House panel pushes for cooperative officers in every LGU

MANILA-- A House of Representatives' panel has approved a substitute bill mandating the appointment of a cooperative officer in every local government unit to ensure that the concerns of cooperatives match the sustainable economic development plans of the government.

According to a statement on Monday, the House Committee on Cooperatives Development, chaired by AGAP Partylist Rep. Rico B. Geron, has approved House Bill 5682, or the proposed An Act Making The Position of A Cooperatives Officer Mandatory in the Municipal, City And Provincial Levels, Amending For the Purpose Republic Act No.7160, otherwise Known As The Local Government Code of 1991.

HB 5682 consolidated four measures, namely HBs 188, 259, 2285 and 2824.

COOP NATCCO Partylist Rep. Anthony Bravo, one of the bill's authors, said cooperatives promote the fullest participation of all people and facilitate a more equitable distribution of the benefits of globalization.

Bravo said that while RA 7160 allows for the appointment of cooperative officers, the letter of the law remains ambiguous.

However, the words of the law were vague and the implementation became optional on the part of the LGUs, resulting in either LGUs with cooperatives officers who serve other functions or no cooperatives officers at all, Bravo said.

"In the long run, the cooperatives sector will be left to suffer by this inverse proportional line towards success," he added.

HB 5682 provides for the mandatory appointment of a cooperatives officer in every municipality, province and city.

Under the bill, a cooperatives officer must be a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the LGU concerned, of good moral character, a holder of a college degree preferably in Business Administration with special training in cooperatives or any related course from a recognized college or university, and a First Grade Civil Service Eligible or its equivalent.

The cooperatives officer must have experience in cooperatives organization and management of at least five years in the case of a provincial or city cooperatives officer and three years in the case of a municipal cooperatives officer;

Furthermore, the cooperatives officer shall take charge of the Office for the Development of Cooperatives; and exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be prescribed by law or ordinance.

Source: Philippines News Agency