During the plenary discussions in November last year on the proposed budget of the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA), which is ably headed by Undersecretary Joseph B. Encabo, Senator Imee Marcos stated that there are 19 billionaire cooperatives in the country.

However, according to a report at CDA’s website, there are 56 billionaire cooperatives in the country.

The top five billionaire cooperatives in the country are the following: 1) ACDI Multi-Purpose Cooperative; 2) Air Force SSG Multi-Purpose Cooperative; 3) Panabo Multipurpose Cooperative; 4) Philippine Army Finance Center Producers Integrated Cooperative; and  5) First Community Cooperative.

Although cooperatives have flourished in diverse sectors, I noticed that three of the top five cater to the AFP and other uniformed personnel. It means that cooperatives focusing on the defense sector tend to exhibit greater stability. This can be attributed to the consistent and reliable incomes of personnel.

Unlike some other industries that may be subject to economic fluctuations or seasonal variations, the defense sector typically offers a stable source of income for its personnel. Members of the AFP and other uniformed services receive regular pay, allowing them to consistently contribute to and benefit from cooperative initiatives.

ACDI, being the largest cooperative in the country, proudly boasts an asset base exceeding P50 Billion, catering to active, retired, and reserve members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other uniformed services, regular civilian employees of the AFP and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and dependents.

Its remarkable growth, from an initial capital of P200,000 in 1981 to more than P50 billion today, is a testament to the transformative power inherent in cooperative endeavors.

At the forefront of cooperative success stories is the Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA), led by the capable Undersecretary Joseph B. Encabo.  

The CDA is set to move into a new 16-floor building in Cubao, Quezon City, thanks in large part to Senator Koko Pimentel who initiated this development under Republic Works 2022. The project is estimated to incur a total of P301 million, of which P285 million has already been released. According to Undersecretary Encabo,  the completion is anticipated by August 2024.

The number of registered cooperatives is said to have decreased from 60,000 to 20,000, although according to Senator Marcos, the intention was to integrate very small micro-cooperatives with limited assets and capacity into larger ones while also establishing new cooperatives, particularly in the coconut industry.

There are 20,105 registered cooperatives, with a total membership of 12.1 million individuals and 334,300 employees.

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