CRC Asia-Pacific Cooperative Leaders’ Forum

Participants of the CRC Asia Pacific Cooperative Leaders' Forum. Photo by CRC.

Participants of the CRC Asia Pacific Cooperative Leaders’ Forum. Photo by CRC.

CRC held the Asia-Pacific Cooperative Leaders’ Forum on the theme, Co-operatives in the Agribusiness Sector: Responding to the Challenges and Opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community Integration in Cagayan de Oro City on July 9 to 11, 2014.

The Forum is organized by the Social Entrepreneurship Professorial Chair of CRC-UA&P as a response to the looming implications of the ASEAN Economic Community Integration to agricultural cooperatives in the Philippines. The forum aims to bring together eminent Co-operative leaders and researchers from the Philippines and Asia Pacific region, with the purpose of exchanging insights and action plans in a peer learning environment, and come-up with a developmental agenda for policymakers and the Co-operative movement in general.
The Forum started with study visits at MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center, ORO Integrated Cooperative and Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives.

Dr. Bernardo Villegas, CRC.Mr. Bien Nito, one of CRC’s Project Managers, welcomed the guests, after which, the speakers, presented on various topics. Dir. Orlando Ravanera, Regional Director of Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) – Region 10, spoke about “Contribution of Agricultural Cooperatives to the Economy.” Dr. Bernardo Villegas, CRC’s Director for Research, discussed “Social Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness.” Cong. Rico Geron of AGAP Partylist and Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative, Mr. Ludwig Von Malaluan of Buklod-Unlad Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Mr. Danilo Venida of Foodlink Advocacy Cooperative and Mr. Alejandro G. Lukban of Co-opWorks discussed the role of cooperatives in agricultural supply chains.

Mr. Jose Romeo R. Ebron, the Chairperson of NATCCO and MGen. Gilbert Llanto, Chairperson of ACDI Multi-Purpose Cooperative discussed the financing, training and technology transfers among agricultural cooperatives. Dr. Anthony Jensen, a professor at the University of Sydney in Australia and a visiting professor at Oxford University in United Kingdom gave a talk on “The ICA Blueprint in the Next Decade in the Regional Context.”

Dr. Garibaldi Leonardo, Chairperson of San Dionisio Credit Cooperative, Dr. Cesar Villamayor, Chairman of Quezon MMG Hospitals & Health Services Cooperative and Dir. Orlando R. Ravanera of CDA discussed “Environment and Sustainability: Cooperative Resilience in Times of Crises.” Dr. Rolando Dy, the Executive Director of UA&P Center for Food and Agribusiness, talked about the “Agribusiness Opportunities and Threats of the ASEAN Economic Integration.”

Mr. Romulo Villamin, Managing Director of the Institute of Cooperative Studies of MASS-SPECC gave the highlights of the discussions and the next steps. Cong. Cresente Paez, representative of Coop-NATCCO Party List, tackled the “Integration and Call to Action: Strategies for Cooperative Development – Policy and Legislative Agenda.”

An open forum followed each of the presentations and discussions, in which guests from different agencies and institutions participated: Mr. Leo Parma and Mrs. Luisa Parma of Kagawani Foundation, Ms. Cielo Garrido of San Dionisio Credit Cooperative, Mr. Estelito Cabuhat of Manatal Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Mr. Diosadado Domingo of Landbank of the Philipiines Ms. Niecel Fulido and Ms. Elaine Pagkanlungan of Development Bank of the Philippines, Director Mercedes Castillo of CDA, Ms. Christie Plantilla of the Federation of People’s Sustainable Development and representatives of MSU-IIT Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Sta. Catalina Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Foodlink Advocacy Cooperative, Oro Integrated Cooperative, NATCCO Network, Victo National, Hinelaban Foundation, DMPI-ECCC and FARMCOOP. Before the end of the program, a workshop was conducted afterwards.