Article XII, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution provides that, “Congress shall create an agency to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments for social justice and economic development.” Pursuant to this mandate, Congress has enacted in 1990 the twin legislations on cooperatives: Republic Acts No. 6938 and 6939, which established the Cooperative Code of the Philippines and the Cooperative Development Authority, respectively.
In 2007, the Senate recognized the need to revisit and recalibrate the Cooperative Code, on the theory that, “(t)o be truly relevant, its provisions must be amended to keep pace with the changes in the social and political environment.” Hence, Republic Act No. 9520 was eventually enacted, amending the Cooperative Code of the Philippine Code, which came to be known as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.
Logically, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) charter should likewise be revisited and recalibrated by Congress in order to make it more consistent and parallel to its “twin”– the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008–which CDA is precisely primarily tasked to administer and implement. This is the reason why I filed Senate Bill 3245. The CDA must be streamlined, attuned, and–most importantly, retrofitted and capacitated–to the changes, updates and the new demands introduced in the newly enacted Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008. By adapting these twin legislations to the changing times, we comply with the constitutional mandate to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives in our country.