GMA signs Cooperative Code into law

Published by rudy Date posted on February 18, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo signed into law yesterday Republic Act No. 9520 or the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008 that would strengthen thousands of cooperatives in the country and enable the system to contribute to economic growth.

Among those who witnessed the signing in simple ceremonies at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacañang were Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Speaker Prospero Nograles, COOP-NATCCO partylist Rep. Ernesto Pablo, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, and Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes.

The new law amends R.A. 6938 or the Cooperative Code of 1990 “to meet the challenges of the global economic situation and the advent of technology.”

It also affords “more opportunities to our cooperatives to offer more services for their members not only on financial needs, but also the ability to undertake more productive activities geared towards the upliftment of our countrymen,” a Palace statement said.

“With this, it is hoped that cooperatives will continue to play an important role in easing the burdens brought about by the present global financial crisis,” it said.

Through the cooperative movement, “livelihood opportunities for the affected workers are opened up, while the cooperatives may make use of the skills acquired by these laborers for other more production purposes that do not entail much foreign investments,” the statement said.

Among the salient features of the law are: It prohibits a newly-organized cooperative from being registered and operated as a multi-purpose cooperative except after two years of operation; it increases the required minimum paid-up share capital from P2,000 to P15,000 to be registered as a cooperative; and it increases the number of members’ votes from two-thirds to three-fourths all members with voting rights on certain matters.

The law also prohibits members of the board of directors of co-ops to hold any other position

directly involved in the day-to-day operations and management of the cooperative, and prohibits any person engaged in a business similar to that of the cooperative or who in any other manner has interests in conflict with the cooperative to serve as elective or appointive officer in the cooperative.

Annual reports are to be provided the co-op members and the Cooperative Development Authority within 120 days from the end of the calendar year and failure to file shall subject accountable co-op officers to fines and sanctions, and may cause the revocation of the authority of the cooperative to operate, the law mandated.–Paolo Romero, Philippine Star

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