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V Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

V National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)



Kabayan Forum

                                                                                                          Refer to: Ms. Dale Zapata


Seeing importance of cooperative movements to economic development

14 September 2005

VICE PRESIDENT and concurrent Housing and Urban
Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairman Noli “Kabayan” De Castro underscored the role of local cooperatives in enhancing the prospects of housing microfinance and revealed the two pilot housing projects aimed at providing shelter security and livelihood opportunities to urban poor families: the development of poor urban communities project & the strategic private sector partnership for urban poverty reduction.

De Castro, speaking at this year’s Asian Credit Union Forum, first pointed out that 30.4 percent of our country’s population was found to be living below the poverty line and such poverty statistics are replicated in practically all developing countries. Therefore, as similarly concluded by the United Nations where there is strong private investment, there is sustained economic growth. The answer to poverty is in the hands of private entrepreneurs --- including primary cooperatives.

“Housing is one area where the Philippine government recognizes the important role and contribution of the private sector, specifically,” De Castro stressed, “in the areas of housing finance and construction.”

In this regard, the Vice President disclosed that under the development of poor urban communities project, the aim is to enable the urban poor to avail of financial services for micro enterprise development, home improvements, and housing. The project will also pilot the potential for, and sustainability of micro finance institutions, in the provision of housing micro finance to the urban poor.

The strategic private sector partnership for urban poverty reduction program in Metro Manila, on the other hand, aims to build the capacities of the poor and to develop a market for their micro enterprise

De Castro noted that the practice of local cooperative movements in reasonably following the experience of credit unions in other parts of the world was able to provide at the grassroot levels mechanisms for economic development and thus pave the way for people-centered development.

The Vice President hopes for the success of the objectives of the ACU forum of standardizing systems and policies of savings and credit cooperatives or credit unions across Asia, and on creating model credit unions through a system of branding. In the Philippines, De Castro said that the National Confederation of Cooperatives or Natcco and the Philippine Federation of Credit Cooperatives or PFCCO --- are themselves working together towards this end.

Moreover, the government, through the Philippine Congress, led by the Philippine cooperative sector representative in Congress, Congressman Guillermo P. Cua, is now crafting legislation for savings and credit cooperatives that aims to bring savings and credit cooperatives into the mainstream financial system and raise their performance to a level at par with the rest of the financial industry.

“Personally, I wish to see the day when savings and credit cooperatives in the Philippines have a brand name equivalent to the successful brands in the country. I wish to see that day when I can carry an electronic card issued by a cooperative in the Philippines and which I can use in other parts of Asia
and the world.”

Ref no. VPMEDIA 05-125                                                                                             HOME | back-to-top

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