully participated in the Search for GAWAD PARANGAL 2017 for 3rd BEST COOPERATIVE under the Small Category of Coops that it made up to the shortlisting and bested the Third Place.
At present, Cortes MPC has continued to exert its effort to achieve its vision, mission and goals. It places in the forefront the welfare of its members and prioritizes help to the poorest and the most vulnerable groups of the community.
Sustainability is a big challenge for the coop operation especially now that the effects of climate change is being felt more than ever. However, the spirit of cooperativism is raising the fervor of the officers and members. They are positive that together, they will be able to surpass obstacles.
This is the formula to the secret of their success. Indeed, the coop is so small but the magic it created multiplies several folds manifested on each of its members’ lives and to the society where it operates and serves.
****** By NRCB, SJRB of CDA-Caraga