The Sangunniang Bayan of La Trinidad approved two ordinances last year supporting the welfare of coops authored by Hon. Horacio Ramos, Jr., Chairperson, Committee on Cooperatives, POs and NGOs.

The legislations include Ordinance No. 32-2016 Institutionalizing the “Gawad Parangal” awards for cooperatives in the municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet, providing funds thereof and for other purposes and Ordinance No. 33-2016 establishing the Cooperative Development Service Office in the Municipality of La Trinidad, Benguet Providing funds thereof and for other purpose.

Ordinance No. 32-2016 is expected to be implemented this year as Mayor Romeo Salda allocated one hundred fifty thousand pesos (150,000) for its initial enactment. The Gawad Parangal is an award and recognition program for cooperatives, partner organizations and cooperative leaders in recognition of the exemplary performance, best practices and good governance and in bringing responsive services to the people and to the community.

The ordinance mentioned of the categories of awards which include Most Outstanding Cooperatives (Micro, Small, Medium and Large), Most Outstanding Cooperative Leader and Special Citations. The Special Awards shall be given to coops with Exemplary Environmental and Conservation Program, Outstanding Community Involvement and Development Program, Excellence in Membership Growth and Expansion Program and Remarkable Cooperative Solidarity and Partnership Program.

There shall be a local screening committee and a local board of judges to be composed of municipal officials, employees and representatives from the different line agencies with cooperative programs. The awarding of winners shall be a part of the Cooperative Month Celebration every October.

Meanwhile, Ordinance No. 33-2016 recognizes the indispensable role of coops in national development particularly the active involvement of coops to engage in the delivery of certain basic services, capability building and livelihood projects. The Cooperative Development Office (CDO) shall serve as the office of the Coop Development Officer and the La Trinidad Coop Development Council.

The ordinance is supported by the resolution of the Cordillera Administrative Regional Cooperative Development Council requesting the Chief Executive and head of legislative bodies of Local Government Units in the region to consider creating CDOs.

La Trinidad is the only municipality in the region that crafted these kinds of ordinances and appointed a permanent Coop Development Specialist.-Orlando Pacya

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