Philippines: Coops Show Resiliency and Responsiveness Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
- Date : Tuesday March 17, 2020
- Venue :
On midnight of March 17, the Philippine government implemented “Enhanced Community Quarantine” (ECQ) in Luzon in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. As described by the government, ECQ limits the movement of people going in and out of the island region, home to at least 57 million. People relying on daily wages were affected because businesses except for essential services were temporarily closed.
The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), the regulatory body for cooperatives allowed the postponement of Annual General Assemblies which according to law should be carried out 90 days after the calendar year. The regulator also encouraged cooperatives to support local governments in addressing the need of people during the ECQ.
As of March 30, CDA reported 128 cooperatives are extending help to their members and communities such as providing food, transport service to front-liners, hauling, health services, water refilling, gasoline station and others.
To name few members of NATCCO and PFCCO responding to COVID – 19:
The Most Holy Rosary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MHRMPC) has released four million pesos from the community develop fund and optional funds to ease their member need along with the distribution of 500 pesos worth of commodity pack to 8,000 families.
Oro Integrated Cooperative provided 14 Barangays (villages) in Cagayan de Oro City with knapsack sprayers to aid them in their fight against the spread of COVID 19. Each spray tanks can fill up to 16 liters of cleaning solution which can be used to disinfect possibly contaminated areas.
Disenyo Pandi Cooperative, a cooperative of garments producer produced improvised overall PPE that they will donate to the health workers. Due to the fast escalation of cases, hospital workers are running out of PPEs.
The Bohol Community MPC provided food aid to displaced workers/members. The food pack includes rice, noodles, coffee, biscuits and canned goods. The Manager Janette Romero is assuring that the cooperative will be of service to its members and the community. She requested them to stay safe at home and be part of the solution.
Paco Savings and Credit Cooperatives provided food packs to their vulnerable members. Being aware of the shortage of supplies, the cooperative donated PPE and disinfectant to the health workers of the Lung Center of the Philippines.
Mediatrix Multi-Purpose Cooperative donated face masks to City LGU of Kidapawan. The masks will be given to the front liners battling COVID-19.
The NEC Multipurpose Cooperative founded by NATCCO employees provided food packs to volunteers manning the check points in their locality.
Recognizing the important role of the Police force, San Jose Del Monte Savings and Credit Cooperative provided food package to the city’s police station. The police help local authorities to monitor the adherence to the ECQ protocols like curfew hour, overpricing of medical supplies and basic food, alcohol ban and others.
The National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) opens a Co-op Consultancy Clinic online at 3:00 pm every Tuesday. ACCU CEO Leni San Roque joined the March 24 session in which NATCCO team shared the policy on loan repayment moratorium as an immediate measure to help members whose income is affected due to the lockdown.
Cooperatives in the country remained in operation since the declaration of ECQ. However, the opening hours is shortened from 8 to 4 hours per day at 8 AM to 12 noon.