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Co-operative Summit in Cagyan de Ora

 

Around 450 co-operators gathered at the Grand Caprice Hotel in Cagayan de Oro on August 25 to take part in the Mindanao Cooperative Summit. The five regions of Mindanao have within them around eight thousand co-operatives with over 5 million members. Despite being the “food basket” of Philippines and an area rich in natural resources, the region has 14 of the 20 poorest provinces in the country. The Marawi region of the island is at the center of an ongoing battle between the Philippines security forces and militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadists groups.  The Summit organized by the Cooperative Development Authority under the Chairmanship of Mr. Orlando Ravanera provided an opportunity for co-operatives in the region to present their work to address critical issues in the region.  An interesting initiative is the One Mindanao Energy Cooperative Federation that plans to compete against giant private power companies to buy out hydropower complexes by the Agusan River. The aim of the nascent co-operative group is to tap more renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on coal-fired power plants in the island. The Federation hopes to keep resources in Mindanao in the hands of Mindanaoans and is in the process of mobilizing money from co-operatives. If successful, the co-operative will open way for regular members to become owners, put power into the hands of the consumers, and make electricity costs more competitive.  The Co-operatives attending the firmly committed to adhering to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and to become truly Transformative Cooperatives for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace.