To boost local economic development, community-based cooperatives are invited to apply for a non-interest-bearing loan which can be used to expand or open new businesses.
In celebration of the Cooperative Month this October, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) has allocated 3,000,000 pesos to be divided among 30 micro to small scale cooperatives as non-interest-bearing loan through its Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) program. PhP100,000 loan assistance will be given to those who intend to become active contributors to local economic development by opening or expanding their existing businesses.
KPSB, the sole program under MWF’s Community Assistance and Livelihood focus area, provides financial support to cooperatives accredited by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) operating in grassroots communities throughout the country.
Parallel to the zero-interest loan that is payable in 12 months after a 3 month grace period, MWF also provides capacity-building trainings for its partner cooperatives to help them achieve organizational stability. In partnership with several provincial and local government agencies, trainings in governance, business management, and marketing are made available to the cooperatives at zero costs.
Through this holistic approach, MWF is able to further concretize its mission to enable positive changes and uplift lives of Base of the Pyramid communities. With this, MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim encourages cooperatives with financially viable business proposals to apply to the program.
“Cooperatives are among the main drivers of grassroots development. Their businesses serve as gateways to a better quality of life, not only for their members, but also for their community. However, not all cooperatives are given the chance to make this happen due to financial limitations. KPSB program aims to bridge this gap. With this, I encourage community-based cooperatives to apply to the program and join us in making our mission a reality,” she said.
Since its conception in 2005, MWF has been supporting community-based cooperatives and to date the program has helped more than 500 cooperatives nationwide. This year alone, KPSB was able to reach out to close to 70 cooperatives, released almost PhP7 million, and conducted several skills-improvement trainings all over the country that benefitted more than 300 cooperative members.
Through these assistance thousands of cooperative members have been given opportunity to have a better quality of life. A survey among partner cooperatives shows that a 24% increase in net surplus has been recorded. Among those with the highest recorded net surplus is Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Kaybanban Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SMKMPC), a cooperative that engages in pineapple wine and marmalade production with a recorded net surplus of 56%.
“Ramdam po namin ang pagbabago. Meron nang nakalaan na pang sweldo sa mga workers po ng pineapple products. Dati-rati problemado din ang miyembro sa pera para sa pamilya nila. Imbis na dito, uunahin muna nila yung kung saan sila kikita. Ngayon alam na nila na may sweldo na dito, mas marami kami nagagawa,” as shared by SMKMPC’s production manager, Marieta G. Agapito.
(After receiving the zero-interest loan, we have experienced positive change. We can now allocate enough money for the workers’ wages. Before, the members of the cooperative also experience financial problems. Before, they would opt to engage in activities outside of the operations of the cooperative because they need to provide for their families. But now, since they can now rely on the wage that the cooperative provides, more members choose to work here and thus, we can produce more.)
The KPSB program looks forward to empowering more community-based cooperatives. To apply or know more about the program, visit www.manilawaterfoundation.org.