DAVAO CITY — The creation of a line department to handle the increasing requirements of the cooperative movement will ease poverty and give millions of job opportunities and livelihood to unemployed people and families living under the poverty level.
This, according to Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Administrator Eulogio Castillo in Monday’s weekly Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM Davao Annex.
“The enactment into law of DepCo (Department of Cooperatives) will enable the government expand its reach to the poorest of the poor, thus creating nationwide economic activity that will generate income and livelihood opportunities to people from all walks of life,” he said.
Accompanied by cooperative advocates Reynaldo Rodis and Fred Lumba, Castillo pushed for the passage of House Bill 4174 which will elevate the Cooperative Development Authority to a line department.
Authored principally by Agusan Sur (1st dist.) Rep. Maria Valentina Plaza, HB 4174 has virtually acquired the nod of the Lower Chamber as 200 members of the House of Representatives have already affixed their signatures as co-authors of the measure.
Rodis narrated that during a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Duterte on May 16, last year, he proposed the idea of creating a line department that will elevate the CDA from a mere agency to a Department of Cooperatives.
Duterte welcomed the idea and tasked Rodis to prepare a position paper on the matter.
“We (together with Lumba) immediately submitted the position paper after one week, requesting also that the CDA be transferred from the Department of Finance to the Office of the President,” Rodis said.
As requested, the President issued Executive Order No.1 placing the CDA under the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.
Lumba said DepCo will create livelihood opportunities to the unemployable millions (ex-drug dependents, ex-convicts, rebel returnees, the IPs, and the uneducated) as they become members in good standing of their respective cooperatives.
“Our advocacy and vision are to enable every barangay to put up its own multi-purpose cooperative in the near future,” Lumba said.
Castillo said the creation of DepCo is very timely as various unresolved matters affecting many cooperative entities are now increasing day by day.
“The CDA remains operational only at the regional level. We have no local cooperative development officers in the provincial and municipal levels which are the front-liners in attending to myriad of problems affecting the common people,” he said. PNA
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