CRC holds 1st Philippine Workers Cooperative Conference

CRC holds 1st Philippine Workers Cooperative Conference

by Carlo Cabrera on November 12, 2012 - 10:55 am

Former senator Agapito Aquino and CDA Planning Director Inocencio Malapit

 

“If what we are after is an equitable society—a society that is prosperous, a society that is just—the main problem to solve is mass poverty,” said former senator Agapito Aquino in his message of solidarity during the recently held 1st Philippine Workers Cooperative Conference. “In cooperativism, there is a big chance of solving poverty if we truly operate under internationally accepted cooperative principles.”

Organized by the Center for Research and Communication (CRC), the conference focused on the theme “Workers Cooperative: A Vital Partner towards Poverty Alleviation and Socio-Economic Development.” It brought together key stakeholders who are genuinely concerned with the development of workers’ cooperatives to discuss how cooperatives could be strengthened as vital partners toward poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. To meet this challenge, Aquino said that workers’ cooperatives would need to improve their financial education, production and marketing systems, and service.

“The more improved cooperatives we have, the more benefits we have for more people,” he said. “And that is the objective we have for the next several years.”

As senator, Aquino authored the Magna Carta for Small Farmers, the Seed Act, and the Cooperative Code of the Philippines. He has won various awards for cooperativism and has been the chairman of the National Cooperative Movement and the Philippine Cooperative Center.

Dr. Bernardo Villegas, who gave the opening remarks, called the conference “a milestone in the transformation of the free enterprise system we have chosen for our economy.” Other speakers included Cooperative Development Authority Planning Director Inocencio Malapit who spoke about government policies currently in place that promote the welfare of workers’ cooperatives, and Sec. Joel Rocamora of the National Anti-Poverty Commission whose keynote address tackled government programs in place to address poverty.

UA&P alumnus Leo Parma also gave a talk on the future of workers’ cooperatives. Parma recently made headlines when his company, Asiapro, became the country’s largest workers’ cooperative with over 35,000 members.

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