MASS SPECC partnered with the University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P) in conducting the Economic and Social Impact Study of Cooperatives in Mindanao. The objectives of the study were (1) to measure the contribution of cooperatives affiliated with MASS SPECC to the local economy, and (2) to measure their contribution to poverty alleviation. The study was conducted for 6 months (January – June 2018) covering 109 cooperatives with 266 members and 105 managers as respondents.

The results of the study were presented by the UA&P research team led by Dr. Cid Terosa, the dean of the School of Economics of UA&P, during the Chairpersons/CEOs/Managers’ Forum in Cagayan de Oro on July 7, 2018. The results showed, among others, that the economic contribution of cooperatives to the local economy due to sales, revenues, compensation, dividends and patronage refunds amounted to P26.4 billion on the average from 2014 to 2016. This contribution was equivalent to 8.2% of the gross domestic product of Mindanao during the period. Cooperatives contributed also up to 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, helping to reduce unemployment in Mindanao by up to 5.4% from 2014 to 2016.

As to social impact, the study showed that cooperatives had most impact on the lives of members in the areas of education of children (70% of respondents), health needs (57.9%), house rental rental/repair and improvements (54.5%), daily food requirements (54.8%), and household expenses such as electricity, water, telephone and others (53.3%).

Other speakers at the Chairpersons/CEOs/Managers’ Forum were Dr. George N. Manzano, who spoke on the ASEAN Economic Community, and Ms. Elsa Agustin and Ms. Juvy Cardona Danofrata of the Department of Finance, who explained the TRAIN Law and its implications on cooperatives.