Press Release
January 11, 2011


The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives led by its chairmen Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri and Representative Jose Ping-Ay will launch today (Wednesday, January 12) a nationwide forum and consultation for cooperatives at the Grand Theater of Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City. The event is expected to draw over 350 participants from different cooperatives in northern Metro Manila.

The Senate and House of Representatives sponsored project aims to explain in simple language the rules and regulations of RA 9520 or the Cooperative Code of the Philippines, specifically on BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) policies and guidelines for granting tax exemptions to cooperatives.

"We are bringing the discussions to the public, to the communities and later on to the different provinces down to the countryside to encourage the coops sector and the government agencies concerned such as the BIR to work together and enable them to carry out the real objectives of the law which is to contribute to the economic development of our country and encourage self-help. We look forward to healthy and productive results," Zubiri, principal author of the new Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, said.

QC Mayor Herbert Bautista is expected to deliver the welcome remarks while BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, CDA Chair Emmanuel Santiaguel and CDA Executive Director Niel Santillan will be available to answer questions during the open forum.

According to Zubiri, there are about 75,000 cooperatives all over the country that waited so long for the tax exemption so they could operate with ease or without worrying about financial restrictions.

"This is another milestone in our efforts to support the coop industry. We need to ease up their burden and make it more convenient for them as well as our BIR officers to deal and transact with each other," Zubiri who has been hailed as the "father of the cooperative code" added.

The second leg of the tax forum and CDA charter consultation will be held in southern Metro Manila to be followed by regional consultations in Luzon and Visayas.

The Coop Code was signed into law in March 2009. It has been hailed as a landmark legislation that empowered coops to professionalize their management and operation, while providing a monitoring and evaluation tools for them to conduct self-assessments in terms of its managerial, financial, and social objectives.

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