Cooperative For Christ

The work with the poor of the Christian community is a mission complemented by the work of the social ministries. Each of these ministries has a part to play in the work of total human liberation, a daunting task with many facets and issues. One of the most obvious issues is social injustice that results in an increasing gap between the rich and poor. There is a structural disorder in society that promotes and contributes to this. It will take alternative socio-economic structures and a different value system based on sharing and concern for others to be able to break the stronghold of this current oppressive system.

The Soul and Essence of Cooperatives.

The seven principles of Cooperatives contribute to the promotion of total human liberation. It promotes rights (subsidiarity) and freedom through open, voluntary membership (first principle), democratic participation (second principle) and independence/autonomy (fourth principle). Continuing education (fifth principle) makes it possible for members to exercise their rights with prudence and clarity.

Cooperatives promote mutual help through solidarity. This is achieved through members' economic participation (third principle), co-operation among cooperatives (sixth principle), and concern for the community (seventh principle). In all of these, a member has to exercise accountability for the rights and duties that reside in him as a good member of the cooperative.

The Co-ops for Christ is one of the tools employed to attain Socio-Economic renewal. It complements the work of sustainable community development espoused by the CFC ANCOP (Answering The Cry of the Poor). ANCOP specializes in capability building among, and in providing direct assistance to, our poor brothers and sisters in specific poor communities to help them augment and increase their income potential. As this happens, they will need another system by which they will be able to begin their process of self-sustainability.

Co-ops for Christ creates a system where all members of Christian communities across social classes can work together to build funds through capital build up and savings. Together, we can pool our resources to provide social security for all members of the cooperative. For the poor, this means availability of funds for microcredit, thereby liberating them from usurious moneylenders. It also provides a system for savings and the beginning of mutual funds for emergency needs such as death in the family, educational needs, and later on health and retirement.

The Thrust of Co-ops for Christ

Although Co-ops for Christ is an economic institution, the major objective of the organization is to promote values of stewardship, sharing and mutual help. By learning the value of savings and capital formation, members become more aware of unhealthy expenditure patterns that may cater more to wants and desires rather than need. It helps members to focus on what are essential and what are not, thereby helping them to prioritize their expenses. It also promotes honesty and integrity in dealing with their financial responsibilities.

Co-ops for Christ builds the dignity of the poor by providing them a system by which the little that they have can be multiplied through credit and mutual aid funds. It also promotes confidence in their ability to sustain their gains because they have a partner that will guide them in their financial needs.

Co-ops for Christ promotes financial stewardship both for tithing and savings. We believe that only if we give back to God what is due Him can we truly be liberated from our material bondage. Ensuring our place in the beyond and ensuring the future of our children on earth is the main objective of Co-ops for Christ.

The History of Co-ops for Christ

Co-ops for Christ Metro Manila was registered with the Cooperative Development Authority on May 30,1999. The first set of Board of Directors was composed of individuals who worked hard for more than a year just studying how the cooperative can become a potent partner of CFC in the work of total human liberation. Founding Chair is Domy Gregorio, Vice Chair is Bernie Cuevas and the members of the BOD were Charlie Reyes, Celia Using, Frank Padilla, Jun Famatigan and Armand Padilla who was the co-ops' link to CDA and other big coop networks.

Co-ops for Christ Metro Manila is the fastest growing cooperative in the Philippines. From 40 cooperators and a paid up capital of 360,000 Pesos, the coop has grown to a 1,800 strong membership with a paid up capital of 6.1 Million Pesos. We have been able to serve the needs of members through multipurpose loans for education, for home repairs, for business & capitalization and other needs.

During the 1st General Assembly, 3 new directors were elected: Ponet Ladrido who is also the Chair of the Business Development Committee and the Mutual Aid Benefit Committee, Thelma Hizon who is the Chair of the Livelihood Committee and Oland David who chairs the Finance Committee. Domy Greg9rio and Bernie Cuevas were reelected to the same positions as were Charlie Reyes and Frank Padilla.

Co-ops for Christ Metro Manila also spearheaded the organizing of Co-ops for Christ in the provinces. To date the following provinces have either registered their Co-ops for Christ or realigned their existing cooperatives to Co-ops: Davao, Cebu, lligan, Cagayan de Oro, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Camarines Norte, Albay, Zamboanga City, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Iloilo. Other provinces are in the process of organizing.

As Co-ops for Christ continues to grow, we see the realization of our dream towards total human liberation.

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