STRIKE HOME|Tagum in a spotlight; Compostela beckons

LONG before President Duterte preached the mantra, the grassroots in Davao del Norte have long decided change must and should come.

The result is something akin to a miracle: how 38 founding members in 1967 with only P80.00 combined share capital turned that into a P4 billion-asset cooperative in 2016.

This is the story of Tagum Cooperative, the first Hall of Famer from Mindanao that turns 50 years old on October 13, 2017—the recipient of various international brands and awards. It has now more than 120, 000 members in the Davao and Agusan provinces, including Davao City.

In Tagum City yesterday, Co-op vice chair Fe Adlawan and General Manager Juris D. Perez took turns in describing how the cooperative metamorphosed into a catalyst and an agent for change.

The two coop officials said the cooperative has in fact become a favourite destination of various cooperatives who wanted to pick up pointers on how to do it right.

Adlawan said it was no smooth sailing for the cooperative and that it had to undergo a cleansing period when it had to eject what she called “transactional leaders and officers.”

Eventually, with good governance and adherence to financial standards, the cooperative was able to recover for good.

Today, the cooperative boasts of a membership of 51,000 youth and student members with a total deposit of P75 million, something you don’t find elsewhere in the Philippines.

Today, the co-op prides itself with having visionary leaders, well-trained employees, and well-informed members.

The cooperative in fact has opened the door for more members not only to experience the cooperative way of life but also to be part of the difference that Tagum coop can make to one’s life.

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In the same forum, lawyer Lucky Siegfred Balleque batted for the newly-created province of Compostela Valley as an investment center with emphasis on aquaculture, banana, cacao, coconut and coffee.

The province he said is generally peaceful and it is also looking forward to make a name for tourism, considering its beaches and its highlands.

He said the province is determine to make its coffee, Arabica in its higher elevation and Robusta in its lower elevation, specialty coffee so these would be able to create a niche for themselves in the market.

He said one by-product of the mining industry is the jewelry is also a potential attraction.

We also learned that the province can be accessed several ways with the construction of good roads, and some municipalities are no longer isolated as in the past.

This seemed to be a sharp contrast to more 20 years ago when the area, then still a part of Davao del Norte was associated to insurgency, violence and unbridle mining.

It seemed that with a convergence of factors and activities, Compostela is determined to make a name for itself as a rising economic hub.

Posted in Opinion