The 1987 Constitution of thePhilippines contain provisionrecognizing cooperatives as legalpersonalities with economic andsocial functions and mandating thecreation of an agency to promotetheir viability and growth for thegood of the nation.
Sec. 1, paragraph 3, second sentence of Articles XIIprovides that “(p)rivate enterprises, includingcorporations, cooperatives, and similar collectiveorganizations shall be encourage to broaden their base ofownership.” Sec. 6, second sentence of the same article statesthat “(i)ndividuals and private groups, includingcorporations, cooperatives, and similar collectiveorganizations shall have the right to own, establish, andoperate economic enterprises, subject to the duty of theState to promote distributive justice and to intervene whenthe common good so demands. ”
Sec. 5 of Article XIII holds that “(t)he State shallrecognized that right of farmers, farm workers,and landowners, as well as cooperatives, andother independent farmers’ organizations toparticipate in the planning, organization, andmanagement of the program, and shall providesupport to agriculture through appropriatetechnology and research, and adequate financial,production, marketing, and other supportservices. ”
Perspective Mankind’s origin, existence, and survival stems from the ability of human being to work together for a common goal are it for physical safety, food, clothing, shelter, and all the calamities of a good life. So it has been since the dawn of Man until 20th century and will continue to be so into the future.
Perspective The art and science of working together or “cooperation” has been applied in all fields of human endeavor; and history records the result which altogether point to its effectiveness in attaining preset objectives given full commitment by those concerned. Over the centuries, and specifically the last two, cooperation assumed greater significance to individual human beings who belong to the middle and low income sectors of society, striving for better living condition in their lives.
Perspective Eventually, people banded together in informal groups to achieve common economic and social goals. Many of these groups gradually evolved into formal association now called cooperatives.
Nature of Cooperatives Cooperatives are an almost universal form of organization today found in practically all countries and used by people in many ways; to market food products, to purchase production supplies for farming and fishing, to provide housing – especially low-cost housing – to purchase family and household needs, to market the goods made by workers, farmers and craftsmen, to supply community services like electric power, or to provide various forms of protection like insurance or health services. There is no end to the ways in which the cooperative idea can be made to benefit people in their everyday needs in life.
Nature of Cooperatives Certainly essential features are seen in all forms of cooperatives: •They consist of groups of people who join together to do something they cannot very well to do as individuals. •They aim to provide some services that is necessary or very desirable in their lives. •They operate on the basis of self-help, that is, the people involved look to one another as a group for the solution of their problems. •They do business motivate by service and not by profit.
Definition Former Director W.P. Watkins of the International Cooperative alliance, the world organization of cooperatives, defines Cooperation as a “system social organization based on the principles of unity, economy, democracy, equity and liberty.” (International Cooperative Alliance)
Definition ART. 3. General Concepts. RA 9520 - A cooperative is an autonomous and duly registered association of persons, with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve their social, economic, and cultural needs and aspirations by making equitable contributions to the capital required, patronizing their products and services and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with universally accepted cooperative principles.
Definition A widely-used definition of a cooperative is:a business organization that is owned by thosewho use its services, the control of which restequally with all its members, and the surplusearnings of which are divided among themembers in proportion to the use they make ofits services. This definition, however, should beexpanded for it makes no mention of the social,educational and community values that arewidely recognized and generally found incooperative organizations.
It is sometimes easier to explain cooperativesby stating the objectivesthus: They aim to provide goods services at cost.They aim eliminate unnecessary profits ifmiddlemen in trade and commerce.They seek to prevent the exploitation of theweaker member of the society.They aim to protect the rights of people bothas producers and consumers.They promote the mutual understanding andeducation among their members and, in thelong run, among people in general.
The idea of greater unity and cohesion within theCooperative Movement under various names –coordination, consolidation, concentration, integration– is gaining ground among Cooperators, for the most partas they come to realize that there most redoubtablecompetitors today are large-scale capitalistic concerns,vertically and horizontally integrated. There no groundsfor thinking that this competition will diminish inseverity. Rather price will tend to continue its evolutiontowards oligopoly and monopoly, not in national marketonly, but on the international plane in new multi-nationaleconomic units called free-trade areas or economiccommunities..
The competition which survives will not be thecompetition of the greater against the smaller,but the competition of the greater amongstthemselves. The Cooperative Movement ispotentially among the greatest. It needs only toconcentrate its power in larger units by applyingconsistent without restriction, from the local tothe international plane, the principle ofcooperation among cooperatives, to make itsgreatness manifest and to act successfullyagainst the monopolies.
In order that it shall do so, Cooperators mustfrom time to time re-examine their practicesand their institution in the light of theirultimate aims and the principles which servethese aims. It will be necessary to have a one-sided interpretation based on expediency inorder to make clear the common ground onwhich Cooperators can come together and worktogether for the ideal of a better and more fullyhuman society than mankind in the mass has yetachieved..
Such working together implies not merely theloyal collaboration, within their unions andfederations, of cooperatives of any given type,but also closer and more helpful relationsbetween cooperatives of different types ofevery level where this is practicable. Theidea of a cooperative sector in the economic istoo often an intellectual concept without acorresponding material reality, simplybecause of the lack of unity and cohesionbetween the different branches of theMovement.
The Cooperative Movement, when true to itsprinciples and armed with the courage of itsconvictions, can prove to practical demonstrationthat a world society is possible in which man isno longer the slave but the master of economicforces. Its mission is to teach the common peopleby demonstration how the principles whichexpress their neighborly and brotherly relations intheir Cooperative can also inspire the mutualrelations of the nations.
If the cooperative movement is to rise to its fullstructure, either within each country, orinternationally, the several cooperative institutionsmust unreservedly support one another. They mustact as members of a common united effort torealize the objectives and ideals of the movementas a whole. These are no less than the attainment ofa stage at which conflict, monopoly and unearnedprofit cease to exist.
The ideal of the workers’ community such asthe one envisaged by the Rochdale pioneers,or a cooperative commonwealth desired byseveral other cooperators, can hardly berealize in practice except by the generous andunited efforts of all cooperators andcooperative institutions, large and small,national and international.
Cooperators the world over shouldprofoundly appreciate that the mostimportant aim of the cooperativemovement is the promotion of thesocial and economic rights of thepeople and that the pursuit andachievement of this high aimrequires active and concerted effortstowards the realization of the worldpeace.
Reference: The Philippine Cooperative Law, Annotated: Judge Manuel F. Verzosa, 1991Adriana Printing Company, Inc. Quezon City Report of the ICA Commission on Cooperative Principles Reprinted by the Cooperative Foundation Philippines, Inc RA 9520 The Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008