Bong Go
(File Photo) Bong Go / Facebook
NATION

Bong Go highlights role of cooperatives in empowering communities

TDT

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, together with Mayor Romeo Salda and local officials, attended the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Ceremonial Check Awarding event held in Benguet State University Gymnasium in La Trinidad, Benguet, on Friday, 17 May, as part of the Malasakit sa Kooperatiba program that the senator earlier advocated for in partnership with CDA, led by Usec. Joseph Encabo.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, Senator Go emphasized the crucial role of cooperatives in communities and the significance of government support for their growth and development. He highlighted the need for sustained assistance to ensure the prosperity and resilience of these cooperative organizations.

“Mga minamahal kong kababayan, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat. Isang malaking karangalan ang makasama kayo ngayon, hindi lang bilang isang senador, kundi bilang isang kaibigan na nagpapahalaga sa ating mga kooperatiba at sa ating matatag na komunidad sa Cordillera,” said Go in his speech.

Attended by 94 members from ten cooperatives from around the Cordillera Region, Go emphasized the importance of government support for cooperatives, highlighting their ability to create sustainable economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for their members.

He noted that the cooperative model is especially significant in areas facing geographical and economic hardships, where collective efforts can make a substantial difference.

In the 2024 budget, Go advocated for additional funding for the Cooperative Development Authority Human Capital Development Program for Cooperatives. This program includes financial assistance to micro or small cooperatives under the Malasakit Sa Kooperatiba Program.

Senator Go has been a staunch advocate for cooperative development. He is the co-author and co-sponsor of Republic Act No. 11502, or the National Cooperative Month Act, which designates October as the National Cooperative Month each year.

Additionally, he co-authored and co-sponsored RA 11535 – Cooperatives Development Officer, a law mandating the appointment of a Cooperatives Development Officer at the municipal, city, and provincial levels.

The senator likewise thanked the cooperatives for their indispensable support to their respective communities. He expressed his hope that the financial aid provided would further empower these communities, making them stronger and more self-reliant.

Go also extended additional support to cooperative members, such as basketball and volleyball balls, shirts, watches, shoes, bicycles, and mobile phones.

The event was also attended by CDA CAR Extension Office Asst. Regional Director Dr. Felicidad Cenon, CDA CAR Senior Cooperative Dev’t Specialist Dickson Aycud, President of Benguet State University Dr. Felipe Comila, Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President Alno Barangay Captain Jonie Puroc, and Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Soriano Dogcio, among others.

Concluding his remarks, Senator Go reaffirmed his commitment to supporting cooperatives, underscoring their potential to create opportunities and improve the quality of life in communities across the country.

“Magkaisa tayo sa layuning ito, hindi lamang para sa ating sariling kapakanan kundi para sa kabutihan ng mas nakararami. Maraming salamat po sa inyong walang sawang suporta at tiwala. Patuloy tayong magtulungan at magkapit-bisig para sa mas magandang kinabukasan ng ating mga komunidad,” he ended.

On the same day, Go attended the Constitutional Amendments Committee Hearing at the Lafayette Luxury Suites in Baguio City. Later on, his staff visited the Baguio General Hospital to check on improvements he supported together with Sen. Sonny Angara. The previous day, Go also attended the gathering of local government accountants held in Baguio City.

“Patuloy kaming magseserbisyo sa inyo dahil bisyo ko ang magserbisyo at ako ay naniniwala na ang serbisyo sa tao ay serbisyo ‘yan sa Panginoon, serbisyo ‘yan kay Allah,” said Go, who is known as Mr. Malasakit for his compassionate service to Filipinos in need.