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Booming cooperatives help local communities thrive in Soccsksargen

Members recite the Coop Pledge during the 1st South Cotabato Provincial Cooperative Summit in Koronadal City. (PIA Photo)

Region 12, also known as Soccsksargen, has been witnessing a significant surge in the cooperative sector, showcasing impressive growth and financial prosperity.

Cooperatives in the region have not only multiplied but have also substantially boosted their assets and net surplus, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) reports.

In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency, CDA-South Cotabato cooperative development specialist II Jean Mary Bisnar-Fulleros reveals that as of June 30, 2023, region 12 boasts a total of 1,541 registered cooperatives, contributing significantly to the economic development of the region.

This includes 39 newly registered cooperatives since January this year, Fulleros said.

Cotabato province has the highest number of registered cooperatives with 486, followed by South Cotabato with 374; General Santos City with 306; Sultan Kudarat with 210; and Sarangani province with 163.

According to the official, the increase in the number of cooperatives is attributed primarily to the benefits their members gain.

“You pull your resources together to have a business, and at the end of the year, if all is well, you’ll have a net surplus; divide the interest as shared capital,” she explained.

Diverse Types of Cooperatives

Cooperatives in Region 12 span various sectors, catering to the diverse needs of the local population.

This varied range of cooperative types includes groups focused on advocacy, agrarian reform, agriculture, consumers, dairy, electric, education, financial services, fishermen, health services, housing, insurance, marketing, small-scale mining, transport, workers, federations, unions, and coop banks, among others.

Multipurpose is the leading type of cooperative in the region, while credit, producer, and marketing cooperatives are ranked as the highest single type of cooperative.

“Multipurpose, meaning they run two or more businesses. It can be credit, savings, agriculture, or any other type, depending on what is stated in their articles of cooperation,” Fulleros said.


Membership numbers are also a testament to a cooperative’s reach and influence within its community. There are 339,131 cooperative members, or 11.5% of the total number of registered voters in the region as of the May 2022 elections.

Sta. Catalina Credit Cooperative (SCC) leads the way with 86,854 members, followed by Mediatrix Multipurpose Cooperative with an extensive membership of 40,339 members, and Makilala Multipurpose Cooperative secures the third spot with 29,537 members.

CDA-South Cotabato cooperative development specialist II Jean Mary Bisnar-Fulleros informs the public on the state of cooperatives in Soccksargen. (Screengrab via PIA XII'S Performing and Performing program)
Growing Assets and Net Surplus

In addition to the surge in numbers, cooperatives in the Soccsksargen region have also experienced substantial growth in assets and net surplus. As of the latest financial reports, the combined assets of cooperatives in the region have reached a total of over P7.8 billion.

Leading the pack in terms of asset size is the Sta. Catalina Credit Cooperative (SCC) with P2,291,436,620 in assets. The Dolefil Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (DARBC) secures the second position with assets amounting to P1,510,858,941. The Dole Community Multipurpose Cooperative (DCo MPC) rounds off the top three with substantial assets totaling P892,643,508.

When it comes to the net surplus, or the amount of income in excess of expenses, the Sta. Catalina Credit Cooperative (SCC) maintains its top position with a remarkable surplus of P84,624,001. The Dole Community Multipurpose Cooperative (DCoMPC) shows up in the second position with a net surplus of P50,689,455, while the Makilala Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Mak-MPC) secures the third spot with a net surplus of P23,875,086.

Cooperative Awareness Month

On October 6, members, leaders, and stakeholders of 374 registered cooperatives in the province of South Cotabato gathered for the 1st Provincial Cooperative Summit in Koronadal City.

According to Nenita Kinan, chairperson of the Provincial Cooperative Development Council (PCDC), the event was in line with the observation of Cooperative Awareness Month this October.

The summit featured various discussions and workshops aimed at strengthening the cooperative sector. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about best practices, financial management, and strategies for growth and sustainability.

“This brings together the micro, small, medium, large, and even billionaire coops to share knowledge, create camaraderie and linkages, and work towards common goals,” Kinan said.

She added that “this summit further aims to foster cooperation, build partnerships and collaboration, and address shared challenges or issues among the cooperative members here in the province."

During the event, South Cotabato 1st District Representative Isidro Lumayag emphasized the vital role cooperatives play in the growth and empowerment of local communities.

Lumayag, who also serves as the vice chairperson of the Committee on Cooperatives Development in the 19th Congress, challenged the CDA to step up its efforts in supporting and assisting cooperatives.

He emphasized the critical role of the CDA in facilitating the growth and sustainability of cooperatives.

He called on the agency to fulfill its mandate effectively by providing the necessary guidance, resources, and regulatory support to cooperatives, particularly those in South Cotabato.

The success of cooperatives in the region is a remarkable achievement that not only benefits the members directly involved but also contributes to the overall development of the region. With this impressive growth trajectory, cooperatives in Soccsksargen are set to continue making a positive impact on the lives of residents for years to come. (ORVR - South Cotabato)

About the Author

Oliver Ross Rivera


Region 12

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