EIGHT cooperatives in Iloilo will showcase native products and crafts in a two-week trade fair and exhibit which will open on Monday, October 14, at the ground floor of Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
Selling fresh vegetables and fruits to processed and preserved food products, these exhibitors are from the municipalities of Alimodian, Badiangan, Bingawan, Calinog, Leon, Oton, and Pototan.
The host for the Cooperative Month, the Municipality of Batad, will also set up its own booth to showcase their town’s products and saleable artisan crafts.
Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and Batad Mayor Elvira Alarcon, represented by Vice Mayor Ernesto Balida, are expected to open the trade fair and exhibit.
Cooperatives have been instrumental in helping the poor in the countryside, according to Vidal Villanueva III, Board of Administrator for Visayas of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
There has been a study by the Asian Development Bank that people’s lives were getting better in areas where cooperatives operate.
“Kung saan ang cooperatiba, maayos ang buhay ng tao,” he stressed in his solidarity speech during the grand opening of cooperative month in Batad, Iloilo last October 9.
He added that coop members should continue to educate their family, including the non-members about the movement, for it is the key to resolving poverty.
“This is the way to resolve financial difficulties. Through the cooperative, we are empowering our members and the very community we live in,” he said.
Villanueva graced the opening ceremony together with Provincial Board Member Dr. Nieleto Tupas, also the Chairman of the Committee on Cooperatives at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and brother, 5th District Congressman Raul Tupas.
This year’s cooperative month celebration revolves on the theme – “Cooperativism: A countervailing force against climate change and violent extremism through people empowerment to trail blaze shift in paradigm towards sustainability and social inclusion.” (Jezza A. Nepomoceno)