Due to their exemplary performances and contributions to improve the quality of life of Filipinos, especially those from the countryside, former Senate President Manny Villar and Sen. Cynthia Villar led the awarding of 16 cooperatives nationwide during the virtual and face-to-face ceremony on December 17.
The acknowledgment by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) of cooperatives coming from different parts of the country intends to serve as encouragement and inspiration for others to embark on social integration and job creation.
This, in turn, helps alleviate the living conditions of Filipinos and eventually contributes to economic growth.
Each of the 15 awardees received Php250, 000 in cash from Villar SIPAG. A special award was also given to a cooperative which got Php150,000 cash.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, director of Villar SIPAG said through this recognition, we hope to inspire and encourage cooperatives to continue with their work to uplift the lives of their communities.
There were 247 entries this year and the number was shortlisted to 58: wherein 23 were declared semi-finalists.
Fifteen (15) Organizations are named Outstanding partners in this year’s Villar SIPAG Awards on Poverty Reduction and one is cited with special recognition for environmental protection. Among the 15 outstanding coops thirteen (13) has savings and loans services and two (2) coops provides employment and job opportunities for its members.
The lack of access to financing has long been a hindrance to the development of the country’s agriculture and MSME sectors which is made more pronounced during the time of the pandemic.
These cooperatives made farmers, teachers, indigenous people, farmworkers, and agrarian reform beneficiaries, become financially included by providing a wide range of financial services to them.
These coops promote financial literacy by encouraging their members to save money; send or receive remittance, income, and benefits; and make day-to-day payments, secure MSME loans and insurance, with them. The incidence of borrowing in the country has been mostly from informal sources.
Coops that provide savings and loan services are:
1. Rimalipad Naba Multi-purpose Cooperative, Conner, Apayao
2. La Union Multi-purpose Cooperative, Agoo, La Union
3. Claveria Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative, Claveria, Cagayan
4. Maddela Integrated Farmers Savings and Development Cooperative, Dumabato Norte, Maddela, Quirino
5. Ligas Kooperatiba ng Bayan sa Pag-unlad, Sta Rita, Guiguinto, Bulacan
6. Progressive Entrepreneurs on Agribusiness and Related Livelihood Services (PEARLS),Kulapi, Lucban, Quezon
7. NIA 4 Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative, Lubuin,Pila,Laguna
8. Escalante Public and Private School Teachers, Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative, Escalante City, Negros Occidental
9. Sibuguey Valley Multi-purpose Cooperative, Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay
10. Zamboanga del Norte Teachers Employees Cooperatives, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
11. Oro Integrated Multi-purpose Cooperative, Cagayan De Oro City, Misamis Oriental
12. Santa Ana Multi-purpose Cooperative, Davao City
13. Farmers Alternative for Self – Reliance Multi- purpose Cooperative, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
For Job Opportunities and Employment:
14. Caritas et Labora Human Resource Services Cooperative, Manila City
15. unified Engineering Workers Multi-purpose Cooperative, Polomolok, South Cotabato
Special Award is given to Bambuhay, a social enterprise from Mandaluyong City for generating income opportunities for rural families in Nueva Ecija through bamboo propagation and converting it to useful products (straw, toothbrush, tumbler).
The Villar SIPAG or Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance, aims to bring Filipinos out of poverty and hunger.