National show of ‘cooperative force’ on Feb. 18
MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives (IYC). This is a declaration to all member-countries that “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.”
The first salvo for the year-long celebration of the IYC will be a convergence of all cooperatives at the National Show of Co-operative Force (NSCF) to be held on February 18 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
The theme for the event is “Cooperative – A Celebration of People Empowerment & Strength of the Human Spirit.” All co-op members are invited and fifty thousand are expected to attend the convergence.
According to Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chair, Dr. Emmanuel M. Santiaguel, “The NSCF aims to increase public awareness about co-operatives and their contributions to advance People, Planet, Prosperity & Peace for sustainable development.” The CDA is the sole government agency regulating the more than 20,000 cooperatives in the Philippines with combined membership of seven million individuals.
“This will show that co-operatives are not just ‘pautangan’ (lending) where people get loans, but that as the UN declared, co-ops are more than just money but are actually enterprises that build lives, communities, and the planet,” he said at a meeting of the IYC Celebrations Steering Committee recently.
CDA Executive Director, Orland Ravanera, also said: “The 2012 IYC celebration is certainly UN’s gift to all co-operatives, especially in the Philippines. It is an opportune time for us to show our unanimity, demonstrate the principles and values that we uphold, the strength that we have, the talents that we possess and the rich culture that we own. Let us, not fail to actively participate in this momentous celebration for the co-operative movement and our beloved country,” he added.
Quezon City Mayor, Herbert “Bistek” Bautista and Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. will welcome the participants to the city, along with Philippine Cooperative Center Chairman, former Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino.
Scheduled to give solidarity messages are Senate Committee on Cooperatives Chairman, Senator Lito Lapid, and House Committee on Cooperatives Chair, Representative Jose R. Ping-ay. Both will be introduced by Dr. Santiaguel.
From the international cooperative community, inspirational messages will be given by Mr. Jean Caron, Technical Advisor from Canadian co-operative federation, Desjardin Developpement International. Also scheduled to speak to the crowd will be United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dr. Jacqueline Badcock. She will discuss the relevance of the United Nations’ declaration of 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.
CDA Director Orlando Ravanera and Sylvia O. Paraguya, Chief Executive Officer of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) will present the goals of the IYC Celebrations and the Gains Achieved by the Cooperative Sector, respectively.
On the lighter side, singers Joey Ayala, the Lumads and other artists will entertain the crowd with song numbers, while cultural dancers will display Filipino choreography. Brass bands from various units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Police will create a festive atmosphere.
A raffle entitled “Cash-AYAHAN: Raffle for a Cause” will also be conducted, where prizes include cash up to P300,000, plus gadgets and appliances. Proceeds from this raffle will be donated to Typhoon Sendong victims in Mindanao.
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