ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cooperatives in the Philippines - How to Join and Invest Your Future in It

Updated on September 23, 2013

The Don Galo Cooperative of Paranaque, Manila, Philippines sponsored a Cooperative Education Outreach Program last October 15, 2011. It's part of the series of basic coop orientation seminar being held this year in order to orient residents of the barangay on how cooperative operates.

I was one of the participants of the said event. I was able to know how cooperative started in Europe during the Industrial Revolution (early 1800s). It became the turning point on how workers were affected by the sudden displacement of labor from rural to city dwellings. Capitalists got richer while the workers were paid poorly.

As the seminar progressed, we were able to know the men behind the idea of cooperativism in England; whereas, Robert Owem and William King were among the twenty eight cotton workers who founded the Rochdale Equitable Pioneer Society.

The Rochdale cooperative concentrated first on selling the right weight or kilos of the prime commodities, such as flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter until they expanded into what they are now.

The values and principles of the cooperative is about honesty and respect. The customer-member owns the cooperative. It's about self-help or mutual help among the members.

Cooperatives spread into Germany, Quebec, USA , Philippines and the rest of the world.

Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the country's national hero started a supply and marketing cooperative in Dapitan , Zamboanga del Norte in 1896. It is where he was exiled during the Spanish regime. He utilized his knowledge and ideas he gathered from his travels in Europe in order to put up the first-ever cooperative in the Philippines.

Photo by Travel Man
Photo by Travel Man
The coop seminar with a makeshift  cloth for the projector.
The coop seminar with a makeshift cloth for the projector.

October is the Cooperative Month this year. The principle of cooperativism spread in Asia, especially in Japan and South Korea in order to combat economic crisis.

In the Philippines, the full implementation of cooperatives started with bayanihan or sakada system. Bayanihan means helping one another in a unified voluntary action. The most vivid action is when a nipa hut is going to be transferred to another location. Sakada is a term of cooperative-type of action during rice harvest, wherein farmers and helpers are going to help the farm owner harvest his rice without payment. In return, he or she will also pay back the same action of his/her neighbors.

In 1960s, parish-based cooperatives sprung. Farmers Marketing Cooperatives also dominated the countryside in order to help farmers sell their harvest at the right price.

Many types of cooperative continue to be established in the archipelago. Cooperatives can be:

Types of Cooperative

  • credit
  • consumers coop
  • producers and marketing coop
  • multi-purpose
  • agrarian reform
  • coop bank
  • healthcare
  • housing coop
  • insurance
  • transport
  • electric coop

There's a common bond of interest when joining a cooperative. It can be the same community, same job or organization.

Values and Spirit of Cooperativism

It includes:

  1. Self-Help
  2. Self-Responsibility
  3. Equity
  4. Democracy
  5. Equality
  6. Honesty
  7. Openness
  8. Caring for Others
  9. Social Responsibility
  10. Solidarity

In cooperative, we are the owners and at the same time, we are the owners.

Bayanihan in the Philippines (Photo by Cy Rosero)
Bayanihan in the Philippines (Photo by Cy Rosero)

Co-op Principles

Since the dawn of Rochdale Coop in England, the following principles never changed. This set of important values in organizing and running a cooperative is still the basis of establishing a successful organization.

In cooperativism, running a business is for the benefit of every member.

  1. Open & Voluntary Membership - It is non-discriminatory. Everyone can be a member of a cooperative.
  2. Democratic Member Control - Members are co-owners. Each member can only vote once when election of board of directors is conducted. The vote of an absentee will never be counted.
  3. Member Economic Participation - There's a shared capital where a dividend of each member can be returned to them (70 %) once they terminate their membership. There's also a patronage refund each year as the cooperative grows.
  4. Autonomy and Independence - It has its own constitution and by-laws that serves as guide for a good governance.
  5. Education, Training and Information - A successful cooperative should impart additional knowledge to all members by way of summer classes in home businesses and the like.
  6. Cooperation among Coops - There's a saying that: "No man is an island." It also applies to the principles of cooperativism in order to exist successfully.
  7. Concern for Community - Cooperative means the community itself. Its about people helping one another in order to be a successful group or entity.

Mike Hanopol - Sa Bayan Ni Juan c/o SuperTunogPinoy


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Joyette Fabien: Thanks for picking up this information. I am sure it will open an opportunity to build active cooperatives in your country.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      6 years ago from Dominica

      Most enlightening. The Government department where I work has responsibility for cooperatives. I will share this information.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Alan Dela Merced: Yes, you can visit Don Galo this year.

      In fact, they'll be re-opening the livelihood slot this summer but the only problem is entrepreneurs, like you.

    • profile image

      Alan Dela Merced 

      8 years ago

      Maybe we can each other, we share our Livehood business opportunity to you and share it to your Brgy., we have a all purpose disinfectant solution. We can do a hand sanitizer, mouth wash, and more... in short it kills bacteria's.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Romano Arnesto: I hope this article should serve as 'wake-up call' to people in order for them to spearhead this kind of endeavor that can help the whole community.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @thesailor. You bet it does. :D People should realize that there's always a hidden goodness when investing in cooperative.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Arian Rey: You're right. People should invest to cooperatives and never worry about losing their capital. Although, there's always precaution when investing your money in the bank or in cooperative. You should choose the lesser 'evil' between the two.

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      It will help people to organize cooperatives in their communities. Thanks for sharing this info.

    • thesailor profile image


      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      Bank versus cooperative...I will bet that cooperative will always last. Banks usurp people's deposits while cooperative give back dividends and shares to its member-owners.

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 

      8 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      Very informative hub. We can overcome bankruptcy if we're going to incorporate the values of cooperatives in our organizations.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)