BARP leads a manifesto for the Philippines elderly-A A +A
By Benny Balweg
Friday, August 16, 2013
FIRSTLY, I would like to send my belated greetings to my son-in-law, Lyndon Sison, to my sister-in-law Vilma Ancheta, who have just celebrated their natal days in different states of the USA and, of course, to my favorite grandson music cellist Gian Luc B. Sison.
In its August 2013 meeting yesterday of the Board of Directors held at the Mandarin Restaurant at Session Road, Baguio City, by BARP Multi Purpose Cooperative came up with another idea to hopefully benefit Filipino citizens now relegated to the "Department of Departure." The BOD, led by its Chair, Prof. Federico A. Balanag (ret.), finalized and approved a "Manifesto of the SSS Member-Pensioners" wherein these "SSS members- pensioners are joining hands and are standing as one in earnestly requesting President Benigno Aquino III's administration to do something to positively improve the economic condition of all SSS retirees member-pensioners."
The reasons for the BAPR's earnest request in favor of all prospective SSS beneficiaries are 1.) "…we are the fast-fading SSS member-pensioners of the entire Philippine Islands who have retired much earlier from our respective livelihood pursuits;" 2.) "…prices of basic commodities have gone up." 3.) "…we who are being called also as belonging to the 'Department of Departure (DOD),' are now humbly bringing to the attention of our President, His Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III, the plight of all of us."
In case the authorities concerned will act positively to its manifesto, it will be actually the third such major step that the Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Inc., BARP will have done to alleviate hardships encountered by the elderly citizens of the country. The first two previous actions were the opening of other withdrawee banks aside from Union Bank for SSS pensioners and the retention of the survivor’s pension. To both of them, SSS Chair and its President/CEO promptly gave their very kind attention and sought final approval by the higher-ups, particularly presumably President Aquino himself. As regards this third case, much prayer will be needed in the search for the necessary funding.
Other matter mulled over and discussed during the half-day meeting included a report by BMPC Dir. Alejandro Quitoriano on the Philippine Coop Medium Term Plan as evaluated last August 6, 2013 at a forum called for the purpose by the CDA (Cooperative Development Authority) and the RDC (Regional Development Council).
According to Quitoriano, there were five policy directions presented and discussed by Atty. Franco G. Bawang, Jr., namely: Policy Direction No. 1.) Strengthening and Enhancing Delivery Mechanism of the Cooperative Authority; 2.) Providing and Enabling Environment for the Strengthening and Development of Cooperatives. 3.) Ensuring Local and Global Competitiveness of Cooperatives. 4.) Promoting Cooperativism as the Vehicle for Social Transformation for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace. 5.) Massive Expansion of Cooperative Membership. These were distributed to the four (4) groups formed in the workshop session for their comments and inputs. In the powerpoint presentation by Atty. Bawang, the following statistics were reported: Number of Cooperatives in CAR: 1. Benguet—260—33 percent; 2. Baguio City—164—21 percent; 3. Kalinga—105—13 percent; 4. Abra—83—11 percent; 5. Ifugao—67—8 percent; 6. Mt. Province—61—8 percent; 7. Apayao—51—6 percent; overall total of 791 Cooperatives—100 percent.
Twenty-one Top Millionaire Coops in CAR: 1. Baguio City—6—29 percent; 2. Benguet—4—19 percent; 3. Ifugao—4—19 percent; 4. Mt. Province—4—19 percent; 5. Kalinga—2—9 percent; 6. Abra—1—5 percent; 7. Apayao—0—0 percent; overall total of 21 coop millionaires. Of the 21 Top Millionaire Coops, BBCCC is number 1.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 17, 2013.