Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Philippines

In the heart of the Philippines’ vibrant economic landscape, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) stands as a pivotal institution, fostering the growth and development of cooperatives for Filipinos. Established with a vision to empower communities, stimulate economic progress, and provide professional assistance, the CDA nurtures a cooperative movement that is both inclusive and sustainable.

Cooperatives, by their very nature, are more than just business entities; they are a testament to the power of collective effort and mutual aid. In the Philippines, where community and collaboration are deeply ingrained values, cooperatives have become essential in advancing socio-economic development, especially in rural and underserved areas. They are not just economic ventures but are also vehicles for promoting self-reliance, democratic decision-making, and equitable wealth distribution.

The History and Evolution of CDA

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) of the Philippines has a dynamic history that mirrors the evolving role of cooperatives in the nation’s economy.

  • Established in 1973, the CDA evolved from early cooperative oversight initiatives dating back to 1922.
  • Significant milestones include the establishment of the Cooperative Administration Office in 1957, the enactment of the Cooperatives Law in 1963, and the introduction of various legal frameworks, such as the Philippine Cooperative Code in 1981 and its revisions in subsequent years.
  • The CDA’s role expanded further with constitutional recognition in 1987 and reforms in 1998 and 2008, enhancing its regulatory and support capabilities.
  • The Cooperative Development Framework of 2013 set a long-term vision for the sector, focusing on innovation and competitiveness.
  • Despite challenges like limited access to finance and technical resources, the CDA continues to play a pivotal role in fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth through cooperatives in the Philippines.
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
Logo of Coop Development Authority PH

Role and Functions of the CDA

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) is an integral component of the Philippines’ economic framework, dedicated to the growth and sustenance of cooperatives. Acting as the government’s primary agency, the CDA’s responsibilities extend from promotion and registration to regulation and supervision of cooperatives nationwide. This comprehensive role is pivotal in ensuring that cooperatives contribute effectively to the country’s socio-economic development.

Overview of the CDA’s Primary Responsibilities

  1. Policy Formulation and Implementation:
    • The CDA is responsible for creating and executing comprehensive plans and programs to bolster cooperative development.
    • These initiatives align with national policies and socio-economic development goals, ensuring that cooperatives are integral to the nation’s progress.
  2. Registration and Regulation:
    • It handles the registration of all cooperatives, federations, and unions, ensuring adherence to the Cooperative Code and other relevant laws.
    • This regulatory function is crucial in maintaining the integrity and legal standing of cooperatives.
  3. Support and Development:
    • The CDA extends various support forms to cooperatives, including capacity building, technical assistance, and access to financial resources and market linkages.
    • These initiatives are designed to enhance the operational efficiency and economic viability of cooperatives.
  4. Monitoring and Supervision:
    • Regular audits and performance monitoring are conducted by the CDA to ensure cooperatives maintain transparency and uphold good governance standards.
    • This supervision is vital for the sustainable operation and trustworthiness of cooperatives.
  5. Dispute Resolution:
    • The CDA also plays a role in mediating and resolving disputes within and between cooperatives, ensuring harmonious and effective operations.
  6. Advocacy and Promotion:
    • It actively promotes the benefits of cooperatives, raising public awareness, and encouraging the formation of new cooperatives.

CDA’s Support and Regulatory Function

Support for Cooperatives:

  • Capacity Building: Tailored training programs and workshops focus on cooperative management, financial literacy, and business development.
  • Technical Assistance: The CDA provides expert advice in areas like feasibility studies, business planning, and marketing strategies.
  • Financial Resources: Access to government-funded grant programs and loan schemes is facilitated by the CDA, offering crucial financial support.
  • Market Linkages: Assistance in connecting with potential buyers and market opportunities, aiding in the expansion and profitability of cooperatives.

Regulation of Cooperatives:

  • Registration Compliance: The CDA ensures that all cooperatives are legally registered and compliant with the Cooperative Code.
  • Auditing: Regular financial and operational audits are conducted to maintain high standards of governance and compliance.
  • Dispute Resolution: The CDA’s role in mediation and arbitration helps maintain internal harmony and resolves external conflicts.
  • Sanctions for Non-Compliance: The CDA has the authority to impose penalties, including fines or operational suspensions, for non-compliance with regulations.


Types of Cooperatives under CDA

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in the Philippines categorizes cooperatives based on membership and function, each type contributing uniquely to the nation’s economy. Let’s explore these categories and their roles:

Based on Membership

  1. Primary Cooperatives:
    • Agricultural Cooperatives: They focus on the production, processing, and marketing of agricultural products. By improving farmers’ income and access to resources, these cooperatives play a vital role in the agricultural sector, boosting productivity and ensuring food security.
    • Credit Cooperatives: These cooperatives are crucial in providing financial services like loans and savings programs. They promote financial inclusion and support micro-entrepreneurship, particularly in underserved communities.
    • Service Cooperatives: Offering a range of services including transportation, housing, healthcare, and consumer goods, service cooperatives address diverse community needs. They enhance the quality of life by providing affordable and accessible services.
    • Consumer Cooperatives: By bulk-purchasing and selling goods to members at lower prices, consumer cooperatives effectively reduce household expenses and promote cost-saving practices.
  2. Secondary Cooperatives:
    • Formed by primary cooperatives, they provide support services, facilitate joint marketing, and enable access to larger markets. Their contribution is pivotal in scaling up the operations of primary cooperatives, improving their competitiveness and market presence.
  3. Tertiary Cooperatives:
    • These cooperatives, established by secondary cooperatives, handle functions at the national level, including lobbying, research, and training. They are instrumental in strengthening the cooperative movement and advocating for policies that benefit cooperatives.

Based on Function

  1. Production Cooperatives:
    • Engaging directly in activities like farming, manufacturing, or handicrafts, production cooperatives are significant job creators. They play a key role in local economic development and in diversifying the economic activities of communities.
  2. Marketing Cooperatives:
    • These cooperatives assist members in marketing their products. By improving market access and enhancing bargaining power, they support small producers in achieving better market positions.
  3. Processing Cooperatives:
    • By adding value to raw materials produced by members, processing cooperatives generate additional income and increase the marketability of products, contributing to the growth of local industries.
  4. Consumer Cooperatives:
    • As mentioned, they reduce consumer costs and support fair trade practices by bulk-purchasing goods for members.

Overall Contributions

  • Job Creation: Cooperatives across various sectors generate significant employment opportunities, contributing to poverty reduction and income generation.
  • Rural Development: Particularly, agricultural and service cooperatives are crucial in strengthening rural communities. They enhance agricultural productivity and provide essential services, leading to sustainable rural development.
  • Financial Inclusion: Credit cooperatives play an essential role in providing financial services to underserved populations, promoting financial literacy, and encouraging entrepreneurship.
  • Empowerment: Cooperatives empower their members through democratic governance and active participation, fostering social equity and community development.
  • Market Efficiency: By providing alternative channels for production, distribution, and consumption, cooperatives contribute to market efficiency. They promote fair competition and price stability, benefiting the economy as a whole.

How to Get Involved

Joining an Existing Cooperative

  1. Utilize the CDA Directory
  • The CDA provides an accessible online directory, which can be a valuable resource for individuals looking to join an existing cooperative. By visiting the CDA’s official website, you can search for cooperatives by product type or name. This directory is an excellent starting point for exploring the diverse cooperative landscape in the Philippines.
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
Screengrab of Coopbiz Homepage
  1. Contact CDA Field Offices
  • For personalized assistance and local information, reaching out to the nearest CDA field office is highly beneficial. The CDA’s website provides contact details and locations of these field offices. They offer insights about local cooperatives and can facilitate connections with relevant groups, ensuring you find a cooperative that aligns with your interests and goals.
  1. Attend Cooperative Events
  • Engaging in seminars, workshops, and conferences related to cooperatives is a fantastic way to gain insights and network with potential cooperators. These events, often organized by the CDA and other related organizations, are avenues for learning about cooperative trends, challenges, and opportunities. Keep an eye on the CDA’s announcements for upcoming events.

Starting a New Cooperative

  1. CDA Registration
  • Aspiring cooperative founders can access a comprehensive guide for registering a cooperative on the CDA’s website. This guide covers the necessary steps, requirements, and legalities involved in setting up a cooperative, providing a clear roadmap for the registration process.
  1. Pre-registration Seminars
  • The CDA organizes seminars that are invaluable for understanding cooperative principles, requirements, and best practices. These pre-registration seminars are designed to equip you with the knowledge needed to start and operate a successful cooperative. They address crucial topics like cooperative management, governance, and sustainable practices.
  1. CDA Technical Assistance
  • For more hands-on support, the CDA offers technical assistance in drafting cooperative by-laws, conducting feasibility studies, and preparing other necessary documentation. This assistance ensures that your cooperative is set up with a strong foundation and adheres to the legal and regulatory standards set by the CDA.

Video: CDA Audio Visual Presentation on Cooperatives in the Philippines

This video looks into the Philippine Cooperative Medium Term Development Plan (2011-2016), which stands as a significant milestone in the cooperative movement in the Philippines, charting a strategic course for the sector’s growth and sustainability. This comprehensive plan, underpinned by five key policy directions, was crafted to enhance the capabilities of cooperatives, aiming to bolster their contribution to the national economy and community development.

These policy directions focused on areas such as governance, capacity building, financial stability, network strengthening, and legal and regulatory framework enhancement. Each direction played a pivotal role in ensuring that cooperatives could effectively meet the challenges of the modern market while staying true to their principles of mutual aid and community empowerment. The plan not only provided a roadmap for cooperative development but also aligned with broader national development goals, reflecting the government’s commitment to supporting and leveraging the cooperative sector as a vital component of the Philippine socio-economic fabric.

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