Oro Integrated Cooperative has kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration last October 17, four months prior to its golden anniversary proper, at Mallberry Suites and Business Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.
The opening program gathered members and partners who as well rejoiced the celebration of OIC. It could be remembered 50 years ago, OIC started its business with an office only, having 28 members and initial capital of P88. However, geographic expansion through the years was inevitable as the cooperative continues to grow, living its vision of being a member-centered coop that provides a diversified range of financial, business and social services to change lives of the member-owners and communities.
Cooperative Development Authority Chairperson Orlan R. Ravanera graced the event. He congratulated OIC on its 50 years of accomplishing its mission and attainment of continuous success.
“OIC is one of the best cooperatives in the country,” said the chairperson. Ravanera also explained that Cooperativism has done so much to advance the welfare of Filipino people. In fact, cooperatives including OIC have employed more than 550,000 people.
“What is amazing is the indirect employment,” he added. Cooperatives generated indirect employment and has caused 2 million individuals to do small businesses. He cited a common mother, that instead of staying at home, she runs an eatery though the help of a cooperative institution, gain income, and pay taxes. More, this individual even help and contribute in generating employment through hiring waiters, cooks, cashiers and several others.
“I do believe that in a country where people are marginalized, they have to be put into the concept of development processes. That is cooperativism,” he said, then adding that people – the lumads, farmers, fishermen, women groups, and even persons with disabilities – should have this cooperativism. Through coops, people are awakened to really make a difference, especially in this country that the trend is “rich becomes richer and poor becomes poorer” and so, cooperative’s role is to equalize this trend.
Alongside 50th year celebration of Oro Integrated Coop, October 2015 is also Cooperative Month. It will conclude on October 23 at Philippine Trade Center. Aside from that, coop sector is also celebrating the Philippine Cooperative Centennial Year, 100 years after the first cooperative law was enacted by US Colonial government.
“We have so many things to celebrate upon,” Ravanera ended.
Published in BusinessWeek Mindanao October 21, 2015 issue and Mindanao Daily News October 22, 2015 issue.