December 10, 2022

Barangay-based cooperatives involved in agricultural and food production, regardless of the volume of their produce, need assistance from the city government and national agencies.
This was based on the report made by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Special Services Division (SSD) of the City Mayor’s Office, which conducted an assessment on the implementation of resolutions and ordinances pertaining to barangay-based cooperatives.
SSD Community Affairs and Cooperative Officer-designate Michelle Agbuya recommended the provision of incentives, investments, and intensive support to small cooperatives in the city to strengthen their operation.
Agbuya said there is a need to focus assistance to cooperatives engaged in agricultural and food production, including product distribution and marketing to ensure food sustainability during emergencies like the Covid-19 pandemic.
The agencies named to provide support and mentoring of micro-coop members in the city are the Cooperative Development Authority Cordillera extension office and the Baguio City Cooperative Development Council.
Agbuya said health sector cooperatives such as pharmacies and those selling organic, herbal, and medicinal products are also considered as essential sectors that need assistance.
She said they are looking at the need to set up an online platform for inter-coop business matching/market linkages and provision of a permanent display center of cooperative products.
A “big brother-small brother” concept where technical and financial assistance is extended by large coops to micro-coops is also being explored.
From 2016 to 2019, there are 47 barangays in the city that do not have cooperatives, which is why there is an intensified program to promote the organization of barangay-based cooperatives.  
The SSD spearheads the conduct of trainings, fundamentals of cooperatives and governance, management, and capability building program for micro-cooperatives. It also provides the venue, reproduces training materials, and provides the meals of the participants. – Julie G. Fianza