ZAMBOANGA CITY, November 28, 2022 – Dubbed as the National Cooperative Month, the Labor Department is one with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the whole cooperative movement in celebrating the role that cooperatives have played in the nation’s economic development for the whole month of October with the theme: “KooPinas: Nagkakaisang Lakas Para sa Makabuluhan at Sama-samang Pag-unlad”.

Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, head of the Labor Department in Region 9, said that the DOLE values the effort and dedication of cooperatives as accredited co-partners in effectively implementing poverty reduction projects in the province and fostering inclusive economic development and livelihood creation through their continuous support in the programs.

“Specifically, through the Zamboanga Sibugay Field Office, programs of the Department such as Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), livelihood and emergency employment projects are continuously implemented in various municipalities of Zamboanga Sibugay,” he said.

He further added that Accredited Co-partners (ACPs) of DOLE are the workers’ organizations, other non-profit people’s organizations, and non-government organizations that have passed the accreditation requirements of DOLE and are responsible for the direct delivery of services to target beneficiaries for a social cause and provide public benefit through offering services in partnership with DOLE.

DOLE 9 expressed its gratitude by recognizing the efforts and commitment of the following ACPs in Sibugay – GARBEMCO, BUUG MPC, RTLEMPC, TECMPC, ALNEMPCO, BAFAMCO, DIPLAHAN MPC, IMAVEMCO, JARBECO, Risen Christ Parish MPC, and SIBUGUEY VALLEY CATV.

Chief Labor and Employment Offier Elamsalih Ungad said, “Looking back on the accomplishments of the ACPs, through the years, these cooperatives had been taking part in the successful implementation of programs and services of DOLE and are deserving of the recognition.”

Ungad said that in 2019, Batu Farmer’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BAFAMCO) became the best ACP implementing DILP Projects for the active involvement of its NGO in promoting livelihood opportunities along with significant initiatives in providing assistance to the DILP beneficiaries and supporting the TUPAD project by providing 20% equity, as well as assistance in monitoring and supervision.

Goodyear Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GARBEMCO) is another cooperative named the best NGO in 2020. The cooperative served as a big brother to struggling rubber cooperatives and small rubber farmer’s organizations in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

In 2017, they were the ACP for rubber tapping kits amounting to PhP3,740,000.00 awarded to 2,000 indigenous peoples, small rubber farmers and rubber plantation workers. Additionally, they took part in annually implementing SPES, which places more than100 recipients each year.

Similarly, ALNEMPCO in Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay participated in the implementation of the SPES with six to ten beneficiaries annually.

Ipil Market Vendors Multi-Purpose Cooperative (IMAVEMCO) was also recognized as the best Non-Governmental Organization in 2021 for its important actions taken to help DILP beneficiaries and the NGO’s active promotion of employment opportunities by being the ACP not only in Zamboanga Sibugay but also a conduit partner for the DILP projects implemented in the entire peninsula.

For three consecutive years from 2019-2021, GARBEMCO, BAFAMCO, and IMAVEMCO’s outstanding undertakings were perceived and recognized by DOLE Central Office as the best ACPs in Region 9.

From the overall data of the accomplished projects of the ACPs from 2019-2022, the conduit partners of DOLE in Sibugay implemented a combined amount of PhP223,271,050.00 of DOLE Grants for TUPAD Projects benefitting 54,905 beneficiaries and PhP 17,598,091.00 worth of Kabuhayan Starter Kits under the DILP Program, benefitting above a thousand beneficiaries from various municipalities in Zamboanga Sibugay.

RD Buenafe, in conclusion, said that this partnership with conduit partners of DOLE is vital to ensure the successful implementation of programs and services thereby achieving desired social outcomes. END/With reports from Zede Zabdiel Vergara, DOLE ZSFO, EDT/KCQG