MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center

MASS SPECC Members Mark the Month of July with 3 Important Events

Co-operative leaders and managers come together to celebrate the 2023 International Day of Co-operatives and participate in this year’s Board of Directors & CEOs/Managers’ Forum and Oathtaking Ceremony, on July 6 in Cagayan de Oro City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — On July 6, the Mallberry Suites Business Hotel radiated with excitement and anticipation as the 2023 Board of Directors & CEOs/ Managers’ Forum and Oathtaking Ceremony unfolded.

Bringing together leaders and managers from the 77 member co-ops of MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center, comprising 208 delegates, the event served as a remarkable 3-in-1 occasion.

The first segment was the MASS-SPECC Forum, where the Study Results on the Assessment of the Financial Performance of MASS-SPECC Members were presented and discussed. The second part was a belated celebration of the International Day of Co-ops, while the third and final element of the event was the Oathtaking Ceremony of the 2023-2024 MASS-SPECC Officers.

The MASS-SPECC Forum commenced with an uplifting welcome message on this year’s theme, “Empower Members and Live the Co-operative Identity,” setting the stage for an extraordinary and purposeful occasion.

“Today, we acknowledge the significant contributions of co-ops in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” says Bernadette Todelo, CEO of MASS-SPECC. “Let the spirit of excitement and celebration permeate this gathering as we unite to embrace the co-operative identity and its transformative power.”

She adds: “Co-operatives have time and again proven that we can make a real difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities, promoting economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.” Energized by the collective enthusiasm, attendees were swiftly immersed in the core focus of the event, the presentation of the study results of the Assessment of Financial Performance of MASS SPECC Members conducted by the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council.

ACPC was commissioned by MASS SPECC last year to conduct an external analysis on the overall financial health of its member co-operatives. The study sought to determine the financial status of credit and multipurpose co-operatives under MASS SPECC and determine the systemic risk of co-operatives as a sector. It made a detailed analysis of the financial performance of co-operatives using the STEPS standards prescribed by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

Overall, the study confirmed MASS SPECC’s own data showing the respectable annual growth in resources of its members over the years. In terms of individual performance, it showed some differences between credit co-operatives and multipurpose co-operatives, and between small, medium, and large co-operatives. In terms of business operations, identified significant challenges in their ability to meet certain prudential standards, particularly stability, efficiency, and profitability.

The study highlighted the need for support systems like stabilization fund, deposit insurance, and liquidity fund to protect the hard-earned savings of individual members of co-operatives. It also cited the role of the federation in instituting the same in order to strengthen the co-operative system as a whole.” 

Following the engaging forum, the event transitioned into a celebration of the 2023 International Day of Co-ops, an annual event to honor the spirit of collaboration, solidarity, and resilience that defines the co-operative movement worldwide.

The festivities continued as the Oathtaking Ceremony of the 2023- 2024 MASS-SPECC Officers took center stage. The newly elected officers were inducted by the Mayor of Tangub City and former COOP-NATCCO Party-List Representative, Sabiniano “Ben” Canama, marking the beginning of their important roles in steering the federation forward. The occasion served as a spirited celebration and reflection within the co-operative movement, as participants collectively reinforced their commitment to continuous improvement, solidarity, and success in the federation.

A remarkable segment was also dedicated to showcasing the MASS-SPECC co-ops’ invaluable contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Poverty Reduction, Environment, and Health. This highlighted the extraordinary efforts and endeavors undertaken by co-operatives and their communities, emerging as beacons of sustainable and inclusive practices.

MASS-SPECC stands tall as an unwavering federation that supports and promotes co-operatives in Mindanao and beyond with the vision of “All Members Enjoy a Better Quality of Life.”

Committed to enhancing the lives and welfare of its members, MASS-SPECC empowers co-ops through education, training, and advocacy — reinforcing the vital role of co-operatives in building an inclusive and sustainable society.

From left to right: Hon. Sabiniano “Ben” Canama, Mayor of Tangub City and former COOP- NATCCO Party-List Representative; Agripino Torres, current MASS-SPECC Chairperson; and Bernadette Toledo, Chief Executive Officer of MASS-SPECC.