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Annually, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative looks forward to October, because it brings much fulfillment to take part in the annual Cooperative Month celebration. This year, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)’s theme is “Kooperatibang Matatag: Tumutugon sa mga Hamon, Daan sa Pagbangon, Nagbibigay Pag-asa sa Makabagong Panahon!” (“A Strong Cooperative is: Responsive to Challenges, a Road to Development, and Gives Hope in the Modern Age!”) On October 28th CLIMBS, through the CLIMBS Institute of Management (CIM) and the NaFeCOOP, welcomed everyone to its virtual forum aptly entitled: Cooperative Talks 2021 – The Cooperative Identity in the 21st Century
In his Keynote Message, the Honorable Undersecretary Joseph “Joy” Encabo, Chairperson of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), emphasized that “a strong and stable cooperative is defined by its members’ faith and trust in it” and the importance to unite under one common goal, “We work as one because we know that together we can respond to any and all trials that confront us, and that together we smile and feel our success, which fill our hearts with jubilation of all our successes.” In his special message, Mr. Balasubramanian “Balu” G. Iyer the Regional Director of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), related what the Cooperative Identity means to him, “To me, the statement of cooperative identity is defined by the values and the principles, it is what gives meaning to cooperatives and it is how we recognize ourselves as cooperators. The cooperative identity is what distinguishes us from other forms of enterprises and we need to trumpet this not just that we are values-based and principles-focused, but more on how these values and principles can be a solution to the issues that we are facing.”
During the virtual forum, panelists discussed topics in line with the event’s title and theme, such as: ‘What does the cooperative identity mean to you?’, ‘Do you think the cooperative identity can help us solve some of the global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic?’, and ‘How will the cooperative movement build a sustainable community? Will the cooperative movement be a relevant factor in how we solve some of the global issues that we have today?’
The panelists, local and global leaders, tackled prevailing local and global issues and innovative solutions in advancing the cooperative movement beyond 21st century with focus on developing the next generation of leaders. The panelists include the Honorable Assistant Secretary Vidal D. Villanueva III, Head of Credit & Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, & Credit Surety Fund Cooperatives Cluster for the CDA, Mr. Neil Calvert the CEO & Principal for the Co-operative College in the UK, Dr. Sarah Alldred the International Programs Manager for the Co-operative College in the UK, Mr. Ben Telfer the Vice-President of Business Intelligence for the International Cooperative & Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Rev. Fr. Elmo Manching, CLIMBS Chairperson, representing Metro Ormoc Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (OCCCI), CLIMBS Officer, Mr. Alexander Raquepo, the Chairperson of Sta. Cruz Credit and Development Cooperative (SACDECO) and the National President of the COOP-NATCCO Partylist, Mr. Lloyd Madriaga the Research Development & Marketing Officer for Oro Integrated Cooperative (OIC), Ms. Shine Miranda, the Chairperson for the Youth Laboratory Cooperative (Tagum Cooperative), and Mr. Noel D. Raboy the President & CEO of CLIMBS Life & General Insurance Cooperative.
The highlight of the virtual event was the Unveiling of CLIMBS’s Philippines Corner at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum in Manchester, England ushered by Ms. Liz McIvor the Manager for the Co-operative Heritage Trust of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. Ms. McIvor spoke about the rich history and the importance of the Co-operative Heritage Trust to the Cooperative Movement. The memento, a testament of a sustainable and resilient cooperative movement is an apparent collective culmination of CLIMBS member-owners and other stakeholders’ commitment, hard work, and dedication which is a fitting celebration to CLIMBS’s 50th year. CLIMBS brought recognition to all Filipino cooperators and cooperatives and cemented its place in history at the birthplace of the Cooperative Movement.
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