Legislative Initiatives in the 16th Philippine Congress

The Coop-NATCCO Party-list Representatives Cresente C. Paez and Anthony M. Bravo principally authored a total of 47 Bills and 8 Resolutions in the House of Representatives. Four of these were already enacted into law such as RA 10643 Graphic Health Warning Law, RA 10653 Higher (P82,000) tax- exemption cap on 13th month pay and Christmas Bonuses, RA 10668 Amendments to the Cabotage Provisions of RA 1937 Customs and Tariff Code of 1978 and RA 10693 Microfinance NGOs Act.

The proposed measures centered on co-operative promotion and development, agrarian and agricultural development, rural development, health, education, environmental protection, livelihood promotion, good governance, and people empowerment. The Coop-NATCCO legislative agenda is in line with the Party’s advocacies on Health, Education, Livelihood and Environment.

As the coop sector’s voices in Congress, Congressmen Paez and Bravo crusaded

for a revision of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008. It was published last June 29, 2015 before a local newspaper and took effect on July 15, 2015. It sets forth among others the guidelines on Representative Assembly, Subsidiary Cooperative, Division of Cooperatives, Merger and Consolidation and qualifications to become a Multi-Purpose Cooperative. It also streamlines the training requirements of cooperative officers depending on the position they are holding. Micro cooperatives were also spared from the monetary penalties for late submission of Cooperative Annual Progress Report (CAPR).

Another priority measure pushed by Coop-Natcco reps is the Strengthening of the Cooperative Development Authority (HB 276). While the consolidated bill was swiftly approved by the House Committee on Cooperatives Development, the bill remains pending at the Committee on Appropriations.

Other proposed bills that will have big impact to the development of the cooperatives sector are HB 280 Agrarian and Agricultural Credit Condonation, HB 278 CSF Coop and Credit Surety Fund Act, and HB 281 Mandatory appointment of cooperative officers in local government units. All of these were already approved by respective committees.