Federation opposes broader powers for coop authority-A A +A
Monday, November 22, 2010
A FEDERATION of cooperatives based in Cebu opposes proposals to expand the Cooperative Development Authority’s (CDA) powers, including the power to review books of accounts.
Rikki Samson, advocacy officer of Victo National, said Republic Act 6939, the law that created the CDA, is being targeted for amendments by Reps. Rodolfo Biazon, Jose Ping-ay and Cresente Paez, as well as Sen. Manuel Villar.
The four lawmakers want the CDA to exercise the sole power to transfer assets and liabilities of cooperatives that are under regulation, said Samson.
He described this as “scary” and claimed that some banks, even though solvent, had been ordered closed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) using its power over the banking sector.
Ping-ay and Paez serve in Congress as representatives of Coop-NATTCO party-list, another federation of cooperatives.
Another proposed amendment which Victo opposes is for the CDA to provide implementing rules and regulations for all types of cooperatives.
Samson said that is unnecessary, because RA 6938 or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines already provides such rules.
It’s enough, he added, for the CDA to maintain its task to coordinate the efforts of other government agencies in providing technical guidance, financial assistance and other services to cooperatives.
Victo also opposes the proposal to give CDA the power to compel cooperatives to present all books, documents, or records necessary, in their judgment, “to ascertain the true condition of the concerned cooperative.”
In the same way that bank depositors are protected under the Bank Secrecy Law, the existing laws on cooperatives must not be disturbed in order to protect cooperatives’ members and investors from unscrupulous persons who could pry into their books.
During their second Regional Ownership Meeting in Beverly Hills last Nov. 20, Victo members and officers expressed worries over the proposal that only CDA-accredited certified public accounts can audit cooperatives, but the accreditation fee is steep, at P50,000.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 22, 2010.