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“It’s never too late for this country to have a mainstream Filipino cooperative movement.”
This is the statement of Ann Cuisia, President and CEO of digiCOOP, as she called for a faster digital adoption for cooperatives during the first-ever Digital Cooperative Summit that happened during the Philippine FinTech Festival (PFF), aiming to empower cooperatives through technology.
“We established digiCOOP as a platform for cooperatives where they can exchange services with other member cooperatives, essentially building their members’ wealth through participation in a lively ecosystem,” Cuisia stressed, adding that cooperatives can maximize their revenue through the use of smart technology and digital assets.
However, some challenges of digitalization were raised during the summit, like cybersecurity risks and fraud, and the solutions offered by digital technology.
This is where Cuisia highlighted the importance of education, explaining that “cooperative members are very trusting in terms of sharing private data; that’s why there is a need to empower them with knowledge of digital technology.”
The CEO also shared that her cooperative’s online platform is powered by TraXion Tech, which aims to elevate the social-impact quotient of any business or organization it works with through transformative technology.
According to Cuisia, there are a number of cooperatives that have expanded their services online due to the online platform.
One example is the Manuel Guianga and Sirib Growers and Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (MAGSIGE MPC), which was established to help banana growers with their labor issues. The coop now offers services like digital wallets, marketplaces, and livelihood programs, which have allowed it to create a more streamlined and convenient co-op system for its members and open more opportunities for them.
A cooperative, as defined by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), is an autonomous and duly registered association of persons with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve their social, economic, and cultural needs and aspirations by making equitable contributions to the capital required, patronizing their products and services, and accepting a fair share of the risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with the universally accepted cooperative principles.
Where, as of 2020, the agency reported that there were over 11,000 operating cooperatives and 11.5 million co-op members.
The cooperatives that attended the event included the San Dionisio Credit Cooperative, 1 Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines Life and General Insurance, Manatal Multipurpose Cooperative, ACDI Multipurpose Cooperative, and Simbayanan ni Maria Multipurpose Cooperative.
“Undoubtedly, the future is cross-border. The goal of Digital Pilipinas’ partnership with digiCOOP is to put the Philippine cooperatives side-by-side with other global best practices,” Amor Maclang, the convenor of PFF and Digital Pilipinas, concluded.
This article is published on BitPinas: First Digital Cooperative Summit Takes Place at PH Fintech Festival
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.