Trans­for­ma­tive Co­op­er­a­tives for Peo­ple, Planet, Pros­per­ity & Peace

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

repub­li­can State, sovereignty re­sides with the peo­ple and all gov­ern­men­tal pow­ers em­anate from them.”

The flawed po­lit­i­cal sys­tem which is both colo­nial and ex­clu­sive has caused the ex­ploita­tion of the peo­ple and the mas­sive plun­der of eco­log­i­cal wealth. Philip­pine so­ci­ety is now char­ac­ter­ized as eco­log­i­cally frag­ile, rat­ing the coun­try as the top three hard­est hit in the world by cli­mate change where the oc­cur­rence of eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ters be­com­ing a new nor­mal. Philip­pine so­ci­ety has also been de­scribed as over-crowded, num­ber twelve in the world in pop­u­la­tion. In the ru­ral ar­eas, four of five are liv­ing in poverty caus­ing them to mi­grate to the ur­ban cen­ters.

Some 14 mil­lion Filipinos are de­scribed as un­em­ployed or un­der­em­ployed, the rea­son why some 6 thou­sand Filipinos are go­ing abroad ev­ery day to find jobs in other coun­tries. To date, there are now 10.5 mil­lion who are Over­seas Filipino Work­ers (OFWs).

Amidst poverty, in­equities, so­cial in­jus­tices and eco­log­i­cal degra­da­tion looms vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

The im­per­a­tive need to re-struc­ture Philip­pine so­ci­ety has now come of age under the present dis­pen­sa­tion call­ing for “Biyaya ng Pag­babago.” The revo­lu­tion ini­ti­ated by the Na­tional Demo­cratic Front, af­ter five decades, has strug­gled to make a dent as such rev­o­lu­tion­ary ap­proach seems to be alien to the cul­ture of the Filipinos whose mind-set has been cap­tured by un­bri­dled ma­te­ri­al­ism and con­sumerism.

Un­known to many, there is now loom­ing a coun­ter­vail­ing force to rec­tify so­cial wrongs by har­ness­ing the col­lec­tive power of the peo­ple, where those in the mar­gins are now drawn into the main­stream of de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses.

It is the em­pow­er­ing and lib­er­at­ing path, ad­dress­ing the root cause of poverty which is the pow­er­less­ness of the peo­ple to have ac­cess and con­trol over their re­sources. This is well pro­vided for by the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion that “the State shall ad­vance co­op­er­a­tivism as in­stru­ment of so­cial jus­tice, eq­uity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

Yes, Co­op­er­a­tivism is the re-struc­tur­ing tool be­cause its DNA is one that is mem­bers-owned, val­ue­based and sus­tain­able. It is the one to dis­man­tle the con­trol of the oli­garchs of the econ­omy through le­gal and peace­ful means. Its time-hon­ored and uni­ver­sally-ac­cepted co­op­er­a­tive prin­ci­ples ze­roed-in on be­ing demo­cratic and in­clu­sive to re­place what is colo­nial and ex­clu­sive.

The 27,000 co­op­er­a­tives in the Philip­pines with some 14 mil­lion mem­bers are now front-lin­ing so­cial trans­for­ma­tion for peo­ple, planet, pros­per­ity and peace. This is in con­so­nance with the United Na­tions’ 17 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals to stop poverty, hunger, so­cial in­jus­tice, gross in­equities, ad­vance gen­der and de­vel­op­ment, pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and the health of the peo­ple, among oth­ers.

In­deed, co­op­er­a­tives are now scal­ing the heights be­com­ing a bea­con of light amidst the dark­ness of poverty and pow­er­less­ness. MABUHAY ANG KOOPERATIBA!

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