Coops told to avail of CSF

Cebu Cooperatives are encouraged to avail of the credit surety fund of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to spur economic development.

As staunch ally of cooperatives, Governor Hilario P. Davide III said the Capitol has already released its Php 3 million contribution to the Cebu CSF last March.

CSF, which was lauched in 2009, is a credit enhancement program initiated by BSP to assist cooperatives, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to avail of loan accommodations from banking institutions at a lower cost and even without collaterals.

In a forum with cooperatives in the Visayas at the Capitol last June 18, Governor Davide also made suggestion to legislators to relax some policies in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 9520 otherwise known as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Present during the forum were Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid, chair, Senate Committee on Cooperatives, and Congressman Cresente Paez, chair, House Committee on Cooperatives.

Officials of the Cooperative Development Authority headed its Chairman Orlando were also attended the activity.

The forum was attended by coop representatives from regions 6, 7, and 8.

Governor Davide pointed out three provisions that needed further review. These are the classification of cooperatives; training requirements of directors, officers and committee members; the minimum number of cooperators.

Paez added that these are major the reasons why the cooperatives failed to take advantage of the tax exemption benefits given to them by law in the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the local government units.

He said of the 24,000 cooperatives in the country, there are only 11,000 were acquired certificate of good standing. Among those who have certificates of good standing, only six thousand were given certificates of tax exemption.

Jakki Lucero, chairperson of the Qollector Progress Multi-purpose Cooperative, said one problem she encountered in the Bureau of Internal Revenue and local government units is that seemingly their officers have no idea about the law.

She said, “It is discouraging because every day they have different officers of the day and they are asking different set of documents when I followed up our certificate of tax exemptions.”

In order to address this issue, Paez said they will establish coop tax exemption center in every province to help them get certificate of tax exemptions.

“This could be the most beautiful gift we can give to the cooperatives,” Paez said.

He stated that the privilege given by RA 9520 is useless unless the coops benefited from it. He said if the problem continues to persist, they will to call congressional inquiry as a last resort.

Paez said, the Congress already approved the revised IRR of RA 9520 to last March to address these concerns.

But the inputs during the forum were taken into account which could be the basis of formulation of subsequent policies to be promulgated through CDA issuances.