SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT/MILESTONE OF THE COOPERATIVE
A. Brief History/Background of the Cooperative
As reported by the Cooperative Development Authority during our recent General Assembly meeting, Benguet State University Multipurpose Cooperative has achieved the following:
In the Municipal level,
- First Billionaire Cooperative
In the Provincial level,
- First Billionaire Cooperative
In the Regional level;
- 4th Billionaire Cooperative
The BSU Multipurpose Cooperative started from the organization of MSAC Teachers and Employees Consumers Cooperative which was registered on April 27, 1984 with 81 employees contributing an initial paid-up capital of PHP 12,650.00 only.
In 1985, Dr. Carlos T. Buasen Sr. then Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management conducted a survey to determine where the employees of BSU were obtaining their loans. Sixty percent of the employees were borrowing from rural banks and other lending institutions aside from private individuals. This finding encouraged Dr. Buasen Sr. to initiate the organization of a Credit Cooperative to serve the credit and savings needs of the BSU employees, which on October 2, 1988, the BSU Credit Cooperative was registered with 35 initial members and total paid-up capital of PHP 15,755.00 only.
After a decade of existence and operation, the Board of Directors of both Cooperatives evaluated the Consumers Cooperative and the Credit Cooperative. The evaluation revealed that Consumers Cooperative was suffering from stagnation while the Credit Cooperative was enjoying encouraging growth. The idea of consolidating the two cooperatives into a Multipurpose Cooperative was launched in February 1999 for diversity of services, management efficiency and economic viability. This was approved by the members of both cooperatives, so the Multipurpose Cooperative was finally registered with the Cooperative Development Authority on September 16, 1999.
Originally, the BSU Multipurpose Cooperative was intended to cater to the needs of the employees of the University. For many years, however, not even one-half of the employees of the university became members of the cooperative. The Board of Directors proposed the amendment of the Article of Cooperation to expand the area of operation to include Benguet and Baguio City in 2005. This was presented and ratified during the General Assembly meeting on February 17, 2006. This was submitted to the Cooperative Development Authority which approved the amendment on May 26, 2006. Due to requests from other people outside Benguet and Baguio City and the desire of the Cooperative Officers to share the blessings to willing people of the Cordillera, an amendment was again submitted to the CDA which approved the area of operation of BSU Multipurpose Cooperative within the Cordillera Administrative Region in May 2011.
B. Description of the Cooperative’s Best Practices
- CONSTANT EXPANSION. Cooperatives are for development and business for community services. With this in mind, BSU multipurpose Cooperative have been amending the Article of Cooperation to expand the area of operation, campaign for membership using the radio program “BSU on the Air” to discuss the advantages and benefits of joining the cooperative movement. BSU Multipurpose Cooperative has five buildings and two satellite offices in Loo, Buguias Campus and in Abatan, Buguias. This may have contributed to the increase of membership being first in the municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet.
- DIVERSIFICATION OF SERVICES. Aside from the loans extended to members, savings and time deposits most cooperatives provide to their members, BSU Multipurpose Cooperative has more to offer. We have grocery loan where members get what they need from the supermarket then pay to the cooperative, members transfer money through our Western Union, pay their electric bills through the cooperative, provide insurance to loans, van for hire, and all regular members help one another through a mutual death aid and a hospitalization assistance. Not all cooperatives have these services.
- CONTINUOUS EDUCATION AND TRAINING. Officers and the members of the BSU Multipurpose Cooperative always take the opportunities to attend training, seminars and activities where they will get good ideas to widen their horizon on operation and management of cooperative. They orient members of other cooperatives visiting BSU Multipurpose Cooperative then exchange ideas on their best practices. With this desire, some officers and members have gone to Thailand, Malaysia and China for educational trips.
- STRICT COMPLIANCE TO POLICIES. BSU Multipurpose Cooperative is one of the cooperatives who have a Manual of Operation. The management always see to it that all policies must be followed and implemented. This practice made the cooperative of what it is today. The cooperative incurred a loss of PHP 24,380.23 in 2003, but after that experience the adherence to the policies is resulting to yearly increase in Net Surplus (see attached Financial Performance) and very low liquidity rate of 2%.
- YEARLY EVALUATION OF COOP OPERATION. Our cooperative have been operating based on a five year development plan since 2007. Every year, usually October or November, we evaluate the actual performance compared to the plan. This practice had been helpful in directing and in improving the operation and services of the cooperative to its members.
- SERVING WITH A SMILE. One noticeable practice of the cooperative’s staff, officers and members is smiling to one another. This makes everybody feel at ease and will not hesitate to bring out whatever problem they have regarding the cooperative. Each member has the desire to protect the cooperative from any harm or hidden motive of every member.
- OBEDIENCE TO GOD. Obviously, the officers, staff and members of the cooperative are living the Cooperative Values they adopted which faith in God. This is the source of wisdom and understanding according to Job 28:28. Fear of the Lord drives away corruption, therefore, we always pray that everyone in the cooperative obey God not only in words but in practice. The blessings come from God and glory and praise belongs to Him forever.