President Duterte has signed the law that would mandate the appointment of a cooperatives development officer (CDO) in all local government units (LGUs).
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Wednesday, April 14, disclosed that Duterte signed on Tuesday, April 13, the Republic Act No. 11535 or the Cooperatives Development Officer Act, which amends the Local Government Code of 1991 to authorize the creation of the CDO as a mandatory position in LGUs.
“This has been such a long-awaited bill by our cooperative sector, so I thank the President for signing it into law,” said Zubiri, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives and principal sponsor of the measure in the chamber.
The CDOs are expected to provide on-the-ground government support to cooperatives, he said.
Under the law, Zubiri said LGUs will have the prerogative whether to appoint a full-fledged CDO, or merge the responsibilities of a CDO with an existing position, with respect to the size of the local cooperative sector, or the capability of the local government to provide the proper emoluments from its budget.
“It’s timely for us to establish CDOs as we emerge from the pandemic. Our cooperatives will really need focused, particularized assistance during this crucial period of recovery,” Zubiri said in his statement.
“Through our CDOs, we will really be able to reach out to every single cooperative in the nation, and we’ll be better positioned to help Filipinos help themselves,” he added.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, one of the authors of the Cooperative Development Officer Act, had also said that the appointment of local cooperative development officers will be a “major instrument” in the country’s recovery from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Ang pagsasabatas ng pagkakaroon ng Local Coops Development Officers ay panibagong instrumento ng cooperatives movement tungo sa pagtutulungan at bayanihan para sa kaunlaran, lalo na sa panahon ng ating sama-samang pagharap at pagbangon laban sa pandemya ng COVID-19 (The enactment of the creation of local cooperatives development officers will be a new instrument of uniting the cooperatives towards growth, especially at a time that we are facing and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic),” Hontiveros said earlier.