Export Action Line; the World of Microfinance (Part XVIII)
Byline: Nelly Favis Villafuerte
Not many know that the Philippine Constitution recognizes the role of cooperatives in our nation-building.
Here are the particular provisions: --
Article XII on National Economy & Patrimony
Section 1, Paragraph 3: "In the pursuit of these goals, all sectors of the economy and all regions of the country shall be given optimum opportunity to develop. Private enterprises, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall be encouraged to broaden the base of their ownership."
Section 6: "The use of property bears a social function, and all economic agents shall contribute to the common good. Individuals and private groups, including corporations, cooperatives, and similar collective organizations, shall have the right to own, establish, and operate economic enterprises, subject to the duty of the State to promote distributive justice and to intervene when the common good so demands."
Section 15: "The Congress shall create an agency to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for social justice and economic development."
Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights
Section 5: "The State shall recognize the right of farmers, farmworkers, and landowners, as well as cooperative, and other independent farmers' organizations to participate in the planning, organization, and management of the program, and shall provide support to agriculture through appropriate technology and research, and adequate financial, production, marketing, and other support services."
On March 10, 1990, then President Cory Aquino signed Republic Act 6938 otherwise known as the Cooperative Code of the Philippines. On July 24, 1998, a companion law (Republic Act 6939) was also passed creating the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
The complete title of Republic Act (RA) 6939 is "An Act Creating the Cooperative Development Authority to Promote the Viability and Growth of Cooperatives as Instruments of Equity, Social Justice and Economic Development, Defining its Powers, Functions and Responsibilities, Rationalizing Government Policies and Agencies with Cooperatives Development, Transferring the Registration and Regulation Functions of Existing Government Agencies On Cooperatives as Such and Consolidating the same with the Authority, Appropriating Funds Therefore, and For Other Purposes."
Years before the passage of RA 6939 many measures on cooperatives were enacted by the government. Even during the martial law regime, then President Marcos issued several decrees that dealt with cooperatives. …