General Assembly Message
Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
The government employees of the local government of Iloilo City are indispensable to the efficient management of our city. Our local government is a well-oiled machine with many integral parts which must all work in excellent condition in order to provide our people with the service that they could expect from a local administration that prides itself for good governance. I am proud to say that the Iloilo City Government Employees are, without a doubt, among the best civil servants in the country.
I am glad that the employees of the local government have banded together in order to create a credit cooperative. The Iloilo City Government Employees Credit Cooperative (ICCGEC) aids its members by pooling together the resources of the government employees in order to expand access to finances, and by developing income opportunities strengthened by the combined resources of the members of your cooperative.
The cooperative model is one of the most successful independent non-governmental platforms which magnify the power of the individual by teaming with fellow persons of similar interest. Although cooperatives have existed since the 15th Century, the idea of a credit cooperative started at the height of the industrial revolution in Germany during the 19th Century. Today, cooperatives are widely established in most countries all over the world. For instance, the highly regarded Mondragon Corporation of Spain, which is a federation of workers’ cooperatives, provides employment for over 80,000 people, providing activities to its members in the realms of finance, retail, industry and knowledge. The success of Mondragon has inspired people, including those from the Philippines, to form their own cooperatives.
Today, the 2008 Cooperative Code of the Philippines encourages the private sector to undertake the actual formation and organization of cooperatives. The United Nations General Assembly also declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, particularly their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.
The cooperative model works because it is owned by its members, it works for its members, and the benefits reaped from its activities are collectively enjoyed by its members. I am therefore pleased that the Iloilo City Government Employees have created a strong cooperative that could help them secure their own collective interests. Thank you very much and may you all have a fruitful general assembly.