The New CDA building: Standing tall to-A A +A
Friday, July 25, 2014
“WE are one CDA family, highly committed to serve the poor and the oppressed, working for their liberation, through cooperative revolution!”
This is the refrain of a song entitled, “The Wind of Change” composed by CDA-10 personnel which got the award as top two of the best CDA Theme Songs in the national contest.
For the 35 personnel of the Cooperative Development Authority in northern Mindanao, empowering the marginalized sectors which are harnessing their collective spirit through their cooperatives as the instruments for social justice, equity and sustainable development is not an easy task.
Serving the more than 1,600 cooperatives in the five provinces of Region 10 with some 700,000 members is difficult enough, more so if they have no office they can call their own. Yes, they have been a “wandering Jew”, having to transfer office nine times for the past twenty-three years.
After holding fast to that dream of having a place under the sun where they can serve better the cooperatives, in whose name and for whose cause they are in CDA for; and after all these years, trail-blazing a brand of cooperativism that is transformative for people, planet, prosperity and peace, everything went on in synchro-destiny to capacitate an office to fulfill a higher dream of making life better for the people. Yes, we must all hold fast to dreams because when dreams die, life is just a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.
That cooperative dream motivated a few men and women in the 50’s to trail-blaze cooperativism to transform a highly skewed pyramidal societal order, foremost of whom were the late Atty. Mordino Cua and the late father of Sen. Nene Pimentel, Aquino Pimentel.
We could only describe them as men who have sacrificed so much for so little. On the part of the late Atty. Mords Cua, he did the noblest act of donating a 1,000 square-meter lot to CDA in 2009 as it was his dream for CDA to have an office of its own. Without that donation, CDA would not be able to access the P10 million for its 3-story building.
He was indeed the Father of Cooperativism in Northern Mindanao and for us in CDA, he was and will always remain in our heart as our father who supported us in more ways than one.
When cooperative leaders then were hesitant to support CDA’s move, questioning why hold a Mindanao-wide Forum for peace in Mindanao through cooperativism, Atty. Mords firmly stood by us telling one and all that the essence of cooperativism is one to uproot the root causes of war in Mindanao that are spawned by poverty, gross inequities, and social injustice.
That is the meaning of syncho-destiny. CDA advances the right brand of cooperativism, Atty. Mords believed in that advocacy and land became available. Because the call of the times is to empower the marginalized sectors and there must be a venue for that, then the fund came into being – thus, the construction of the CDA office that now stands tall, not for CDA alone but for the poor and the oppressed.
Yes, for the marginalized sectors to be drawn into the mainstream of development processes, an office is created. After just 5 months of having an office, it became a venue not solely on serving the clientele on the regular functions of CDA but of so many important activities, i.e., where capacity building for our poor cooperatives take place, where big events of our Lumads were held hosting hundreds of them, important meetings of cooperatives and agencies of government to stop illegal mining and illegal logging.
The 2nd floor is the venue of showcasing the cheap but of high quality products of the cooperatives that they themselves produced, processed and packaged. You want to know how ready we are for the ASEAN Economic Community? Please come to our office and see the products of our cooperatives.
There will also be established a COOPERATIVE RADIO where school-on-the-air be a part to train and educate on the air the 300,000 coop members in Cagayan de Oro, where coop issues will be aired, where the cooperative products will be advertized and where information will become a tool of empowerment.
Being constitutionally-created, CDA, more than ever, with a building at 3-storey at that, will now scale the heights to advance the growth and viability of cooperatives to rectify social wrongs manifested by poverty and social injustice.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 25, 2014.