Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, February 25, 2012 (PIA) – Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes hailed members of the Bohol DAR employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative for their pro-active move to strengthen cooperation among its employees and help each other in tough times.
Gracing the 24th General Assembly of the multi-million cooperative which has now registered P 61 million in assets from a P12,840 paid up capital in 1991, Sec. de los Reyes urged strong partnerships between DAR employees and the agrarian reform beneficiaries considering that the government land reform program ends in 2014.
In his first visit to Bohol, the secretary also cited that the coop’s mission to uplift the economic condition of its members by creating appropriate interventions to develop a strong cooperation among its members through continuing education has borne fruit.
As his official message to DAR employees gathered at the Upper Cogon Gymnasium, the secretary called everyone to continue with their mandate of distributing lands to the landless while looking at it in its totality as the regional development it can bring.
The new secretary came to Bohol in time when former DAR Secretary now Representative Nasser Pangandaman also stepped into Bohol, a once in a lifetime historic incident for Bohol DAR coop members, said information officer Ma. Lydia Bantugan.
Initially organized in 1991 with 75 constituting members, DODARE started out as a financial assistance service center for its members.
The assistance was in the form of a loan with a measly 5% interest, but by prudent management, the coop settled for surpluses by each end of the year of operations.
Now branching out and diversifying to lending operations at 16% interest rates, the coop dangles salary, petty cash, motor vehicle, appliance, business, purchase orders and bonus loans, Bantugan said.
The coop, duly registered by the Cooperative Development Authority also opens up its savings and time deposits as quasi-bank starting 2003, according to Bantugan.
Aside from this, from its funds, the coop also put up its own building with an accompanying training center hall for rent, catering and lodging services in its BODARE Pension House located within the premises of the DAR office.
The track record of the coop can be gleaned with this data, she pointed out: in 1991, we only had 75 members, in 2011, we had 691 members availing of our services, she pointed out.
That is discounting the fact that a new member would be required to contribute P1,500 initial capital share, a P200 membership fee.
Those joining the mortuary services also pay P200, she said.
Beyond this, BODARE sources its capitalization from members’ share contributions, loans from creditor banks, fund raising activities and its proactive business operations, the lady information officer said. (30)