Lapu coop ‘among best in PH’-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
MEMBERS of Subaspa Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SMPC) never thought their coop would grow big when they organized it in 1992. But not only did the coop grow, it was named one of the country’s most outstanding cooperative.
SMPC members credited their success to hard work and commitment.
“If you really want to help your community grow, you’d double your efforts,” SMPC general manager Ruth Verano saod in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
She said cooperative members didn’t expect they would come this far.
SMPC was awarded the 2nd Most Outstanding Cooperative in the national level during last year’s Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Gawad Parangal and was named Regional Winner for CDA Gawad Parangal in the same year.
Verano credited the success to the best practices that they adopted. SMPC’s collection rate stood at 96 percent last year.
From an initial membership of 16 individuals in 1992 with a paid-up capital of P6,250, the small cooperative in Brgy. Subabasbas in Lapu-Lapu City has grown to 1,612 members with a capitalization of almost P10 million.
Hit by fire
Verano said their success wasn’t easy. The coop was twice hit by fire just as it was slowly gaining popularity in the community. She said members were determined to rebuild after the fires and they were able to recover by working together.
The coop used dividends of members to finance the building of the coop when it was first gutted by fire in 1999. They also got help from partner organizations to help them augment the capital for their projects.
Seeing the SMPC’s potential, non-government organizations like Norfil Foundation Inc. pooled resources so the cooperative can start providing livelihood loans to members and build a consumer store.
“These organizations have so much faith in us that instead of approving our loan proposal, they released grants to help us grow,” she said.
Verano said the livelihood loans, purchase order (PO) cash loans, and expansion of membership have guaranteed sustainability of their organization. From a coop serving the needs of its own sitio, SMPC has increased bits coverage to include the entire Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova.
Verano said the commitment by coop members in joining technical trainings hosted by the local government and other agencies contributed to their success.
She said the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) on longganisa production and bakery and snack operations encouraged members to be entrepreneurial.
“We have never put an end to learning. We grab every opportunity presented to us by partner agencies,” said Verano. Those who attend seminars are asked to share the lessons that they’ve learned with other members.
She said that by adopting best practices on honesty, hard work and product patronage, SMPC was able to generate gross sales of P205,315 last year for their longganisa business and P746,368.96 for their bakeshop and snacks saloon.
Verano said SMPC released P10.7 million worth of livelihood loans; P3.03 million in PO cash loans; P969,539 rice purchases and P1.8 million in ATM loans.
She said they were able to extend benefits to members like scholarships. Verano said they plan to send four more scholars to high school this year.
SMPC will also expand their bakery operation in Marigondon and tie up with more establishments for their longanisa business.
Verano said they will put up a satellite office in Mandaue City to help them expand to the other areas of the province.
SMPC targets a capitalization of P15 million this year.
Lapu-Lapu City Cooperative and Livelihood Resource Center officer-in-charge Jimmy Glomar said the establishment of cooperatives is one way of reducing poverty and promoting economic development in small communities.
“This coop is a living testament of one community working together for their own development. If all coops in the country would emulate and adopt the best practices of SMPC, progress will easily be attained,” said Glomar, who was the field operations manager of Norfil Foundation Inc.
Lapu-Lapu City currently has 85 cooperatives. To help strengthen their network, the City Government organized a cooperative network fiesta to draw cooperatives closer to one another.
The city also allocated P500,000 to fund trainings for coops. It also subsidized the expenses of trainings of start-up cooperatives.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 07, 2013.