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1. Project Installation.
The project officially started with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between VICTO and CEBEMO in November 1, 1991.
VICTO is the project implementor for Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo. Project activities for the province of Antique was sub-contracted to an affiliate, the Antique Federation of Cooperatives (AFCCUI).
3. The Provincial Mangement Committee (PMCs)
One of the features of KOOPanay is the Provincial Management Committees (PMCs) and the regional-level Management Committee (ManCom). this is a mechanism to allow the participating groups and partner agencies (PAGES) to participate in decision-making for the project in which they are involved.
The organization of the Provincial Management Committees (PMCs) and the Management Committee (ManCom) at the regional level was also delayed. The PMCs conducted their first meeting between May and June while the ManCom met for the first time in July 6, 1992 at the Regional Office.
Main agenda for these initial meetings was providing the represetatives from PAGEs and coops/SHOs with an orientation on the project's details. Their roles and functions were further discussed, evolved and clarified. Election of officers were conducted and the schedule and agenda for succeeding meetings in 1992 were set.
6. Project Interventions
The first major activity for coops/SHOs was the conduct of Intergrated Management Audit. This is a management and operations audit proecess developed by the Consultancy Department of VICTO Western Visayas to appraise the social and economic status of a coop/SHO.
This was immediately followed by Strategic Development and Planning Workshop (SDPW). The main output of SDPW was the formulation of the group's vision, mission and goal statements.
This was then used as a basis for formulating their 5-year development plan. The groups then finalized either a one-year or a six-month action plan.
The Cooperative Mangement Development Program (CMDP)
The Cooperative Managment Development Program (CMDP) took some time to finalize.
We tried to link this with a similar project of NATCCO. Initial talks have been conducted with various educational institutions for possible linkaging and partnership as they are also just now offering courses on cooperatives and community development. We also made inquiries with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) for accreditation purposes.
Initially, the Management Team (MT) decided to offer two (2) courses, viz: Associate in Coop Mangement and Associate in Coop Accountancy.
These will be two-year courses that will, hopefully, be accredited with the DECS. It is envisioned that it will be more practicum (pratical application of theories to their actual work) than theory (classroom learning).
Information dissemination on this component will be doen during the first hall of KOOPanay's Year 2; we hope to be able to register at least 18 sutdents (9 for each course) from 18 groups for its pilot batch during the second semester.
Gender and Development (GAD)
KOOPanay is positioning itself to actively address three major development issues, viz: Gender and Development (GAD), Ecology and Development (EAD) and Savings.
In this line, a Gender and Development Desk has been established in the Consultancy Department to anchor all activities related to the advocacy of this issue as well as to act as information center.
A series of Gender Sensitivity Trainings at various levels (primary coop, federation, regional) have been conducted in 1992 and planned for in 1993.
KOOPanay shall give special attention to Ponteverda Market Vendors Development Cooprative (PVDCI), a primary coop in Capiz, and the Antique Federation of Cooperatives (AFCCUI) where Coop Women in Development (CWID) programs have been installed (another VICTO-CEBEMO project which already phased-out January 1993).
The project aims to increase the sensitivity of cooperatives and SHOs with regards to gender to enhance the gender effectiveness of their organizations.
VICTO will also integrate gender in all training and consulting activites, where possible.
10. Ecology and Development (EAD).
The EAD desk has also been established in the Consultancy Department last February 1993.
So far, three (3) training modules have been designed for the planned awareness raising seminars in 1993. These are Ecology for Farmers, for Fisherfolks and for Urban Areas.
VICTO sent two staff and three farmer leaders to the Training of Trainors (TOT) on Integrated Past Management (IPM). The four-month (February - April 1993) training is sponsored by the Antique Integrated Area Development (ANIAD) Project.
IPM is a technology that produces "green rice", that is, rice produced without inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, weedicides and herbicides. Rather, farmers are taught how to maintain the right balance of plants and pests.
Savings in the Philippine credit and saving programmes are generally seen only as a precondition for obtaining credit thru so-called "savings-based credit schemes".
KOOPanay will actively promote savings for its own merit. The motivation being "save to avoid borrowing", rather than "save to borrow". Savings shall be difined as deposits that earn a fixed rate of interest and is withdrawable any time.
A Savings Desk has also been established, still under the Consultancy Department.
Initial activites include an Inventory of existing savings schemes in Panay and documentation of successful schemes.
Training and consulting activites along this line are being developed. The project will assist its participating groups in the identification and design of appropriate savings products. KOOPanay will also provide officers and staff with technical assistance on savings marketing.